Movie Review – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

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Movie Synopsis:

It has been 30 years since the evil Galactic Empire was defeated by the resistance.  However. the First Order has risen from the ashes of the Empire, and have created a vast range of weaponry and soldiers prepared to take over the galaxy.  The resistance scrambles to try and face this rising threat, with new players and old heroes coming together to battle the new enemy.

Movie Review:

Episode VII of the Star Wars universe was launched to huge fanfare, after much speculation and hype.  Given this excitement, it was definitely a film that was facing high expectations.  Overall, the film did a great job of meeting those expectations for the most part.

The film is a huge improvement on the Episodes I-III that were launched 15 years ago.  Those films utilized technology of the day to create amazing action sequences and visuals, but had poor scripts which hampered the stories being told and the actors abilities to deliver solid performances.  The Force Awakens has a great script, with solid storylines and well thought out characters with interesting, diverse backgrounds.  The writers also did a great job of combining our old favourite characters from Episodes IV-VI with new characters that we can learn about and grow with in this new trilogy.

The acting in this film is excellent, with actors in all the main characters delivering solid performances that makes us care about the characters.  Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher do a wonderful job reprising their characters, and creating excitement, comedy, drama, romance, and mystery in their scenes.  Actors new to the Star Wars universe, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Adam Driver also do a nice job bringing their multi-faceted, diverse characters to life.

The action sequences, space visuals, and special effects are top notch in the film, and Director J.J. Abrams and his team have done a wonderful job bringing this film to life.  Scenes in the introduction such as on the planet X are beautiful and add vibrancy to the movie.  There are also some elements of comedy splashed amongst the firefights and intense scenes that help create a multi-dimensional movie experience.

The one thing that really takes away from making this film perfect is that in large part the storyline did often feel repetitive to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.  Many elements of the storyline were very familiar to us from that first Star Wars movie of many decades ago.  From droids with secret information inside them that are being chased by stormtroopers, to a young jedi abandoned and alone on a desert planet, to a fight against a large “death star” that can kill entire planets, there were many examples of plot points in this film that felt recycled from the first Star Wars movie of long ago.  Perhaps this will be more fully explained later in the trilogy, but at this juncture it did feel like the screenwriters recycled a little bit too much from previous stories and movies, and did not create new material where it could have been done.

That being said, this film succeeds in large part.  The film overall is a visual feast, with great acting, exciting developments, and a great return to the Star Wars universe that we love so much.  It creates great suspense for the next film in this new trilogy!

Overall: 4 stars out of 5 stars.

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