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Filed under A & E, Movie Reviews

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII THE FORCE AWAKENS REVIEW

JJ Abrams’ new adventure set in a galaxy far, far away retreads some old stories, while presenting a fresh and exciting tale for a new generation.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens had an impossible task. To give veteran Star Wars fans something new and fresh, while also returning to the tone and style of George Lucas’ original trilogy that were lost in the prequel films as well as giving a new generation of Star Wars lovers an introduction into the galaxy far far away. That being said, JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens managed to pull off this task in an exciting, fun, and emotional adventure set in a series of vibrant backdrops.

To clear up the most obviously excellent part of the film, John Williams’ score was once again brilliant, just as it was for the rest of the series. Williams not only adds to the beautiful cinematography with his music, but also adds depth and emotion to many of the actors’ already fantastic performances.

Speaking of the acting, unlike much of the other Star Wars films, the performances given here are solid and have relatively little cheese. Daisy Ridley (Rey) and John Boyega (Finn) give excellent performances helped along by the outstanding Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren). The new characters are extremely well thought out and each of them carries their own weight in even the most emotional scenes. Which is certainly no small feat, as carrying your own with the likes of Harrison Ford and Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke) must have been intimidating, particularly for actors as young as Boyega and Ridley.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens begins with a bang, and for the first hour and a half of the movie, I was on the edge of my seat. Action, drama, and emotion kept hitting me at a breakneck pace, especially for a Star Wars film. It is clear that Abrams listened to much of the criticism of the prequels, and ensured that there was always something happening and some kind of action taking place. That being said, it is once our heroes reach Maz Kanata’s (Lupita Nyong’o) stronghold that the action takes a significant dive and is replaced with exposition. But I am not complaining, as that series of scenes gives you a chance to catch your breath before hitting you with what is, in my personal and short experience, one of the most cinematic and beautiful action scenes in not only Star Wars, but in science fiction film history. The aerial combat in this movie was, for me, the most engaging sensory experience of the movie, even more so than  the incredible lightsaber duel in the movie’s third act. The sound design paired with the graphical effects and actor’s reactions truly gave you a sense of the weight and speed with which the TIE Fighters and X-Wings move.

All in all, while filled to the brim with callbacks and making a few questionable decisions on following the events of A New Hope nearly beat for beat, Star Wars: The Force Awakens delivered an exciting and gorgeous film that has begun a revival of Star Wars which has left fans craving for more. And  seeing the record-breaking ticket sales of Star Wars: The Force Awakens you can bet Disney will continue to deliver more for years to come.

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STAR WARS: EPISODE VII THE FORCE AWAKENS REVIEW