By Lewis Gregory (Merseyside, England)
“There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?” This quote, spoken by Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) can only mean one thing: it’s finally here! Star Wars is back on our screens at last with the latest chapter in the saga: The Force Awakens. There has been a tremendous amount of hype surrounding this film’s release with brilliant trailers being released, a huge amount of Star Wars toys and games being sold as well as the general feeling of excitement and intrigue that has been building up to the film’s release. But does it live up to all the hype? It’s time to review The Force Awakens! I should also mention that this review will be completely spoiler-free so feel free to read this review without worrying about the chance of seeing any spoilers.
30 years after the events of Return Of The Jedi, a new regime known as “The First Order” has risen from the ashes of “The Galactic Empire” and is led by prominent figures such as Supreme Leader Snoke, the menacing Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) as well as General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). At the same time the former “Rebellion” has now become “The Resistance”, led by former princess and now general, Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher). The stage is also set for the arrival of some new characters to the franchise such as Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger from the planet Jakku, Finn (John Boyega), a disillusioned Stormtrooper who escapes from the evil First Order as well as X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and his trusty sidekick droid “BB-8”. Can the Resistance free the galaxy from The First Order?
After the disappointing prequels, fans have been yearning for the franchise to return to its old glory and it is safe to say that with director J.J. Abrams at the helm, it has done just that. Abrams has done a tremendous job with this film and it is clear to see that he has brought his sci-fi expertise along with him, having directed two Star Trek films very recently, which I found very enjoyable. Firstly, the action sequences, as ever, are extremely entertaining to watch, whether it is a battle in space or a lightsaber fight on the ground, action fans are going to be very satisfied with the action that is on offer here. The cinematography is also extremely impressive, with some excellent camera shots that could only have been executed effectively with Abrams’ direction. There is also some impressive sound editing and mixing thanks to the brilliant crew that Abrams had with him while making this film and this makes the action sequences even more entertaining since you can hear the sounds that you grew up with such as the lightsabers, the laser blasters and the sound of the spaceships. The force is indeed strong with Abrams and his crew.
The characters, both old and new, are also entertaining personalities. It is pleasing to see that Abrams has maintained that feeling of nostalgia thanks to the return of older characters such as Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) as well as adding a fresh feel to the franchise with the entertaining new characters that we meet, particularly Rey and Finn. Furthermore, we have a great new villain in the form of Kylo Ren, a truly menacing character that restores the evil legacy of Darth Vader very effectively and who also has a mysterious element about him which makes him all the more intriguing. The great acting also really helps to make these characters believable and I personally cannot wait to see these characters develop even further as this new trilogy progresses.
Everything that we love about Star Wars is present in this film. We have the entertaining action, we have characters that we believe in, we have John Williams’ iconic score (I’ll admit that I had goosebumps and chills as soon as I heard the opening theme) and we also have scenes which are full of humour as well as scenes that are full of raw emotion. All of this blended together makes for a Star Wars smoothie which could not taste better. It pains me to say, however, that the film isn’t completely perfect. We do have one or two slow scenes and the film does gloss over a certain occurrence that I’m not going to spoil but nevertheless, these are two very minor flaws and everything else in this film is perfect. The Star Wars fanboy within me has been restored after seeing this film.
To summarise, while there are one or two slow scenes, this is still a triumphant return to the old glory of Star Wars, it possesses a brilliant combination of nostalgia and freshness, Abrams’ direction is brilliant, the characters are tremendous and it left me leaving the cinema with a big grin on my face. As Yoda would probably say: “the prequels, this is not. Leave happy, you shall”.
Overall Rating = 4.5/5BEST QUOTES