Sunday, 20 December 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Three decades on from events in The Return of the Jedi the legecy of those events still litter the landscape with the wreckage of Imperial Star Cruisers left abandoned on many planets across the Galaxy, including the planet Jakku where we find a lonely Ray (Daisy Ridley) whose life is about to change forever. It's thirty years on and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has vanished, he becomes one of the most sought after men of galaxy with both the First Order and the Rebels trying to locate him. Ray is thrown into the midst of this war when she stumbles across a droid that contains a missing part of the map that will reveal Luke's location.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is one the most eagerly anticipated movies of the decade and with the disappointment of the prequels, the fans of the franchise are hoping for a good film. What they did is a Star Wars film that seems to have been made by a fan of the original franchise and thus knows what fans want. J.J Abrams was a perfect choice for director having successfully rebooted the Star Trek franchise and he does a great job at bring the quality back to the franchise mixing the old with the new in the process.

It's going to be difficult to discuss the film without revealing too much and with major films such as this people are slightly more sensitive when it comes to plot spoilers, so don't read ahead if you'd rather go in knowing nothing at all. The newest Star Wars film has plenty going for it such as a great feeling of nostalgia and a welcome return for the older characters but the newest additions to the franchise are just as welcome, particularly the new arrivals Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. The pair have a great chemistry, Ridley in particular grew spectacularly in her role and it's good to have another female character in a central role in the Star Wars franchise who so far isn't lumbered with a lame love story. The film is technically impressive as the actions scenes and dogfights are so a stunningly fluid that they are incredibly immersive.

There are, however, a number of issues, namely the film moves at breakneck speed so much so that the film's 135 minute running time breezes past at lightening quick speed. That's all well and good but the film's story just wizzes past and the ominous threat of The First Order is hardly developed which leaves much to be desired regarding an enemy to hate. This also means that the latest film lacks a truly menacing villain but that doesn't mean the film has a badly developed villain as Adam Driver's bad tempered and immature Kylo Ren looks to be work in progress. Ren's violent outbursts makes him one to fear but impossible to respect, he's certainly a villain whose very much work in progress and one to fear in the future.

However, despite it's flaws it is a welcome return to the franchise for fans, the John Williams soundtrack is as perfect as it ever was and practical effects feel far more realistic than the special effects in the prequels. The Force Awakens is a massive improvement over the three prequels in terms of direction, script and humour (the film is often very amusing) but whilst it could have been less like A New Hope its still the Star Wars film that most fans will probably love.



  1. Great review! I actually loved Ren. I think he's very intriguing and he's probably what Anakin should've been in the prequels. I think his temper makes him even scarier because you get the sense he's going to snap and kill (more) people.

  2. Yeah I really enjoyed this one too. I also felt that it could have done with a little more originality in the script, but I also see that the creators were trying to assure everything that this was classic Star Wars. It is certainly the most fun I've had seeing a Star Wars film in the theater in a long time. I just hope it holds up to repeat viewings.