Hands down, Star Wars Episode VII was my most anticipated film this year.  As a bit of a Star Wars junkie, and also an avid fan of director JJ Abrams’ work, I felt confident that this film was not going to disappoint.  That being said, I walked into the theater before watching all seven films consecutively with immensely high expectations.  I’m here to tell you that my expectations were far exceeded.The Force Awakens is a continuation of the Star Wars saga we know and love, and it picks up roughly 30 years following Episode VI.  The First Order and the Rebellion are the two enemy alliances that are trying to locate the last of a dying breed of Jedi, Luke Skywalker.

The Force Awakens is a continuation of the Star Wars saga we know and love, and it picks up roughly 30 years following Episode VI.  The First Order and the Rebellion are the two enemy alliances that are trying to locate the last of a dying breed of Jedi, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hammill).  The film primarily follows the footsteps of Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and the fan-favorite droid-newcomer, BB-8, as they strive to protect something of great importance.  Along the way, they encounter a slew of enemies such as Finn’s former brothers in arms from the First Order Stormtroopers and a new villain from the Dark Side, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), but also some of the saga’s veterans and heroes like Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford).  One of the things that absolutely blew me away about The Force Awakens was the story.  The plot had the perfect amount of character development and really tied in beautifully as a continuation of the story.  The only place where the story fell short was in the conclusion.  The film didn’t really conclude the way a film should.  Surely, we already have Episodes 8 and nine on the way, but The Force Awakens leaves off in a position that isn’t as satisfying as it could have been.  It ends with too many questions and not enough resolve.  Mind you; Director JJ Abrams is infamous for concluding his works with questions (damn you, Lost), but the sole reason The Empire Strikes Back isn’t above Return of the Jedi on my list of favorites is because of the ending not really being a conclusion.  Nonetheless, The Force Awakens still managed to be the greatest Star Wars movie experience to date, and even if Episode VIII had a release date of next week, it would still be a journey filled with much impatience and anticipation.

From effects to the action itself, Episode VII hits the nail hard on the head in this regard.  Abrams’ vision for this movie truly shines through the beautifully designed action scenes.  The lightsabers look incredible and, for the first time in the saga, honestly look like something realistic.  The blasts from the guns and the explosions of the vehicles and set pieces are just plain awesome.  The series has never seen such an alluring representation of action, and I can’t wait to see what’s next to come.  The in-air combat really steals the show quite a few times and is bound to leave viewers on the edge of the seat.  There were many times during the large abundance of this film’s action where the theater I was sitting in, including myself, couldn’t help but applaud.  Even for the action alone, this movie is a must-see.

While many dislikes or even despise at least one of the characters from the prequel trilogy, Episode VII introduces fresh meat that you truthfully can’t dislike.  John Boyega’s Finn compliments the humorous personality of Harrison Ford’s Han Solo wonderfully, and Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren make you love and hate them for all the right reasons respectively.  The supporting cast of the awesome pilot, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and some of the series veterans are also noteworthy assets.  Kylo Ren is clearly not nearly on par with the likes of Darth Vader, or the other Sith Lords, but his anger-ridden, hatred-fueled manner of working definitely works, and I can see the potential to evolve him into a force (pun intended) to be reckoned with.  The newfound heroes in Finn and Rey fit like a glove within the Star Wars universe, and are just more reasons to wait eagerly to see what’s next.

The Star Wars franchise has always been backed by the incredible compositions from the legendary composer, John Williams, and he makes a return for The Force Awakens.  Needless to say, the film’s score is wonderful and feels perfectly at home within a Star Wars movie.  Outside of that, the overall sound effects in the movie are also great.  The explosions, shots, and battles sound incredible and I highly recommend seeing the movie in an XD of IMAX setting to feel the experience truly.  The Force Awakens is equally as appealing to the ears as it is the eyes.

As mentioned earlier in this review, the only gripe I had about the story was the fact that it doesn’t really conclude effectively.  Truthfully, that is the only problem I had with this film.  It stands strong as the best Star Wars film to date, in my mind, and also takes the cake as the best film I saw in 2015.  The acting, the plot, the action, and the sound work seamlessly together to provide a damn near flawless film experience.  If you haven’t already, let the midichlorians flow through you and force yourself to watch this film as soon as possible.  May the force be with you…

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

  • Fun Factor
  • Plot
  • Cast
  • Soundtrack