STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS [Review]

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STAR WARS EPISODE VII – THE FORCE AWAKENS/ Directed by J.J. ABRAMS/ Written by J.J.ABRAMS, LAWRENCE KASDAN & MICHAEL ARNDT/ Starring HARRISON FORD, DAISY RIDLEY, ADAM DRIVER, JOHN BOYEGA, OSCAR ISAAC, and CARRIE FISHER/ Produced by LUCASFILM LTD./ Distributed by WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES

[This review is spoiler-free!]

The day has finally come, there are officially seven entries in the Star Wars saga and everyone’s lives are forever changed. This review will be short and sweet, not wasting any time recapping everything you already know.

Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens is everything we wanted it to be, everything it needed to be, and so much we didn’t even think to ask for. Director J.J. Abrams has solidified his place within this franchise, flawlessly laying the blueprint for what Star Wars is going forward. Those who were strong willed enough to avoid any and all spoilers before viewing the film are rewarded handsomely.

Elements of old and new are stitched together with such care and attention to detail that your heart will ache. Every familiar aspect of the franchise gets a fresh and sleek touch-up, executed without feeling forced or even slightly cheesy. The feeling one gets when reaching The Force Awakens‘ conclusion is that which has not been felt in a movie theater in a very long time. Uncharted Star Wars territory for the first time in most fans lives is simply a beautiful thing.

The Force Awakens takes a lot of cues and inspiration from A New Hope, but does so in a way that it never comes off as recycled or formulaic. Every new planet, creature, character, ship, weapon, faction, etc. opens up a world of discovery and appreciation for fans; which will keep us all busy enough to get through the year until we get another film. Episode VII is undeniably a Star Wars movie, and one that even the biggest of skeptics will have a hard time picking apart.

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There was so much misdirection from Abrams as far as what viewers expected to happen with these new characters, and what actually happened in the film. The twists and turns are impressive. In the age of spoilers, this film managed to keep the biggest shocks under wraps, letting them hit audiences as hard as they were intended to. Abrams outsmarted all of us and delivered a movie above and beyond our already high expectations.

He and his creative team also went out of their way to make this feel real, going the way of mostly practical effects, but it’s their love for this universe that makes it feel so special. It’s a beautiful film as well, setting the standard for science fiction just as its predecessors did. There’s more comedy than previous entries, executed subtly and without sacrificing any drama or action along the way.

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After all it took over the years to get Harrison Ford to even consider returning to a galaxy far, far away, he really kills it. Ford better get the praise he deserves for how deep he throws himself back into Han Solo. The performances all around are outstanding, making those prequels look just that much worse.

There is so much more to look forward to in the Star Wars universe as this new story unfolds beyond this movie. This is truly an amazing time to be alive, I hope people appreciate just how lucky we are to be here now.

The most celebrated movie franchise of all-time rewards fans in every way imaginable. The mother of all blockbusters comes back with a bang and reminds other franchises what it looks like to be king. It will take years to find and appreciate every morsel of detail, but for now we can collectively pick our jaws back up off the floor and go see it again.

Rating 5

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