Hey gang, Valkor here. I’m just gonna jump in and say that I am a Star Wars nerd – not truly hardcore, I mean I’ve watched all the films, played… most of the games and I’ve read some of the books. In short, I have a whole lot of love for the franchise. When it was announced that George Lucas sold the franchise to Disney, I was in the midst of two events – 1) it was during hurricane Sandy, I had no power and when the power did kick in, I thought I was being trolled by friends when the news was out. And 2) I was penning an editorial about how upset I was with Lucas re-re-releasing the original trilogy, at that time it was on blu-ray. Granted, that’s all well and good, you wanna bring the series to a new medium, but all I wanted was new god damn Star Wars! Once Disney took over – It. Was. On! And they went full force prepping the next film in the series. And on December 17th the fans, including myself, got just what we asked for in the form of Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens. And I couldn’t be happier! New. Fucking. Star Wars!! Bring it on!!! I’ll try to remain as spoiler free as possible.
The Force Awakens kicks off on planet Jakku where a resistance fighter named Poe (Oscar Isaac), who has been given a mission by general Leia (Carrie Fisher) to retrieve a map that would lead them to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). When the Republic army locks in on his location, he hides the plans in a BB-8 droid just before his capture. During the raid on the encampment we meet FN-2187 who will later go by the name “Finn” (John Boyega), who regains mental freedom from his Republic programming and doesn’t want to kill; back on the star destroyer, Finn helps to free a captured Poe where they make an escape back to Jakku so that Poe might retrieve his BB-8 unit and finish his mission. After a run in with Republic fighters, their ship is downed, the two are separated and Finn is alone, making his way through the desert to find civilization.
This brings us to Rey (Daisy Ridley), a loner on Jakku, who spends her days collecting and selling junk just so she can eat. She runs into the BB-8 unit, rescuing it from a bunch of salvagers. I should point out that at this point, the Republic knows that the plans are in the droid and has put the word out that they want it found. This is also when Finn makes the scene and BB-8 recognizes that the jacket Finn is wearing belongs to his owner. He lies to Rey claiming that he’s a resistance fighter, which at that time the Republic army arrive and now the three are on the run. The first ship they find is destroyed but the second ship, which Rey calls “garbage”, turns out to be their means of escape – the Millennium Falcon.
We take a pause so we can mention Klyo Ren (Adam Driver), who has a deep Vader fetish and wants to finish what he started. A former Jedi, Ren now runs with the Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serksis) and wants that BB-8 unit found. Eventually he captures Rey, because he believes she has seen the map and is the key to finding Skywalker. I won’t go too much into his story, because then we’ll be getting into some serious spoilers and I don’t wanna be that guy… at least for this movie.
But it all comes down to the Republic wanting this piece of a map that will lead them to Skywalker and the resistance fighters going up against the Republic’s major weapon – the Starkiller (think Death Star, only bigger). We’re reintroduced to much of the original cast such as Han Solo (Harrison Ford) as well as a few surprises, plus we’re given a whole slew of new characters as well, most I have mentioned mentioned above, but I gotta show some love to Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o), for being the new Yoda of this series; really, I do hope we see more of her! Finally, the film leaves plenty open that will have you wanting and waiting in anticipation for the next film of the series; believe me I know I can’t wait!
I waited with very high anticipation for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and after finally seeing it, I can honestly say it did not let me down! It’s exciting, adventurous, highly entertaining and I’m so in love with this film it’s not even funny. It's filled with all of the charm and imagination that made me fall in love with the original trilogy, yet it brings along with it so much more. The story feels very familiar as takes a lot from the original trilogy (no hate); you get the beginnings from A New Hope from Rey’s story, it also has that dark, grittiness of Empire Strikes back and a host of new characters and some lighthearted fun that you'd find in Return of the Jedi. And while the film takes a lot from the original, it does enough to stand on its own, bringing it all together for a cinematic experience that you don’t want to miss. Plus, it leaves enough unanswered questions for the next film to delve into. While the story will hold you, it’s the action that will keep you. And I can’t wait to see this film again to watch the Falcon escape a bunch of Tie Fighters or the final battle against the Starkiller and everything in between, especially the lightsaber duels. Kudos for J.J. Abrams and crew for going the practical route with the special effects, mixing it well with the digital to give this film the look it deserves, which meshes well with the original trilogy; I’m not entirely hating on the prequel trilogy, but that was CGI overkill. Finally, let’s get it in with the acting, and while I have one minor objection – very minor – overall the performances were rock solid all round. I’ll even give some credit towards BB-8 that, for a faceless droid, conveyed some emotion. I thought the little ball droid would be the corniest aspect of the film and that his role would be short, but the little dude is the star of the show and I loved every moment he rolled on screen. In the end, Star Wars: The Force Awakens… I’m beyond happy at how it turned out and I look forward to watching it again and again!
So my only objection is with Finn, not so much the acting and this gonna be nitpicking, but he screamed and yelled far too much. It was so unnecessary, but I don’t blame the actor as I’m sure that was he was just following directions. As for the next film… maybe we can tone down the screaming just a tad? Maybe?
Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens is plowing its way through theaters and currently killing it at the box office. If you’re a fan, who hasn’t seen it, then prepare yourself for one hell of a ride. If you have seen it, then it's worth a repeat performance! And if you’re not a fan, check it out anyway - even if you have to backtrack thru the previous films, it’s totally worth it! In the end, I’m satisfied with The Force Awakens and I look forward to the franchise’s continuation. For now, the film gets a 5 out of TOV 5 stars!