Star Wars The Force Awakens Movie Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!

I feel like enough time has passed and that it is okay to post my spoiler filled review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

New Characters

Finn rn-2187

Finn/RN-2187 played by John Boyega

Finn is definitely an “everyman” character. I could easily identify with Finn. I could see myself reacting the same way as Finn to the situations thrown at him. With that in mind, he is so easy to like. What I loved the most by John Boyega’s performance is that it appears as though he is truly enjoying himself. His emotions seemed so genuine and I appreciate that.

 

Rey_DaisyRidley

Rey played by Daisy Ridley

If Finn was our “everyman” then Rey is who I want to be. She is a very independent and even though she is not quite strong YET, she is definitely someone to look up to. She is still somewhat fragile at this stage in the story. She is alone in the world and clinging to the hope that her family will come back for her. I think Daisy Ridley does a great job balancing the two sides of Rey. There is still so much growth that needs to happen with Rey and the ending of the Force Awakens (TFA) hints that her training has just begun. Rey is our lil ball of mystery. There is still so much to her that we don’t know yet. I’ll share my fan theory about Rey in another post.

 

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Poe Dameron played by Oscar Isaac

Poe is the classic pilot type: good humor, great hair…just a guy you want to grab a beer with and hang out with. I knew Poe was going to be one of my favorites during his first interaction with Kylo. That comedic moment when Poe goes “So how is this going to work? Do I talk first or do you talk?” It was a great moment that showed me Poe’s personality and I loved it. It worried me when we didn’t see Poe for the longest time until the end. Oscar Isaac did an interview and said that in the original script that Poe was suppose to die in the beginning. I would have been disappointed if that would have been the case. I really hope they use more of Poe in the next film. Keep the bromance with Finn alive.

 

BB8

BB-8

Let’s talk about the cutest new droid!! I have to say BB-8 stole a few scenes in the movie. The one in particular was the scene where Finn is trying to pretend that he is part of the Resistance and he is trying to get BB-8 to tell Rey where their base is. I couldn’t believe that A) they actually built BB-8 and B) it had so much emotion!! Plus the lighter thumbs up nearly knocked me out of the seat. It was so prefect!!

 

KyloRen

Kylo Ren/Ben Solo played by Adam Driver

I personally found this character intriguing. Adam Driver said in an interview that this character is “unfinished” and I completely agree with that. I’ve heard people complain about how many times Kylo removed his helmet in the film, but I disagree. In my mind, he is not at the Darth Vader level where he would have his helmet on at all times. There was still parts of Ben Solo in him. When he took off his helmet, you still kinda saw the Ben part in him. At the end of the film, I feel like we lost all of Ben. As Snoke said at the end, he is ready to complete his training. Next film, I think we are going to see a very dark Kylo Ren.

 

Maz_Kanata

Maz Kanata played by Lupita Nyong’o

I adored Maz Kanata. She is a fierce 1,000 year old space pirate. “Where’s my boyfriend? I like that Wookie.” That was one of my favorites from her. What I loved the most was how wise Lupita Nyong’o’s voice sounded. I feel like Maz knows the wisedom of the galaxy. I think she has so much more to tell us (like how did she have the Skywalker saber?)

 

CaptainPhasma

Captain Phasma played by Gwendoline Christie

So when I first found out that Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) was going to be in Star Wars, I flipped out!! I loved her in Game of Thrones and I was sold. After watching the movie, I felt like she was under used. I did not like how easy she gave and lowered the shields (yes, she was surrounded but…) I feel like she could have been the Stormtrooper that had the awesome fight with Finn. Now she is coming back for the next film and I truly hope they will give her a bigger/better role in that film.

 

Original Characters

What truly sold the film for me was having the original cast back. To see Harrison Ford as Han, Carrie Fisher as Leia, Mark Hamill as Luke and Chewie, C3PO and R2D2 were all a huge nostalgia trip. The movie quote “Chewie, we’re home” perfectly sums it up. I think the original characters were in the movie enough to help progress the new characters along in the story line.

 

Plot

So this was the one thing I was worried about walking into the movie. I didn’t want this to be a repeat of Hangover & Hangover 2, where the filmmakers basically copied and pasted the same story from the first one into the second. From the trailers, it looked like TFA had a lot of similarities from A New Hope. After seeing the movie, it does have similarities like a droid carrying important data, our hero coming from a desert planet, etc. Even with these similarities, I feel like TFA had enough new plot elements to keep me interested. The character arches of Finn,  Kylo and Rey alone keep me wanting more.

 

The BRIDGE SCENE  

Yes ….THAT bridge scene. Sadly I was spoiled the day before seeing the film. Idiots online had posted the image right when Han was killed. So I was walking into the theater knowing Kylo kills Han. But let’s talk about the editing and cinematography for this scene.

The lighting alone told the story. In the beginning of the scene Kylo was lit with half of his face in blue light and half in red light which represents his struggle with the light and the dark side. In this moment, they cut to Poe flying the X-Wing saying “there’s still hope”. There was great cutting between the fight outside and the bridge scene.

As the sun slowly dies, the lighting on Kylo’s face changes to all red and then he kills his father.

Harrison Ford’s performance really sold the scene. His one line of “Ben” carried so much emotion. The fact that was the first time hearing Kylo’s real name also made it a significant moment. Another moment was when Han just touching Ben’s face before falling.

 

Where’s Luke?

So the main mission of the film was to find Luke Skywalker. I figured this would be the case since he was missing from the marketing for the film.

Let’s talk about the scene itself…..I felt like it was a bit too long. You have this intense stare-off with Rey and Luke and the filmmakers kept switching angles of the same stare off. It felt a bit like a telenovela. It was the only part of the film that felt out of place. Also his hair looked too perfect.

 

Overall

Overall this is a FUN film. Don’t expect it to reinvent the wheel. It is simply a fun film. you go to the movie theaters to be taken on a ride and this film does it. It has likeable heroes and action. I truly enjoyed the filmmakers using practical effects in this film whenever they could. I think more practical effects lead to better performances and visually looks more tangible than just CGI.

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