Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Film Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a well acted, well directed, action packed film. A good film for repeat viewings and communal enjoyment. The characters are a great highlight and the new ones that are introduced (Rey, Finn and Poe) are very dynamic interesting real characters. I’m looking forward to where they go in the next film. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are great actors who are unknown to most and fit well into there characters. Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver may be familiar to some viewers of the film and are two of the best in the whole film. Harrison Ford does a great job at bringing back Han Solo to the screen — even though it is widely known that he wants to be done with the Star Wars franchise.

The main problem with the film is that the spine of the film is the exact same as “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.” Yes, there have been people who say it mirrors or pay homage to the series and I get that — but for a film itself it is a direct copy of another. There is no denying that. Episode I had a much better “mirroring” effect without it being a copy. I can understand why Disney did this as a business decision to level the playing field of the franchise after how unhappy people were with George Lucas with the Prequels. For this film, I enjoyed the ride but the repeated beats hurt my level of ability to say its a great film. There are moments where I want to call it great where it does spin to new things and its fun, but it isn’t all new.

There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it? The Dark side, and the Light.

The character relationships and the story that they want to tell I hope is going somewhere different so Episodes 8 and 9 are more original in story. I’m hoping thats the direction that they are going and just made this film a “Thank you for being a Star Wars fan film” that says here’s the ground work and then here is a new journey they go on. Sure they can have similar elements with training montages and battling the Sith. As long as the film tries to do new things with the story it will all be good for the franchise.

The cinematography was really a stand out with the film. It felt like the universe was more visually imaginative and well done. The practical effects were great but they didn’t seem as impactful to the film as the special effects did. Maz Kanata was well realized. I didn’t have a problem with her CGI. Lupita Nyong’o did great work in motion capture with the character. I hope this character resurfaces in the other episodes. Snoke was too mysterious in the film to have an opinion on for me to say whether he worked or not. But, the true stand out is Rey. The mystery around her is interesting. I did have a couple of issues with her character where things came too easily to her but I hope that in the future episodes that won’t feel as much of a burden on the trilogy.


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