Finally getting around to reviewing the ‘new’ Star Wars movie which was released in December of last year, better late than never, I suppose.
Really, I don’t have much more to say than has been said in a lot of other reviews, that the Force Awakens is much like a remake of ‘A New Hope’, that the overall story is much the same format as the original trilogy, but it doesn’t really matter overall. If you decide to focus on the similarities – that Starkiller is DeathStar III, that BB-8 just fills the role of R2-D2, the droid with the information to solve the puzzle and on and on – then you aren’t going to have the greatest time, either that, or you are going to be that insufferable person who constantly complains that this is ‘just a reboot’ The fact of the matter is, that people who consume films those in the 7-30 odd age bracket, may never have seen a Star Wars film in the cinema and if they have, then it has been one of the terrible 1,2,3 punch that was Episode 1, 2, 3. This film captures the action and sense of adventure that the original trilogy had and allows a new audience to be held captive by the sense of wonder.
The recapturing of the original trilogy and the feeling behind it was the biggest win for this film. As mentioned before, this is what Star Wars is about, and thankfully, from all the reviews that I have read, this isn’t another ‘JJ Abrams ruined the franchise’ movie.
The play off between Finn and Rey was also great, she wasn’t going to be a simpering fawn in this film, and her behaviour makes us aware of this, such as refusing to hold Finn’s hand. Finn is also a great addition, as he is essentially a deserter of the First Order, bringing a human element to the Stormtroopers which has never been looked at before.
In addition to this the inclusion of the new characters who face the same problems is also a major win. With the availability of Hamill, Fisher and Ford they could have easily had these characters as the protagonists and just picked it up from there. But the story recognises that, while time goes on, the ability of the older generation to fight does not. Further, the ‘new characters, same story’ idea continues to point to the constant struggle of good versus evil, which may never be resolved.
What didn’t work
Kylo Ren – he may be the passionate adherent to the Dark Side, and a force to be reckoned with when his mask is on. But when he isn’t he is sulky and a little, well, annoying. I don’t get, either, why the cadence of his voice changes when he takes his mask off?
The same format was a little off putting, not boring mind you, but it was quite easy to track forward and tell what was going to happen next.
But overall, The Force Awakens was in the ballpark of the original trilogy, it kept the action and suspense without the need to divert to political dealings, and also the Kylo Ren = Jar Jar Binks theory was thankfully proven false.