Back in 2012, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens was announced along with Disney’s Lucasfilm acquisition, and it’s been getting A LOT of attention from legions of fans around the globe since then. The seventh entry of the Star Wars saga is finally going to be released tomorrow (December 17), and clearly, the anticipation is contagiously mounting.
Aside from Star Wars puns and memes roaming on social media, Stormtrooper helmets and Jedi lightsabers have come out to play. Heck, even Facebook has rolled out a lightsaber filter feature that can be overlayed on profile photos. To those who’ve anxiously pre-booked their tickets to watch the film, be rest assured ’cause the movie is indeed incredible.
Following the original trilogy Episodes IV, V and VI from the 80’s which catapulted Star Wars into becoming a global phenomenon, Episodes I, II and III were then released in 1999, 2002 and 2005, but the prequels, as most fans would have agreed, were disappointing. So, is The Force Awakens any good? (SPOILER ALERT!!! Don’t say we didn’t warn you)
Episode VII takes place about 30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire during the climatic Battle of Endor in The Return of the Jedi, and follows new characters, as well as favourites like Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) as they face a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Supreme Leader Snoke and the army of Stormtroopers.
Directed by J.J. Abrams, the sequel begins as Lor San Takka (Max von Sydow) passes General Leia Organa’s top pupil and X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) important information of the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker, the missing Jedi. Eager to track down the Jedi before the Resistance does, ruthless prince Kylo Ren from the First Order attacks the village in Jakku, but fails to get hold of the map, which is in possession of droid BB-8 that managed to escape.
As Poe is being held captive by Kylo Ren, he crosses paths with a runaway Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) who is determined to help him escape. After an unfortunate crash that separated the two in Jakku, Finn meets an uncongenial scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley), who so happens to be with BB-8. Together, they escaped with BB-8 in a stolen Millennium Falcon as Kylo Ren’s Stormtroopers attacked once again in search for the map.
During their journey, the Millennium Falcon got ‘swallowed’ by a huge freighter in space where they meet Han Solo and Chewbacca, who agreed to help the duo complete their mission of finding the most powerful warrior in the galaxy. At that time, they stumble upon Luke’s old lightsaber. With the assistance of the Resistance and General Leia, Han Solo and his allies attack the Starkiller Base after Kylo destroyed the Republic.
On their quest and as they come face to face with their enemies at the Starkiller Base, Rey realises that she has The Force within her, and uses it to her advantage against the Stormtroopers and Kylo Ren. In an emotionally gripping scene, Kylo, who we then find out is Han Solo and General Leia’s son, kills his own father when the star pilot tried to talk him into finding the Light side of the Force within him.
As the Starkiller Base gets destroyed, Rey fights Kylo Ren with Luke’s lightsaber and uses her newly-found Force within her to wipe him out. When all is finally at peace and the entire map of Luke’s whereabouts is put together, Rey meets Luke Skywalker on a quiet island to return the legendary lightsaber to its original master.
To much of our relief, J.J. Abrams nailed it. Albeit the lack of blood and gore, there’s a ton of sci-fi action going on – space battles, lightsaber combat, mass murders, powerful explosions and more. Staying true to its original storyline, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is a relevant, strong, fun, nerve-wracking and beautifully structured film that will appeal to Star Wars fans of all ages.
The old characters in the film brought back distinct nostalgic memories from the previous episodes and as per usual, the banter between Han Solo and Leia was sweet. Having said that, what’s more prominent here is the introduction of new characters, Daisy Ridley as Rey and John Boyega as Finn, who, in our opinion, played their roles exceptionally well. The two had an effortless chemistry that’s charming, and it was refreshingly appealing.
Even though the two new characters were outstanding, the star of the movie has got to be Han Solo who guides Finn and Rey through the quest together with Chewbacca, and reunites with his old love Leia. He’s the bridge between the new and old characters in the film, and his humour has an unfailing allure. If you’ve read our synopsis, you’d know that he ultimately gets killed by his own son. We teared, no lie. How could you, Kylo?!
Even though the movie Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens means serious business, the energy, humour and charisma, fused with something so familiar and enjoyable by people of all walks of life, gives the audience an overall exhilarating experience that may just be comparable, if not better, than the original trilogy. All the things we love about Star Wars is back in this movie, and we’re so glad.
PS: Have you entered our contest to win yourself some official Star Wars merchandise? 😀