Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is the beginning of the “sequel trilogy”, a three-part film series that continues the Star Wars story past the original 1970’s films. Taking place decades after the fall of the Empire and Darth Vader, we are introduced to a slew of new faces and see some fan-favorite characters return as well.
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The Film Review
A new enemy threatens the safety of the galaxy, but an unlikely hero will rise up in an attempt to save the day. By mixing some classic Star Wars themes with a fresh cast and story, The Force Awakens manages to be an exciting return to the beloved galaxy far, far away.
If there’s one thing true about Star Wars, its that no matter how hard people fight for peace, there will always be a new war around the corner. In The Force Awakens, a new army of antagonists known as the First Order have started to tighten their grip on the galaxy, led by the masked Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and his mentor, Supreme Leader Snoke. The massive army is searching for Luke Skywalker, the fabled Jedi of lore.
The First Order aim to command the galaxy with their incredible military power and wipe out all remaining Jedi no matter the cost. A group of rebels referred to as the Resistance have banded together to fight off the oppressive First Order.
Our story follows Rey (Daisy Ridley), a young scavenger living on the remote desert planet of Jakku. She spends her days idly scavenging for scrap so she can eat, living out of an abandoned AT-AT.
Her life becomes exceptionally more exciting when she runs into a droid named BB-8, who secretly holds information regarding Luke Skywalker’s whereabouts. Elsewhere, a defected Stormtrooper named Finn (John Boyega) teams up with an unlikely partner and attempts to join the Resistance.
A lot of the story beats and themes in The Force Awakens are very similar to Episode IV: A New Hope. In this way, The Force Awakens has both a fresh and nostalgic quality to it. Although the characters are new, the story being told is quite familiar (almost to a fault at times).
Luckily, the narrative mostly serves as a way to give proper closure to past Star Wars characters while gently introducing those who will replace them. While some fans might see the plot as slightly uninspired, I think it’s a solid mixture of the familiar and new.
Regardless of the narrative, The Force Awakens provides countless action scenes, guaranteed to get any Star Wars fanboy giddy with excitement. There are plenty of lightsaber fights, starship dogfights, blaster battles, and more. The amount of death and destruction in The Force Awakens is often surprising, but it adds some stakes and consequences to the action. A high use of CGI can be occasionally distracting, but otherwise, the special effects are impressive and engaging.
Overall, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is a surprisingly successful sequel in this massively popular sci-fi franchise. Director J.J Abrams had a lot of hype to live up to, and he managed to do so with a solid story and engaging action.
Ultimately, The Force Awakens feels like the beginning of a new era of Star Wars, and one that has an uncertain but exciting future. The Force Awakens is a great start to these new Star Wars adventures, with a great cast and some truly exciting action sequences.
- Beloved characters make meaningful returns
- Inventive world-building with cool creatures and locations
- Awesome action sequences
- The plot is a bit too similar to previous Star Wars films
- A lot of the sub-plots are left unanswered
- Abundance of CGI can break immersion