The Force Awakens – A Film Review
Jared Viz ’19
A long time ago (10 years to be exact), in a galaxy not too far away, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith premiered and ended the beloved Star Wars saga – or so we thought. When Disney arranged a deal to buy Luscasfilm, the production company that created Star Wars, for a whopping $4.05 billion, an announcement was made that the series would continue. The seventh installment of the saga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, premiered this past December and broke many film records. The film has become the highest-grossing domestic film of all-time and the fastest film to reach $700 million, as this only took 16 days. If not already obvious, the film was a hit.
In a sense, The Force Awakens is very similar to its predecessors, in another sense, they are very different. The plot structure, for instance, is very similar to the first installment, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, which makes the storyline somewhat predictable. Both plot lines go something like this: In the midst of a war between good and evil, a character who is strong with the Force is found on a distant planet. This character finds a mentor who eventually dies, and that same character battles a leader from the Dark Side of the Force. The iconic score written by John Williams continues to echo from the first movie into this one. Characters from the previous installments again play large roles in this movie. These characters include Han Solo, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia. However, this new story belongs to a set of new characters.
The Force Awakens contains many new characters, who mimic the first characters in nature. For example, the villain Kylo Ren mimics the villain Darth Vader, and the protagonist Rey mimics both Luke Skywalker and Han Solo from the previous installments. These new characters, with new, cutting-edge computer-generated imagery (CGI), take the torch from the old saga and make way for a new Star Wars trilogy. This latest installment is a beautiful combination of sci-fi action, subtle comic relief, and sentiment.
Director J.J. Abrams, who directed the reboots of the recent Star Trek films, was given a heavy task in co-writing and directing this new Star Wars film. Abrams delivered a simple, yet exciting film that appeals to lifelong Star Wars fans and the average moviegoer. Star Wars: The Force Awakens leaves the audience on a cliffhanger, hankering for the next film to come to theaters, which will be in 2017. Until then, “May the Force be with you.”