Full Review: Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens is the first Star Wars movie produced after the purchase of the franchise by Disney. This new series follows a whole new cast of characters in a whole new era, following in the footsteps of the fan appreciated original trilogy. This new diverse cast offers a lot in terms of unique character development as well as storytelling as a whole. Although many consider the plot a rip off of A New Hope, there are actually a lot of new unique parts of the story which contrast greatly with the first film.
The story follows Rey, a young scavenger on the Planet of Jakku, as she is thrust into the conflict between the First order and the New Republic. She finds a BB-8 unit carrying a map that leads to Luke Skywalker, who is in hiding since the loss of his new Jedi order. Joining forces with storm trooper runaway Finn, and tagging along with famed war hero and smuggler Han Solo, the crew make their way through the galaxy, thwarting the first order and its commander, the dark force user Kylo Ren. The story is both exciting, action packed, and heart wrenching, and we see both new faces and old friends of the series.
The characters each come from a unique and well determined history, which influences their decision. Rey, abandoned on Jakku by her family, wishing to return in hopes that they might come back for her. Finn, a former soldier for the first order and guilt stricken by the loss of his comrades. Han Solo, a talented smuggler with a piece of him missing, and General Leia Organa, former politician turned renegade leader of the Resistance. Each of the actors playing these roles and their stories make TFA one of the best Star Wars films to date, and the story plays out well. The twists and turns JJ Abrams takes us along give great credit to both him and the series.
The location and set design for this movie are by far my favorite of all the films. From the snowy tundra of Starkiller base, to the sands of jakku, and the rich forests of Moz’s planet, we get to see the rich colors and contrast of the Star Wars galaxy. The use of practical effects mesh well with the proper use of CGI, and the large starfighters and real prop droids give a great level of authenticity to the production as a whole. Seeing actors work alongside real props on real sets sets the stage for a much better entry into the saga.
After watching the whole movie, and taking in the new aura and feeling to it, it definitely deserves the title of Star Wars, although most of the plot is somewhat predictable and follows a straight forward direction. It's because of this that I feel The Force Awakens was both very well accepted as well as somewhat held back. I look forward to see how Disney handles episode 8 and the other Star Wars films to come.
Final Score: 8/10