Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens Review

Star Wars The Fore Awakens

This review contains spoilers. If you have not yet watched the movie and would like to do so WITHOUT BEING SPOILED, click away. Read this article here or watch this unboxing here.

Seriously, go away now!

Okay? We’re good? Alright… let’s do this! 

I am no stranger to the Star Wars franchise, but I am not the world’s biggest Star Wars fan. As a child, I mildly enjoyed the original trilogy, but I only saw them aired on television. I didn’t venture into the expanded universe and paid little mind to the prequels. When The Force Awakens drew near I decided to rewatch the original trilogy, because, well, aside from casual nods and maybe one or two obscure references… nothing from the prequels really matters now, does it? Besides I only saw Episode I and OMG was it boring! 

So with a reinforced respect for the franchise, I went into The Force Awakens with pretty high expectations. TLDR; I wasn’t disappointed. I loved it. It was an excellent kick start for the franchise. It catered to old fans, but left enough room for new fans to hop on the bandwagon and discover what made everyone love the original trilogy.

The opening act sets the tone for the entire movie. You are introduced to Kylo Ren and the First Order as they slaughter an entire village. You are also introduced to Poe Dameron, a quick-witted commander with the resistance. Right off the bat you get to see how much of a bad ass Kylo Ren can be as he halts a blast in mid air using the Force.

The First Order is brutal. (They’re like the Empire, but not… but really they are.) Gone are the days of the clones. Soldiers are now trained from birth. Seems like target practice was on the top of the list, because some of these super soldiers can actually shoot. John Boyega did great as FN-2187 and even better as Finn, a name given to him by Poe Dameron while he was helping him escape from the First Order ship. The relationship between the two of them is something you’ll see a lot about on Tumblr and Deviant Art, I’m sure.

When they crash land on Jakku we’re introduced to Rey. This movie is a bit of a rehash of A New Hope. With that… let’s talk about Rey.

Rey is kind of playing the role of Luke in this film, but she has no Ben Kenobi to train her on how to use the Force. That is one of the problems with the movie and one I’m sure we will see the franchise expand upon later. How can Rey not have any training yet is able to utilize the Force in ways Luke took years to even begin to comprehend? Maybe it’s because the Force is concentrated now that it’s not spread among x-amount of Jedi and it’s screaming to get out? Yup. Maybe the Force is just backed up and it found its dose of MiraLax so now it’s just spewing out of her like some Force-arrhea. Anyway, that’s one of the problems with the movie. Many say Rey is a “Mary Sue”. Whatever the fuck that means?  One can only hope that questions like these will be answered in some form of way later on. Hopefully, they don’t spend too much time on it, though.

One of the things this movie has going for it over the prequels is the pace. The slow pace of the prequels was torturous according to pretty much anyone with a pulse who saw the movie. The character development (with the exception of Rey) was excellent, as well. You really felt like Poe and Finn were friends (with benefits?). With Kylo Ren, you felt the conflicted hatred he had for his parents. (Some of you could probably relate.) The only problem was the deconstruction of some of the relationships. When Han Solo died, why is Leia comforting Rey? Why isn’t Leia the one being comforted? Estranged lover/husband (?) or not… her son just killed his pops, her baby daddy. I’m sure Han was maybe an asshole, but she had to have some feelings for him. Not to mention that her son has just crossed a line he can’t come back from. Maybe she’s just comforting her over Finn being hurt, but really those two weren’t all that tight. Why is Chewbacca not being comforted? He’s just kinda walking around in the background. He spent decades riding through the galaxy with Han and shows barely a hint of emotion over the loss.

Kylo Ren was a good character. Basically he found out about his grandfather and decided he wanted to follow in his footsteps. I would imagine his rage was from Han, Leia and Luke hiding the truth from him. Sounds like a legit reason for an emo teen to lash out. It was either that or they didn’t support him through his vegetarian phase, so he decided to go on a murderous rampage and join the First Order. He brings a lot of humor to the movie with his violent outbursts. It reminded me of Spaceballs. I kept waiting for a laugh track when the Stormtroopers turned around when they saw he was freaking out.

All in all, The Force Awakens is everything we wanted the prequels to be and everything we hoped the first of the new trilogy would be. I was very impressed by the smart choices in casting, story and cinematography. JJ has a reputation for starting fast and strong and ending with a whimper. I didn’t see that happening with this movie. I left feeling happy, grateful and relieved. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for the franchise. Despite his protests, I truly do believe Lucas’ vision is in good hands with Disney.

What did you think of Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Let me know in the comments.