THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
Fair warning, people. I am a huge “Star Wars” fan. The franchise, in all it’s ups and downs, triumphs and failures…
was, and still is, a big part of my life.
I won’t be basing this review off of the first time I saw the movie, because I had been looking forward to that night for years, and it was really one giant orgasm for me.
So, I saw it again, and then once more. I’ll be basing my review off that.
JJ Abrams had one job. And he did it.
Let’s be honest. Abrams had one job.
And he didn’t.
I had my fears; I was at Disneyland a month before the movie came out. It was marketed like CRAZY, and I feared that it would turn into an empty, hollow franchise made for the consumption of merchandise.
Well, only partially. The movie is one of the highest grossing of all time, merchandise sales will no doubt go through the roof, and Disney, the undisputed entertainment king of the world, will make billions upon billions.
BUT that doesn’t mean that the new movie doesn’t contain a terrific blend of old and new characters and a (mostly) great story.
The New Cast/Characters are superb.
The movie contains plenty of welcome scenes for characters like Han, Leia, Chewy, and this guy.
But the film is really a passing of the torch from the old to the new, namely Rey and Finn. Portrayed by Daisy Ridley (nothing) and John Boyega (Attack the Block, then pretty much nothing), these new heroes are charming, heartfelt, and entertaining. Not to mention revolutionary (a woman and a black man as the leads in one of the highest grossing franchises ever!). Finn is the more comical of the two, but they have great chemistry. And Rey is the perfect female hero – badass and not at all sexualized.
The rest of the newcomers are mostly awesome as well. Oscar Isaac is ever-so-sexy as Rebel (sorry, “Resistance”) pilot Poe Dameron, and Adam Driver, though at first a confusing casting choice, is a terrific villain. He is the deepest, most conflicted, most interesting, well-acted villain in the Star Wars universe to date.
My only quibble with the new characters are with Captain Phasma and Supreme Leader Snoke. Phasma (Portrayed by Game of Thrones’ badass Gwendoline Christie) was pretty much useless
And Snoke was so CGI’d it was distracting.
But let’s not forget about……
BB8 IS THE CUTEST MOST AWESOME DROID EVER!
The New Script is Mostly Awesome and Full of Surprises
JJ Abrams, along with Star Wars vet Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones), wrote the script for Episode 7.
While some people complained about the plot being too similar to a New Hope, that didn’t really bother me. It only got distracting when Kylo Ren was a commander of a bigger, badder Death Star (“Starkiller Base”), but it sort of makes sense, seeing that Kylo wants to copy Darth Vader.
The movie is full of humor that I never saw coming; Boyega, Ridley, and Harrison Ford get to display some terrific comedic timing.
Not to mention, the film contains a gut-wrenching death.
I won’t spoil it, I guess.
Perhaps they play on nostalgia a bit too much, with C3p0 and R2d2 being there for only enough time to get cheers from the audience. It’s to be expected, though, that JJ would try to give everything that the fans know and love at least a small cameo.
Production Values are Through the Roof.
No surprise there. The film combines great practical effects and expert CGI (except for Snoke, A.K.A. smeagol 2.0) to create a visually dazzling film. It has been nominated for a Visual Effects Oscar, deservedly so.
The new film has it’s fair share of Abrams’ flares, no doubt.
There are explosions, dogfights, and an absolutely awesome lightsaber duel in a snowy forest.
The Franchise hits the ground running.
Sure, the film might’ve taken the safe route with a not-particularly revolutionary script, but it’s all we could hope for, and then some. Great new characters and plot twists open up the franchise to go in tons of new directions, and this is exactly the movie we could’ve hoped for. If anything, it is a fun time. I would highly recommend seeing it in IMAX.
The future is bright!