Star Wars The Force Awakens review (no spoilers)

star wars the force awakens reviewI went and saw Star Wars the Force Awakens last night at a theater. This is my Star Wars The Force Awakens review with NO spoilers.
I’ve been waiting a long time for a true story continuation of the Star Wars trilogy. When George Lucas announced the prequels, I was less than enthused because I simply wasn’t interested in what happened BEFORE we met characters such as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, etc.
Episode I came out in 1998 and I went to see it of course. I was excited that a new Star Wars movie was being released and I wanted to relive the magic of the original trilogy. After struggling to get through the prequel trilogy over the years, I grew disgusted at how tarnished the Star Wars brand had become.
Star Wars was originally those three films. By adding “episodes” 1, 2, and 3, it has made a new generation confused about the viewing order. There doesn’t need to be any confusion. The only Star Wars movies you ever need to see are A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. Starting from now, you can add The Force Awakens to this list.

Star Wars The Force Awakens review

I’m really glad J.J. Abrams was handed the reins for this new movie. First I want it known that the writing and pacing was much better than any of the prequel movies, which makes this film able to stand next to the original trilogy as well as having the honor of continuing its story.
New Characters
In the film, we are introduced to new main characters. Rey, a girl that is a “nobody”. Just like Luke Skywalker was when he showed up in the original Star Wars movie. I have to say that I thought Rey’s addition to the Star Wars was much needed after realizing that the female character list until now was rather short. Rey is clever, strong, and not a damsel in distress which is always nice to see in stories these days.
Then there is Finn. If you couldn’t tell already from all the posters, he is a Storm Trooper. Traditionally, Storm Troopers have always sort of been given that “disposable” quality until now. The movie focuses on Finn’s feelings and experience and why he does the things he does.
Poe Dameron
One of the members of the resistance group. I enjoyed seeing him show up on the screen and not be a useless character. In the original trilogy, I always got the feeling that it was the main characters that ended up doing all the stuff while the minor rebel members didn’t do much. It’s nice that Poe can show that the resistance group is made up of more than minor weak characters.
Kylo Ren
Kylo Ren is the new scary bad guy that you’ve probably seen in the trailer. He wears a mask just like Vader and his voice sounds changed to sound more ominous. However, he is not a stale one-dimensional bad guy. Over the course of the movie, you’ll see him show more human emotion than any of the previous villains in recent Star Wars films. I didn’t care for this character because I felt it was too similar to Darth Vader and it could have been presented a bit differently than it was.
BB-8
A new kind of droid. I found it fascinating that no computer generated graphics were used to animated BB-8 when he was moving. It was a real physically-built droid. After seeing how slow C3PO and R2D2 moved in the original trilogy, it was a nice change of pace to see BB-8 be able to quickly move and stay with the human characters rather than a slow follow.

Returning Characters

Han Solo
The movie definitely feels lifted up once Harrison Ford appears as Han Solo in The Force Awakens. It’s not just a cameo either, Han Solo becomes part of the current conflict and has an interest in helping the main characters. I couldn’t help but feel emotional when I saw Han Solo and Chewbacca back together again after all this time. Harrison Ford gave a great performance at portraying Han Solo 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi.
Princess Leia
It was awesome to see Carrie Fisher again and what her character had been up to with the rebels. Once again, I felt emotional when I saw Princess Leia interacting with both the new and old characters.

Flaws

This movie does have a few flaws, but nothing to ruin it. My main complaint is with a lot of the scenarios have been done before with previous Star Wars movies. You can identify which movie they came from too, which is sort of odd. The way I see it, The Force Awakens is both a continuation and a reboot, so I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt. In future movies I don’t think past Star Wars plot points will be used as often as they were in this one.

Star Wars The Force Awakens review -Final Thoughts

This movie was excellent and it’s not a perfect movie, but it doesn’t have to be. George Lucas set the bar so low with the prequels that anything would have been good. It is extremely obvious that the writers and director are passionate about the original Star Wars and what made it special.
There were many things that were done well and one was using real sets whenever possible. Having real sets of inside the ships or interiors makes a real difference in making the audience be able to put themselves into the movie universe you have created.
As you might have guessed, there is a lightsaber fight in the movie. It’s on the poster, so I didn’t spoil anything. The use of the lightsaber was really well done. There was not a lot of overly choreographed saber fighting. Instead, what we got was a more natural, humanly side of lightsaber fighting. This was really refreshing and a huge break from the overuse of lightsabers in the previous movies. Because the lightsaber was used sparingly, it became even more fun to watch. This is similar to the original trilogy where the lightsaber was only used for a short time.

It’s definitely something to look forward to when watching this movie.
The Force Awakens is a fun and decent Star Wars story and something I’m not embarrassed to call a Star Wars movie. If you are a fan of the original trilogy, you’ll most likely enjoy this film more than the prequel movies.

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