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Cert: 12A Runtime: 135 mins Director: J.J Abrams Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Domhall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Max von Sydow, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Lupita Nyong’o and Andy Serkis
There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it?
Over three years ago Dinsey bought Lucas Film for $4 Billion, many people thought it was the end for George Lucas’s vision. Star Wars has been a major part of my life since I first watched them in 1994, I even like the prequels! The Force Awakens is the first film that continues the Skywalker saga since Return of the Jedi in 1983. J.J Abrams has had probably the toughest challenge in cinematic history in my opinion. He needs to bring a new generation of fans in but please the old guard too. The secrecy behind the Force Awakens has made this film fuel the imagination of the masses and we are finally here! The wait is over! The big question what is the Force Awakens about? On the desert planet Jakku, tough loner Rey (Daisy Ridley) plies her trade as a scavenger. Meanwhile, a stormtrooper named Finn (John Boyega) finds himself in great danger, the villainous Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) wields a cool cross-form lightsaber, and an X-Wing pilot named Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is sent on a mission by “a certain princess”.
Force Awakens is a gigantic wave of nostalgia for all fans. J.J Abrams has done a terrific job re-kindling the fire for Star Wars. The nostalgic aspect is very potent through out, Abrams seems to be saying look at this, do you remember this? You are overwhelmed by everything but it’s home-comforts that slowly eases you into a new era. The practical aspect of the film from J.J is what we wanted to see. Much edgier, rougher and not shiny. Abrams pays homage to the original trilogy by using practicality. He was even faithful to filming in 35 & 65mm at times and filmed on real locations. His direction was a steady studio hand that the franchise needed, I take my hat off to you sir. John Williams returned to score the film, it’s very subtle with a hint of the old school. He has really given the film a fine balance. Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams script is pretty decent it’s far too funny for a Star Wars film. It does have very cheesy lines but it’s Star Wars and you expect it. It’s very fast paced film with a lot going on through out. You can see some minor plot holes but every film has some. But what Kasdan and Abrams do is they make you ask questions of what? when? and where is this going? Force Awakens is just utter fun for that alone.
The cast new and old feel like they belong in this galaxy. Harrison Ford makes a triumphant return as Han Solo. It was a bit patchy to begin with but it was good to see him home. His chemistry with Chewbacca was utterly point perfect and his scenes with Leia left me quivering like a baby. Carrie Fisher for the screen time she had did a good job, one imagines she will be more prominent later on. Then Mark Hamill…….you’ll have to watch it yourselves. Daisy Ridley as Rey is a great female lead, she is up there with Furiosa this year. She is a strong female character and damm she is the heart of the Force Awakens. John Boyega really is the comic relief in the film but I do feel like he could be the Peeta of the franchise. He has served a purpose so far but he needs to find himself. My new favourite character has to be Poe Dameron played by Oscar Isaac. He is like Han Solo 2.0 but has his own charm, I wanted to take him for a beer at the end. He didn’t have enough screen-time but he stole the show at parts.
Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren was a good villain, he actually had feelings and more realism to him. Very different to the likes of Dooku and Maul. Ren’s story ark is going to expand and develop enormously in episode VIII. Rian Johnson has a big job in front of him with this character. Andy Serkis’s Supreme Leader Snoke isn’t the greatest big bad. You don’t see much of him but I am not a fan of the look of him at all. Captain Phasma was heavily advertised during the press campaign, but she was barely in the film which was a shame. In the grand scale of things Star Wars has returned back to the shores of Valhalla, in a blaze of glory. It pleased me as an old fan but it has made me excited for the future. J.J Abrams has tread lightly in the pool of Star Wars and probably he could of gone deeper. But with the pressure on him he played very safe. How will this film stand between the originals and the prequels? Probably 4th at the moment, it does need a second and third viewings. This is purely to dry off the nostalgia wave and then you will see what the film truly is. Now it’s over to Rian Johnson I’m sure we all wish him the best of luck. May the force be with you my friends.