Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens Review

Reviewed By Juan Carlos Papa

Thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. When a defector named Finn crash-lands on a desert planet, he meets Rey (Daisy Ridley), a tough scavenger whose droid contains a top-secret map. Together, the young duo joins forces with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to make sure the Resistance receives the intelligence concerning the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the last of the Jedi Knights.

If you weren't pleased with the prequels. If you have been waiting for Star Wars to recapture that magic. If you wanted a film with good storytelling, characterization and emotional depth. Have no fear Star Wars the force has indeed awaken. You're faith in the republic has been restored. This is one hell of a movie.

The Force Awakens is not just a good Star Wars movie. It is a good movie in general. As stated above the film takes place 30 after of "Return of the Jedi." The Sith are no more and out of the ashes comes a rise of the remnants of the falling empire known as the First Order runned by the Supreme Leader and the evil Kylo Ren. For the sake of spoilers I want go into further detail on the plot.  Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams and Michael Arndt deliver one of hell of a story that is worthy of the Star Wars name. This film brings the franchise into a whole new generation while still giving you a nostalgic feel from the previous films. Longtime fans will gravitate to the new characters as each is presented in a way that will have you wanting episode 8 immediately. The film manages to give a fair amount of characterization for its four main leads but at the same time it doesn’t reveal too much about them. Fans might be disappointed that the film gives you more questions than answers. Not much is revealed on Rey, Finn and Poe. The film gives us motivations and what is driving them but as far as knowing who they really are we only get a glimpse of it. I think this was great to purposely have some plot holes it makes me want to see episode 8. The film will also suffer from a little bit of déjà vu when it comes to plot and twist. 

The film is fresh and new but also feels like you’ve seen this story before. There are certain twist, certain situations that make you say didn’t we just hear this song. How many times are we going to visit this situation of planets being threaten? How many times this conflict is going to arise? The déjà vu feel is not a killer by any sense but some purist will be a little bit let down on the story front. Other than that minor complaint the film is amazing.

A film can’t succeed with story alone. In order for the film to succeed you great direction, great music and great actors to make the audience feel immerse in this world. The Force Awakens succeeds in all these areas. J.J. Abrams really brought his A+ game for this film. The action scenes, settings and the shots are all beautifully shot. I saw this film in 3D and its looks pretty good in 3D. However I will recommend you see the film in 2D. The acting is tremendous. Daisy Ridley steals the show as Rey. Ridley eats up every scene she is in. She shows a certain vulnerability, emotional range and strength that will have many rooting for her. Ridley is definitely going to be a household name pretty soon. John Boyega also is very entertaining to watch. His role as Finn was well written and well performed. He is the most sympathetic character out of the four main leads. Boyega is the energy of the film; he brings such innocent and compassion to the role that you wanted to learn more of his backstory. Oscar Issac as Poe wasn’t given much to do in this film. However when he is on screen he is great. His interaction with Finn is one of the highlights to his character. Their interaction reminds of Han and Chewbecca relationship these two will be great friends in future installments. Speaking of Han Solo Harrison Ford gives a great important performance in this film. His character has the most screen time out of the original three and for good reason. Ford shows how much Han as mature but at the same time hasn’t really change and fans will applaud his performance. Finally Adam Driver as Kylo Ren is menacing, evil but humanized. You don’t really know much about why he is on the darkside but you see a glimpse of it. The film gives more questions than answers when it comes to characters.  Great acting, great direction and needless to say John Williams delivers once again with a home run score. The music is not as memorable as other installments but it’s enough to be warrant for the Star Wars name.

The Force Awakens is great film and you will be watching it over and over again. There is action, emotional depth, twist and turns and one hell of an ending that will bring a little tear to your eye. The time has come to journey once again to the galaxy far far away.

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