Review by Lauryn Angel
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is here, and fans can heave a sigh of relief, because it’s good. Very good.
I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since the tender age of three years old, and the original trilogy is often called the Holy Trilogy in my house, as it has been a major formative component in my identity as a nerd. That said, I was more than a little disappointed by the prequels (although each of those films has some great moments) and more than a little skeptical about The Force Awakens – although I had hope, since I enjoyed J. J. Abrams’ reboot of the Star Trek franchise.
I won’t go into too many details about the plot of the movie, since I don’t want to spoil anything; it’s much more fun to experience the story than to read about it. I will say that the movie mirrors Star Wars: A New Hope in many ways. We have three principal heroes: Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), the best fighter pilot of the Resistance; Finn (John Boyega), a rookie Stormtrooper who quickly discovers that he cannot follow the brutal orders he’s been given; and Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger on Jakku, who also happens to be a gifted pilot. The three mirror the talents and personalities of our original heroes Luke, Han, and Leia – but they’re more mix-and-match than perfect correlations. Of our returning heroes, Han Solo and Chewbacca have the most to do in this story, but everyone gets at least a little screen time. Of the villains, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is perhaps the most charismatic and developed. General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) seems reminiscent of the great Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin, and Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) is menacing, but, for a character so heavily merchandized, oddly under-utilized in the film. My favorite character, however, isn’t even human: BB-8 is Poe Dameron’s spherical droid, who is even more outspoken and charismatic than R2-D2
The performances are great, with particular standouts from Ridley and Boyega. The effects – which are mostly practical – are also great. If you get the chance to see the movie in 3D, it’s definitely worth it. John Williams’ excellent score is very different from his previous Star Wars scores, although you will hear some familiar refrains.
The question isn’t whether you should see the film. The real question is whether Star Wars: The Force Awakens will please the fans. And while there are a lot of questions that are still unanswered at the end of the film, it is definitely a satisfying movie for fans.
The worst thing about this movie? There’s a long wait until the next one. Until then, I guess we’ll just have to watch The Force Awakens again.
* Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Digital HD 4/1 & Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD 4/5. The following bonus features are included:
* Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey – For the first time, discover the complete story behind the making of The Force Awakens, revealed through in-depth footage and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers in this feature documentary.
* The Story Awakens: The Table Read – Cast members familiar and new reflect on the memorable day they all first came together to read the movie’s script.
* Building BB-8 – See how the filmmakers brought the newest droid to the screen, creating an instant fan favorite in the Star Wars universe.
* Crafting Creatures – Watch movie magic as the filmmakers bring a cast of new creatures to life.
Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight – Go deeper into the epic, climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren.
* John Williams: The Seventh Symphony – The legendary composer shares personal insights of his work on Star Wars and The Force Awakens.
* FILM: The Visual Magic of The Force – An insider’s look into the remarkable digital artistry of the movie’s visual effects.
* Force For Change – Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. See how the Star Wars: Force for Change initiative has united Star Wars fans all over the globe to help others.
Plus Deleted Scenes