Star Wars: The Force Awakens Movie Review

**The following reviews doesn’t reveal any spoilers and avoids revealing the story except a brief synopsis. **

I can’t imagine the audience sitting in the theater in 1977 for the first Star Wars film, A New Hope, could have predicted that they were about to see the beginning one of the biggest forces in pop culture arrive. The movie spawned five sequels, and each one came with a wave of toys, backpacks, lunch bags, and anything you can think of. Star Wars has one of the biggest culture impacts we’ve ever seen. I just read an article, that a person could survive off Star Wars products alone because they have nearly every product imaginable. Now, almost 40 years later comes the seventh installment, and the buzz is louder than ever. But, this time, the franchise isn’t in the hands of creator, George Lucas. In 2012 he sold Star Wars to Disney, so not only are we getting fresh faces but a whole new creative team.

Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and BB8 in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and BB8 in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

 Star Wars: The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams, takes places three decades after the fall of the Galactic Empire, but now, a new threat arises. The First Order follows in the steps of the Empire to rule the galaxy, but a group of heroes and The Resistance will do everything to stop them.

It wasn’t until “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” came up on the screen that I realized how excited I was for the seventh installment in the Star Wars franchise. Then, came the music and the opening crawl, and I realized I was moments away from history. I could feel the exhilaration and the emotions from everyone in the theater. It was a surreal feeling; it seemed like everyone was in-tune in that moment. I saw older people turn into children as their faces lit up with memories. I saw the eyes of young kids begin to glow as they entered a universe in which they’d never want to leave. It is this emotion alone that makes Star Wars: The Force Awakens such an enjoyable experience for everyone—it’s one of the very few things that nearly the entire world can agree on and enjoy together.

For those who want to ask those two burning questions, “Do I like it better than the originals? Or Is it better than the prequels?” My answer is no. Though I had a blast in that theater, The Force Awakens didn’t succeed the originals, but it did surely surpass the prequels. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has some great action, fantastic effects, and a lot of entertainment. With the franchise being under the scope of Disney instead of Lucas, it’s no surprise that this new take does the series a serious justice. It’s a solid addition to the epic Star Wars franchise, which left me wanting more. That’s all one can really ask for, when it comes to the seventh installment in a movie series.

But, the best thing to come from The Force Awakens is our new team of heroes. Yes, it was wonderful seeing some of our friends, like Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). But it was Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe (Oscar Isaac) that makes me crave more films. Ridley is charismatic and mysterious, while Boyega is fun and adventurous. On the other side of Rey and Finn, comes Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) who does also does an excellent job as the movie’s villain. It’s fresh blood that fills the picture with such energy, and though it might be difficult for some to see their life-long heroes older and passing the torch, I believe all Star Wars fans will be ready to accept the lively, new characters as they are a new hope.

In a lot of ways Star Wars: The Force Awakens is Episode IV all over again. Like Creed, it almost re-launches the story that we know and love but gives it a fresh take. It has a near perfect balance of nostalgia and new material. The Star Wars fans that watched it in theaters in 1977 will be so grateful to see Chewy and R2D2, while their children will fall in love with BB8. As people cheered for Luke and Han, they will cheer for Rey and Finn. As people feared Darth Vader and the Emperor, they will fear Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis). Either way, the list of emotions any moviegoer, Star Wars fan or not, will endure during a screening of the film is quite extensive.

3.5 out of 4 stars

-By Jacob Tiranno

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