Star Wars is back! The franchise has returned even though Luke Skywalker is in hiding. J.J. Abrams has revived a franchise that was, arguably, not going to be making a film for decades. The disaster that was the prequels crippled the Star Wars franchise in ways that many couldn’t believe possible. Abrams took it upon himself to revive a beloved franchise and with the help of Disney, Lucas Film and Kathleen Kennedy succeeded.
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If you listened carefully to the score of this new film you heard this particular melody throughout. The music foreshadowed which characters would be utilizing the force and feeling it awaken within them. This was only one aspect of story telling the talented John Williams composed for “The Force Awakens” and what a perfect piece of work he wrote. The new themes for the characters to help us discover their character, the quick notes that helped emphasize the importance of particular moment on screen, the score was divine. The score was engaging. The score was a piece of this movie just like it was for the original trilogy.
The main faces we all expected were there. I won’t spend much time on the fact we saw them and it was awesome. I’ll simply mention it and move on… It was awesome seeing them all back on the big screen! The particular point of concern I had was will this film do service to the original cast or will it be a means to pay homage and move on with the new characters. After watching this film 3 times over the weekend I have concluded it was a well balanced blending of the characters we love and the ones we will grow to love. I can only think of two characters who I’m still perplexed by. I’m not sure how they served the overall story in a unique way that only they could do. It felt like they could’ve been easily replaced in this film. Those two characters were Ackbar and Captain Phasma. Sure, Phasma looks cool and will sell lots of toys. She didn’t really do anything unique in this film that couldn’t have been done by ancillary characters. Ackbar, in my opinion, was just there to remind everyone how long this fight has been going on. He didn’t serve any service to the story other than that and that wasn’t truly necessary.
Who shined the most? Was it Adam Driver? Was it John Boyega? Oscar Isaac? Domhnall Gleeson? Nope. The shining star in this film was the new, incredibly talented and unknown Daisy Ridley. All the actors in this film did a spectacular job establishing themselves in this universe. They all performed marvelously and provided us developed, formed and 3 dimensional characters who were more than what we saw in just one film. That’s what you want from any actor in any movie and that was a highlight for me watching this film. However, Daisy Ridley was the shining star. Lupita Nyong’o was such a treat as well and I hope her character is in the rest of the franchise but Daisy Ridley stands above the fray. This talented young actress from England who had zero big budget films under her belt and only a single independent comedy/fantasy/horror film won me over. She’s a strong, independent survivor who we find out is much more than she appears. She’s force strong and stronger as the film progresses and the mystery surrounding her character is engaging and entertaining. Her presence on screen is captivating. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed her acting.
This new Star Wars did provide foreshadowing for everyone who was really paying attention or saw it 3 times like I did. The theme of “as long as there is light we have hope” was something that kept being mentioned. We see Han Solo talking to his son Kylo Ren and there’s hope as the sun is still up in the sky but as soon as the sun vanishes and darkness falls, hope is lost. Kylo Ren completes his decent into the dark side of the force by killing his father and hunting down Finn, Rey and Chebacca. Then, moments later, while the sun has vanished we see light from a fire that occurred from an explosion. Top pilot Poe Dameron closes the wings of the X-Wing fighter, flies into the gap and destroys the one thing helping the planet store the power of the sun for attack. The First Order’s new solar system destroying space station doesn’t explode. Instead, it turns into the very same sun it devoured. That my friends is called poetic justice and it was pretty sweet to see on the big screen.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is in theaters now. I give this film a purple lightsaber, a 12-parsec Kessel run and force pushes until the Republic is restored. Go see this film or go see this film again. Hearing Obi-Wan talk to Rey, seeing Luke Skywalkers lightsaber in action, enjoying the banter between R2 and C-3P0 while BB-8 tries to figure out their relationship is worth multiple viewings. Plus we get so many visual goodies within the castle of Maz Kanata. Star Wars is back!
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