Star Wars: The Force Awakens is directed by J. J. Abrams and it was the highly anticipated seventh episode in the Star Wars saga. Set thirty years after Return of the Jedi, the story follows Rey, a scavenger on Jakku who meets with ex-stormtrooper Finn. Together they must get BB-8, a droid with the map to Luke Skywalker, back to the Rebellion base and away from the hands of the evil First Order. The movie stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac and Carrie Fisher.
This is the movie that introduced me to Star Wars. I remember back in 2015 everyone was raving about this new Star Wars movie and the teasers didn’t excite me all that well but then the official trailer came out and it was at that moment that I became a fan. I rented the original trilogy, watched them fell in love and was anticipating it like every other fan. It also came out during the holidays and I remember seeing tons of merchandise everywhere with Kylo Ren’s face plastered on it and buying everything I saw, getting excited because I finally joined this massive fandom. I went to see the movie opening weekend and I’ll never forget the first time I saw the logo popping up with that epic score behind it. More importantly though I’ll never forget the experience. It’s one of the most important cinematic experiences ever for me. There was a massive audience filled with families all wearing Star Wars shirts. There was an energy to this crowd, an excitement which was infectious. I remember at the end the credits were rolling, my friend and I looked at each other just flabergasted at that cliffhanger and then an excited kid came to us pointing at my friend’s shirt which was very similar to his. He went back to his father who was smiling looking at him interact with us and it hit me there. This is Star Wars. It’s about family and seeing a generation introduce the new generation to this franchise with this movie was truly beautiful.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a consistently entertaining, emotionally rich and visually striking adventure which honours some of the greatest moments of the franchise by incorporating nostalgia while bringing new, complex and lovable characters into the mix. This is one of those rare movies which gets more entertaining the more I watch it. The Force Awakens is a blast beginning to end, there isn’t a single dull moment or a scene wasted, something is always happening and while that can be a flaw for other this movie does it in a way which keeps things exciting. There are many sets and places we venture to in this movie. The new characters Rey, Finn and Poe all bring a lot of energy and charisma to this movie. Finn and Poe especially who honestly hit it off incredibly well and I will be disapointed if their “friendship” doesn’t evolve past this. The main star of the movie is Rey who is played by the undeniably charismatic Daisy Ridley. Her character starts off strong with this movie, she’s smart and her tragic past gives her an emotional arc which Ridley plays really well. Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren was a hit or miss for me. They tried to make him more modern so they give him some quirky lines here and there which never work but then you get Driver’s amazing performance especially during that scene near the end. He’s definitely the most interesting character from the new bunch. Ford brings back the Han Solo we all know and love as does Carrie Fisher with Leia. It was great seeing both generations interact.
This might be a hot take for some but in my opinion, The Force Awakens is the best-looking Star Wars movie from The Skywalker Saga. I’m not saying it’s the best shot movie but instead how this movie incorporates strong colours and how saturated they are or dull. The red and blues in this movie are used so incredibly well, not just in the great lightsaber battles but also in other scenes, most noticeable the scene near the end between Kylo Ren and Han Solo in which you can see blue on one side and red on the other. This is to show the emotional conflict within Kylo Ren and it finally becomes all red because he chose his side, it’s a small detail but a damn good and effective one. Another striking shot is the one with the TIE fighters in front of a blazing orange sunset when they ambush our main heroes. Another major positive this movie has is the stunning score by the legendary John Williams. Watching all nine movies made me realize how great this particular score is. I think it’s honestly one of his best for this franchise with tracks like “March of the Resistence”, “Rey’s Theme” and “Kylo Ren Arrives at the Battle”.
Overall, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is pure Star Wars at it’s peak up there with A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. It manages to balance the old with the new in an exciting, emotionally rich adventure. While it’s nice to see older characters, the new characters bring forward a thrilling story which may seem familiar but thanks to the new, magical score by Williams, the stunning cinematography and visual style, The Force Awakens makes an identity for itself.