After I exited my first showing of The Force Awakens I was up lying in bed an extra hour just thinking about what I had seen. Watching like a hawk I tried to dissect every single aspect of the film. In total I’ve come up with two, maybe three small faults. After close examination I’m happy to report that after all the seemingly insurmountable hype, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens doesn’t disappoint and is easily the best Star Wars since Empire Strikes Back.
The movie is perfectly split into three acts on three different planets. We get an excellent pace between these planets and the plot of the story. As the plot progresses we are given a fantastic sense of world building thanks to writers J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek (2009)) and Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back) who familiarize us with the galaxy far far away and everything that we’ve missed since we’ve been absent from it. In this precious time nothing is wasted as we are shown numerous superb action sequences and enough engaging plot for the ride of the film to be smooth and thoroughly interesting.
Han Solo and Chewbacca play major parts, guiding our new heroes through the Galaxy. Amongst our new protagonists we have Finn, Poe Dameron, Rey, and BB-8. All of them have a great, genuine presence in the movie, Rey and BB-8 have show-stealing scenes that make them new fan favorites. The humor and handiness of BB-8 will you have delighted and Rey’s journey is a focal point of the film, her character goes through the most development and she brings the heart to The Force Awakens.
On the other spectrum of things we get The First Order: the remnants of the empire in terms of storm troopers and technology. They are led by Emperor Snoke, General Hux, and Kylo Ren. We do get a few brief looks at Snoke (played by Andy Serkis) but it’s much more of an Emperor Palpatine role akin to what was shown of the Emperor in Empire Strikes Back. Hux plays a role somewhat akin to Tarkin in A New Hope as the general of authority that clashes with Kylo rather often. They both seek supremacy in The First Order. I can’t discuss Kylo too much without spoiling anything. He is involved with some of the most gripping scenes in the movie and is absolutely integral to it.
Visually The Force Awakens is absolutely gorgeous, each scene is filmed with time and effort. The scenes are wide and grandiose, the focus on the characters and their emotion and the fluid action makes it not only a great Star Wars movie but just as an excellent movie in general. All this is accompanied by the serene and beautiful John Williams score. What really makes the movie succeed is how well it taps into every single feeling and thought. For moments of fear and terror, for curiosity and adventure, and most of all delight, The Force Awakens nails the feeling of Star Wars and just makes me feel everything all at once and does it so flawlessly.
Without spoiling the movie, it’s great. I have some issues with it just in terms of seeing characters or lack of, but those are spoilers itself. There are some characters that deserve more screen time but overall there’s a great blend of these characters. As we speak I’m waiting in line to see the movie again. The Force Awakens gets a very strong recommendation as the Force is very strong with this one. I can’t wait to talk about it more after opening weekend. It has been an absolute treat. J.J. did it.