Published on December 17th, 2015 | by James Wright
Star Wars the Force Awakens Fan Review
Summary: Star Wars the Force Awakens is the fourth best film in the franchise!
[Spoiler Free Fan Review – Stay tuned for our official movie review]
Star Wars the Force Awakens is a worthy follow-up to the original three movies with this current instalment heavily taking its imagery from A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. This is good on so many levels as not only does it allow older fans to reminiscence but it also distances itself from the heavy use of CGI in the prequels which made everything looks pristine. As a result, Director J. J. Abrams successfully delivers a worthy sequel and although he pays homage to the originals, he also enhances this classic science fiction universe.
So even though it was like watching the original movie at times, it created something engaging, familiar and surprisingly refreshing. So before I jump into the spoiler free review of the story, I want to talk about the cinematography because Abrams and the production team borrow film techniques from the first film and by using real-life areas with some CGI thrown into the mix, it makes the characters and story appear more realistic. There is even homage to the suns of Tattooine that as a boy growing up with the films, it really brought me back to a simpler time. They even include the original holochess game on the Millennium Falcon plus those classic effects of the 70’s with their targeting systems for their weapons. One set back with the cinematography is that at times, everything felt too close. All in all, the special effects were oozing with Star Wars mythology.
The protagonist of the film is Rey (Daisey Ridley), a scavenger from the planet Jakku and Finn (John Boyega), a former Storm Trooper who become embroiled in the search for the missing Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the last of the Jedi. Unfortunately for Resistance (formerly known as the Rebel Alliance), The First Order are also after Skywalker which forces Rey and Finn to go head to head with the nefarious Kyle Ren (Adam Driver) who wishes to follow in the footsteps of Darth Vader. However for our two heroes, they come across two very familiar faces with that of a considerable older Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). For older fans like me, this is when the movie started!
Like all good Star Wars films, the villains once again have the upper hand but what makes Star Wars the Force Awakens such a joy is the dialogue between characters. Han Solo and his loyal Wookie have some of the best lines in the movie, however newcomers Rey and Finn really add to the Star Wars lore and both are extremely likeable characters. My only gripe in the movie is the villains themselves, particularly General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) who just seemed flat and clichéd as an Imperial officer. Adam Driver was interesting as the villainous Kylo Ken, although lacked the presence of the legendary Darth Vader and Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke looked more like something out of The Hobbit opposed to Star Wars.
Nonetheless, the heroes featured some excellent dialogue and there was some great humour and banter between the characters, even those inanimate objects such as BB8 who showed just as much emotion as R2D2. The special effects were amazing, particularly seeing all the Star Wars vehicles in action again and of course the Millennium Falcon that made the Kessell run in 12 Parsecs or as Rey said… 14 Parsecs, only to be corrected by Han Solo. The on screen chemistry was great, particularly between Ridley and Ford plus Ridley and Boyega but the “resistance” characters really made the film. In terms of story, it was nothing special as The First Order felt like a pale comparison to the Emperor’s Imperial Forces and I really wanted to learn more about Luke Skywalker and what happened during this 30 year gap. There’s also some killer moments in the film so if you want to avoid these, I suggest you stay off social media until you’ve finished watching Star Wars the Force Awakens. Needless to say, the new franchise has been set and for one cannot wait to see where it takes us.
Star Wars the Force Awakens is definitely a love letter to fans of the original but more importantly, it successfully bridges the gap between new and old fans by delivering the fourth best Star Wars film to date!