So, you guys probably heard about this little film that’s come out – a film called The Force Awakens. If you haven’t – then where have you been these last few weeks? Honestly this could quite possibly be one of the most hyped films of all time. And not without good reason – it IS Star Wars after all. The minute you put Star Wars on anything, it’s gonna get peoples’ attention. From the moment the opening trailers came out early last year, people have been salivating for the thought of a new Star Wars. With the plot details so closely guarded (which is no small feat in this social media world) so many fan theories, ideas and what have you have been circling the internet. No one knows what the plot was until it was released. I myself made a deliberate choice NOT to watch anything Star Wars related (save for the previous films) until I saw The Force Awakens. I wanted to go into this film not knowing anything about it – something I rarely do with films. This was a special occasion after all, so I wanted to make sure I got as much enjoyment out of it as possible.
Now I actually saw the film on Christmas Eve, but only now have I had a chance to review it. So here it is – my review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Normally I put a spoiler warning at the beginning of my reviews – but on this occasion I made a choice not to reveal any major plot spoilers. Why? Because this film has a lot of great stuff that I don’t really wanna ruin for everyone – because the things in this film must be experienced to truly appreciate how great it is. However, if you want to go into seeing the film not knowing ANYTHING – then please stop reading now, see the film and come back.
I would also politely ask that if anyone wishes to comment on this post PLEASE keep spoilers to a minimum. I want others to enjoy this film the same way I did.
So I guess the question I should get out of the way is – does it live up to all the hype? Well, why don't I let M.Bison answer that for me...
Because of spoilers, I’m not gonna talk too much about the film’s plot, save for this. It’s thirty years after Return of the Jedi and from the ashes of the Empire arises The First Order – a Fascist regime that seeks total domination across all the system. Amongst this totalitarian empire is Finn – a storm trooper with a conscience. Through him, he becomes involved in a fight with the Resistance and must find a way to stop The First Order – along with the Dark Side of the Force.
Finn himself is a great character that you come to love from the moment he first appears. I thought it was pretty good to see things from a storm troopers point of view – I always wondered what it was like looking at things from the “grunts” view. Finn adds a lot of humanity – but also a lot of humour to the story.
Rey is the other protagonist I should mention – arguably the first strong female role in the film series (Expanded Universe excluded in this case – before any of you cry out Mara Jade). Don’t get me wrong, I love Leia and always thought she was an amazing character. But Rey may possibly be my new favourite heroine. She’s feisty, tough, but also not afraid to show her human side. There’s a bit of a twist involving her later on in the film – and I am very interested to see where she goes from here!
BB8 is the new R2-D2 of this series and kids will no doubt love him. Heck, I thought he was awesome. He and Finn made a great double act at times! But don’t worry, veteran Star Wars fans – the old cast return in full swing here to satisfy fans of the classic series. Again I won’t say too much for fear of spoilers, but I will say it was wonderful to see Han and Chewie again and see how their story panned out.
Another new character I should mention is Kylo Ren – a Sith Jedi who wants to be every bit as powerful as Darth Vader. This guy has a LOT of anger issues – and when he explodes you better watch out! Luckily, Kylo never once feels like a Darth Vader rip off – the film makers giving him just enough to stand out on his own as a character. There were a few moments where I thought he was slightly too whinny – but not as whinny as Anakin from the prequels. As it turns out, he has enough character emotions to make him an interesting, tormented – yet utterly despicable villain.
One character I DID feel was underused was Captain Phasma – the leader of the storm troopers. Hopefully she’ll have an expanded role in later films, but here I felt they could have done more with her. Considering she’s the first female villain in the main canon films, I felt she could have been that little more empowering. But what we saw of her was good.
I briefly touched on humour earlier – and this is one of my favourite bits about the films. One of the problems I had with the prequels is that they took themselves too seriously – but luckily this film has enough faith in itself to have a laugh now and then. The comedy is perfectly timed and had me in fits of laughter – but that’s not to say there isn’t an element of drama to it. In fact this has a LOT of dark moments – some I was quite shocked at. There is also a lot of emotion, one bit especially made me cry out at the cinema and I still tear up thinking about it. What makes this work is the film KNOWS when to be serious, when to be funny and when to make you cry. That’s something that few films can get right – but here, all the emotions are pitch perfect.
Finally, I would like to mention the special effects. One of the things I loved about the Star Wars films was how good they looked due to the practical effects/puppets they used for the monsters/creatures. This is something I felt was lost in the prequels as they used WAY too much CGI for my liking. The Force Awakens balances both of them – using CGI when needed and practical effects also when needed. It means that none of them outweigh the other and you get a balanced, sleak looking film that is more polished than most films you see.
And finally, the nods to the previous films are just spot on! If you haven’t seen any of the original films, don’t worry – they aren’t placed in so that newbies will be confused, but at placed enough so that fans of the original series can have their fanservice.
There is so much about this film I WANT to talk about – but like I said I don’t want to spoil this film for anyone who hasn’t seen it. This film is a magical experience and I don’t want to deny anyone that – so if you think I’m not giving enough info about it, then go watch the film and that will fill in the blanks.
When me and my brother left the cinema, we were so blown away by it that all my brother could say was “What did we just watch?” My response? “Maybe one of the greatest films ever made!”
This film is a masterpiece – that’s all I can say about it. J. J Abrams once again proves that when it comes to sci-fi movies, few have such a mastery over it as him. Combining great storytelling, emotion, humour and awesome effects that pay tribute to the original films, The Force Awakens is a powerful movie on its own right and a worthy addition to one of the greatest film series of all time. If the prequel movies left a bad taste in your mouth, this will wash it out for sure. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the films pan out from here.
The Force Awakens is strong with the fans! This was a great early Christmas treat!
What did you guys think? Let me know in the comments below (again I would ask to keep spoilers to a minimum where possible). You can always message me on Facebook and Twitter (links at the top of this website) if you wanna talk about it as well.
Take care guys! Have a great week!
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