Film: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Director: J. J. Abrams
Cast: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Max von Sydow
Age Restriction: 13 V
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action
Runtime: 2hrs 15min
Release date: 16 December 2015
It’s been 10 years since we last ventured into that galaxy far, far away, and now the doors have finally opened as the highly anticipated seventh Stars Wars instalment storms into cinemas everywhere.
However, the new film does what fans have been dying to see for the last 30 years... it’s a sequel to the original Star Wars trilogy.
Disney, now the proud owner of the popular franchise, have done a fine job keeping the plot under wraps while still producing non-spoiler promotional materials that had fans salivating in anticipation.
Shrouding everything in secrecy was a good move on Disney’s part as there were so many surprises to behold, thus preventing any plot details from spoiling the enjoyment for audiences - hence why this review tries its upmost to be spoiler-free.
Judging by the promotional materials, I’m sure most of you are aware that The Force Awakens takes place after the events of 1983’s Episode 6: Return of the Jedi, and brings back some old favourites, with the addition of new characters as well.
Among new characters, we have our good guys Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), while Girls star Adam Driver takes on the villainous role of Kylo Ren.
When we last checked in on Star Wars fans, many were left unsatisfied due to the prequel trilogy (episodes 1 to 3) failing to live up to the original three films.
Franchise creator George Lucas was spot on when he pointed out in a recent interview with Vulture that "fans are going to love it [The Force Awakens]", as the latest film was definitely made for the fans.
Featuring some of the franchise’s most iconic ideas, The Force Awakens honours all that is good about the original trilogy, thus giving fans exactly what they want... nostalgia.
Director J. J. Abrams who is also responsible for the screenplay along with Michael Arndt and original trilogy writer Lawrence Kasdan (who penned episodes 5 & 6), have crafted a worthy story that will satisfy long time fans who have been craving for an excellent Star Wars movie since 1983.
Not only does The Force Awakens reinvigorate the franchise, it also brings new ideas into the fold - ideas that work really well I might add.
The film also features a variety of unexpected twists and turns that’s sure to impress audiences, while keeping things engaging at all times.
This latest entry features plenty of eye-catching action sequences reminiscent of the classic three films, along with some top-notch special effects to keep fans at the edge of their seats.
The lightsaber duels are, as Abrams promised in a recent interview with Empire, "much more primitive, aggressive and rougher".
Seeing the Millennium Falcon in action was a treat to behold indeed, while Andy Serkis' motion-captured character (whom I will not name) is definitely a technical marvel.
Daniel Mindel does amazing work on the film’s impressive cinematography as The Force Awakens was beautifully filmed.
The film features an impressive set design, interesting locations and wonderfully designed creatures including Lupita Nyong'o’s character.
(Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca (L) and Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)
One of the film’s many strong points has to be how it handles its characters, old and new. The seventh entry honours past characters and introduces new faces, while making the latter relevant to the storyline.
Most of the new characters are well developed particularly Rey, Finn and Kylo Ren.
Ridley and Boyega shine in their respective roles as Rey and Finn, but it’s the former who commands the screen as one of the film’s standouts.
I was pleasantly surprised by the characterisation of Kylo Ren, as the villain was not only formidable, but also quite interesting as many facets to the character are explored within the film.
Not only does Driver deliver a great performance, but Kylo Ren, in my opinion, is definitely a worthy successor to Darth Vader.
Despite all the wonderful performances, it’s Harrison Ford who steals the show as franchise favourite Han Solo.
Ford once again shows us why we love his character so much and absolutely owns the film with his excellent performance.
(The film's villain Kylo Ren played by Adam Driver. Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)
The film’s iconic musical score is yet another highlight as it will bring lots of nostalgic tears to fans and audiences alike.
The Force Awakens is possibly the funniest Star Wars film to date, and will have audiences in stitches due to the amount of humorous one-liners featured within the film.
The Force Awakens nicely sets things up for future instalments, and judging by what we’ve seen with this film, I strongly suspect better things to come in the next instalment.
All in all, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the Star Wars film fans have long been waiting for as it totally lives up to expectations, and will leave audiences wanting more.
The new film honours the original three instalments and gives fans exactly what they’ve wanted for the last 30 something years.
A big congratulations to filmmaker J. J. Abrams for pulling off this near impossible feat.
While the film is easily able to surpass the prequel films, it nevertheless fails to top The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi as the top two films in the franchise, in my opinion.
Despite this, The Force Awakens will easily rank as my third favourite film in the franchise, and I absolutely cannot wait to see what filmmaker Rian Johnson has in store for us with Episode 8 in 2017.