“This map’s not complete. It’s just a piece. Ever since Luke disappeared, people have been looking for him.” – Han Solo
Okay, I’ll admit it.
I was never really a Star Wars fan.
There, now you can all judge me. As mainly a Star Trek fan, I never hated it, I just wasn’t that into it. However, the new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens is enough to make the avid Trekkie swing the other way.
Anyway, here’s a bit of a quick synopsis about the movies if you didn’t already know. The films follow a battle between good and evil, the good guys being the Jedi’s and other strange creatures from different planets and the bad guys being Darth Vader and the Empire. With twists and turns along the way, a lot of intense fighting with light sabers, and witty remarks from characters, the franchise has built up a very big and dedicated fan base from generations. If you want more details, Google is your friend.
The new film, directed by JJ Abrams, reboots the story and introduces new characters and old characters, combining the fan generations with Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher reprising their roles as Han Solo and Princess Leia respectively. The new film also introduces rising stars such as John Boyega and Daisy Ridley who are introduced as Finn and Rey. Finn is a reformed First Order storm trooper, who helps pilot Poe Dameron escape from the clutches of villain Kylo Ren. Rey is a scavenger on desert planet Jakku, and although her identity of what her role is in the universe is concealed, it is clear that she has a big role to play in the upcoming films.
Set after Episode VI of the old movies, Luke Skywalker has disappeared, and from the ashes of the Empire comes the First Order, lead by Supreme Leader Snoke (voiced by Andy Serkis). The purpose of the First Order is to eliminate Luke and the Resistance, an army of people seeking to destroy the First Order.
Going to see this in the cinema, I didn’t really know what to expect, having not really watched the original movies more than once, but sitting in the cinema and being surrounded by new and old fans, it gives a certain nostalgic feel. In the opening sequence, it has stayed exactly the same. The text on the screen reads a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Wait for it… legendary Star Wars theme plays. It sends shivers down your spine, it really does.
The film is crafted well enough for a new audience that may not have watched the original films, with a few references here and there that they may not understand. There are two major events that happen in the film, and had some d**k in a Twitch chat not ruined it for me, I probably would’ve been shocked at the latter of the two. The first one isn’t a huge plot twist, and comes up quite early on in the film, so that’s not too much to worry about.
The setting of the film is beautiful, the cinematography being taken into account with every little detail and very visually pleasing. The team – Finn, Rey, Han and Chewy race through cities, forests, planets and fly different ships to get where they need to be, and all these scenes seem to be beautifully crafted, showing the full potential that it isn’t just the characters and story that makes the film, it’s the behind the scenes too.
Character development is a major point in any film, and the character development in this film makes you actually forget that you don’t know these characters. Especially the role of Rey, she is very different to those of other female characters in different films. Along with her, Leia and Captain Phasma, they are considered equal to the males, where emotion doesn’t tear them apart and they continue to fight. Not that every other female character is like that, but they stand out to be strong, independent women who know what to say, when to say it and know the right decisions.
As the story unfolds, we learn a lot about characters and their backgrounds, meeting interesting creatures like Maz Kanata, who, although we only see for a short time, seems to be particularly nice, even if at first Han warns Rey she is very strange and told not to stare.
The film is a total of 136 minutes long, staying true to the running times of all the other films. This film is the beginning of a new trilogy, with Episode VIII set to be released for May 26th, 2017, and it’s also the beginning for a whole lot of memories for old and new fans alike.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available on DVD and Blu-ray, so click the links below to order your copy now: