The Star Wars Movie That We Have been Waiting For


by Fernando Lyons


Star Wars:  The Force Awakens takes place approximately 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi.  The evil Empire has been defeated by Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance, however, a new evil force called the First Order has picked up where the Empire left off.  Like the Empire, the First Order is being led by a powerful master of the Dark Side of the Force, Supreme Leader Snoke.  Snoke, like Emperor Palpatine before him, also has a dark, mask wearing apprentice, however these Force wielders are not Sith, but from a different faction called the Knights of Ren.  The Rebel Alliance has been repurposed and rebranded to the Resistance, however, the Dark Side has once again taken a dominant position in the galaxy, as the sole surviving Jedi and Resitance’s greatest ally, Luke Skywalker, has gone missing.



When the movie starts, we are quickly introduced to the cruel and dark post-Empire world.  During this scene, viewers get to witness the cruelty, mercilessness, and brutality of the First Order.  This new group may indeed be more terrifying than their predecessors in the Galactic Empire.  We also meet a new cast of characters, including Resistance pilot Po Dameron (Oscar Isaac), the lovable BB-8 (a new spherical astro droid), Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega), and the dark apprentice Kylo Renn (Adam Driver).  A few scenes later we are introduced to the scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley).  Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren get the majority of the screen time in this particular movie.  Each of the new characters fit seamlessly into the Star Wars universe, while bringing something fresh and new to the series.  The actors all performed admirably in their roles, and the depth of the characters’ personalities all came through.  Finn is a character with a dark past, however, he manages to bring most of the movie’s light-hearted and comedic moments.  Rey is a tough, yet very likable character, whose strength really comes across in this movie.  Unlike many of today’s movie villains, Kylo Renn displays a great amount of character depth and emotion.  He is very dogmatic and steadfast in his approach, like his idol, Darth Vader, however, he is dealing with serious internal struggles, which are prevalent in some heart wrenching scenes, that will have all Star Wars fans talking for years to come.


Longtime Star Wars fans will be excited to see most of the main characters from the original Star Wars trilogy return for this movie, including Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil), Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), C3PO (Anthony Daniels), and R2D2.  As expected, these characters delivered very strong performances, and brought a strong sense of familiarity to the movie.  The strongest emotional moments in the movie involves the returning characters, from the heartwarming reunion between Han and Leia, to another heart wrenching moment that I won’t spoil here.   


Overall, the story and plot in this movie were well-constructed and exceptional.  This is a very entertaining movie with excellent pacing, however, for the sake of spoiling the movie, I won’t reveal any real plot details in this review.  I’ll just suffice to say that this movie may make you laugh one moment, and cry the next.  The movie does an excellent job of balancing the humorous and dramatic moments, and as expected, the action sequences are excellent and delivered with a great deal of visual flair.  The camera work and angles are like nothing seen in the previous six Star Wars films, and it brings the audience more into the scene.  The environments, aliens, and special effects, which are a combination of CGI, animatronics, robotics, and real life effects, are a sight to behold, especially on a 3D Imax screen.  


If there is any complaint about the story and plot, it may be that some elements may seem a little too familiar and repeated for some.  Suffice to say that this movie is heavily inspired by the original Star Wars movie.  Also, this movie leaves a lot of questions unanswered.  What happened between Episodes VII and VIII, and why did the good guys not take control when the Empire was destroyed?  Where did a being as powerful in the Force as Supreme Leader Snoke is come from, and how did he take control of the First Order forces?  What is Rey’s lineage and background?  Before Kylo Ren joined the First Order in an effort to “finish what Darth Vader started”, did he not realize that Darth Vader actually turned back to the Light Side of the Force and helped to defeat the Dark Side before dying?  What in the world was going on with R2-D2?  I expect that many of these questions will be answered in the sequels, but for now we are left to speculate.      




It is difficult for a movie, with the amount of buzz and pre-release promotion as this movie garnered, to live up to expectations.  I can confidently say that this movie definitely lived up to the hype and then some.   Whether you are a Star Wars fan, or don’t know anything about the series, you will enjoy this movie.  Do not hesitate to see this one in the theaters.



Bottom Line:

+ Great New Characters, Returning Characters, Good Story, Great Pacing, Feels Like the Original Trilogy, Great Effects, and Plenty of Easter Eggs for Star Wars Fans

- Unanswered Questions

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