To put it simply, the newest addition to the Star War franchise, The Force Awakens, was out of this world. With classic blaster guns and light-saber sound effects bringing me back to my elementary school days, the new installment was exactly what Star Wars fans needed. The Force Awakens kept the familiar themes of struggle and “the dark side,” but managed to renew the spirit that was conceived when the first movie came out 39 years ago.
JJ Abrams, who has also gifted us with Lost and Star Trek: Into Darkness, was the leading man in this production, taking on the job of the director. With Abram’s film history being extensive and the Star Wars legacy being dicey in some spots, this film was one of the most anticipated movies of the year.
The Force Awakens fast-forwards 30 years from the sixth Star Wars movie Return of the Jedi. While the film welcomes old faces back to the screen such as Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, there are also fresh faces showcased in this billion-dollar movie.
The most refreshing change that was brought to the Star Wars saga was the now diverse cast, with the two main characters consisting of a young woman named Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, and a African American man named Finn, portrayed by John Boyega.
The film centers around our two new characters journeying across the galaxy alongside Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his loyal partner, Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew.) With the plans that lead to the now estranged Luke Skywalker hidden in their BB-8 droid, the now Nazi-like First Order will stop at nothing to capture them.
Not to mention it wouldn’t be a Star Wars movie without a darkly masked, heavy breathing villain, a role filled in this movie by Kylo Ren. With this new villain sending little shivers down my spine as he activated his limited edition lightsaber, it seemed that even Darth Maul had nothing on him.
This upgraded Darth Vader was not the only thing that made me question the originality of the film. The “droid who has top secret plans” and the “we must destroy the big battleship before it destroys us,” plots had me wondering if this was just a glorified A New Hope reboot.
Regardless if Abrams played it safe, these correlating plot lines were still light years better than the prequels. All in all, Jar Jar Binks didn’t appear once and there were absolutely no pod races.
Star Wars fans need not worry about the abrupt goose-bump-instilling ending to the Force Awakens, there are already two films set in stone to be produced and released within the coming years. Unfortunately, Abrams will not be directing the next installment but staying on as executive producer. With the bar already set so high for the new director, Rian Johnson, all we can really say is, may the force be with you.