Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My Review of 'Star Wars--Episode VII'

A little fan art I made using the style of The Foos

So I finally wrote up the review of Star Wars: Episode VII which I saw on Friday.  Great fun.  My review can be found here.  The review isn't super clean as I was in a bit of a rush trying to write it right after seeing it.

Here is an excerpt:

This film is currently playing in theaters everywhere.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens" continues the "Star Wars" saga with a bit of the familiar, but more of the new. This story takes place 30 years after the fall of the Galactic Empire (which happened in episode VI--"The Return of the Jedi"). The galaxy is now facing a new threat--a faction called The First Order, led by a ruthless Sith named Kylo Ren, who are determined to conquer the Galaxy and destroy all who oppose them. Opposing the The First Order is a group called The Resistance, which include General Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), among others. They are looking for the last Jedi who can restore order to the galaxy and revive the Jedi ways--Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who has gone missing. They are joined by newcomers Finn (John Boyega), an ex-First Order Stormtrooper, and Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger from planet Jakku who discovers a map inside a droid named BB-8 that may lead to Luke Skywalker. Meanwhile, Kylo is determined to locate and kill Luke, the last Jedi, once and for all.

To say there has been much anticipation for this film would be putting it lightly. With George Lucas no longer at the helm, director J.J. Abrams worked on the script with Lawrence Kasdan ("Empire Strikes Back") and Michael Arndt ("Toy Story 3"), looking to figure out the best way for the series to continue. After seeing this film, it feels apparent that they have succeeded in this endeavor. This film is a worthy sequel and a solid progression of the series. As the familiar characters from the original trilogy begin to reach their inevitable decline, the new characters are now taking center stage. What works really well here, however, is the reverent yet somewhat realistic take on the older characters. The last film may have ended happily, but their post-war lives aren't quite the fairy tale one might have wished.

The newer, less-known cast are fully competent here. Daisy Ridley's portrayal of the young scavenger Rey feels natural and fits perfectly within the universe. Rey is headstrong and carries a sense of adventure, wonder, and innocence akin to Luke from "A New Hope." Her gradual growth in the film is intriguing and one cannot help but follow along with her journey. John Boyega brings most of the film's humor as Finn, a stormtrooper who decides to defect from The First Order to join Rey. Finn is a character who clearly doesn't have it together, but wears his heart on his sleeve, improvising his way out of sticky situations, not unlike a less cooler version of Han Solo. Oscar Isaac, despite his small role, is fun as Poe Dameron, an expert X-Wing pilot who befriends Finn. It is a treat to see Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher again to reprise their roles as Leia and Han Solo. Much of the fun of seeing them comes from nostalgia, admittedly, and Han Solo does play a substantial and important role in the film. And, the rest of the familiar cast reprise their roles quite well. Mark Hamill does make a very effective appearance, but one cannot say much without spoiling. In the end, the film is still mainly about the new characters, and one will find that they are quite capable enough to take over the series, which is saying a lot.

The rest of my review can be found here.

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