Details from IMDB:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Fantasy  |  18 December 2015 (USA)
Ratings: 8.8/10 from 155,810 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 1,217 user | 414 critic | 51 from Metacritic.com

Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a rag-tag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.

Director:

J.J. Abrams

Initial Thoughts:

What’s to say? I love Star Wars, the prequels just made me mad at George Lucas. When I heard this movie was coming over 2 years ago and Lucas was out, I was in, instantly. I’ll say here (and leave space) this is  SPOILER REVIEW! I CAN’T TALK ABOUT THIS WHAT GIVING STUFF AWAY, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

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Main Points:

Ok with that done we can being. Right from the start I was excited, I saw this 10am in the morning (the first time I’ve done that in 16 years, yes that was for Episode 1, I had no idea how bad it would be). As soon as the crawl came up I was happy, excited, people cheered, people clapped, I did too, bring it on!

I won’t go though the whole plot but I’ll touch I want I like and what I didn’t like (this isn’t a masterpiece but still a fine entry). The classic large ship beginning is here, the empire or as they are now called the First Order. We soon meet the new characters, Poe, Rey, Kylo, Finn and BB-8 (just to name a few.) I really liked Finn, he’s funny, relateable and has a good heart. BB-8 is a lot of fun to watch and while he’s not R2, another great droid character.

Of course the best new character is Rey, strong, independent, sexy, brave and kind. I loved how Rey’s character has an element of mystery to her and while I’m fairly certain she’s Luke’s daughter (there are reasons to believe this during the film) even by the end we don’t know for sure. Bringing back all the old favorites (though Luke is in the movie for literally a minute and doesn’t speak) warmed my heart and made me smile and laugh again and again.

This is by far the funniest Star Wars movie, Finn has some great light moments as does Han and Chewbacca. There are characters which disappoint, R2 is barely in the movie (and wakes up very conveniently right at the end). And the hyped Captain Phasma does almost nothing the entire film. Klyo Ren, however, is another excellent new character. Like his grandfather, he is angry and torn between the light and dark side of the force (though ultimately he makes a terrible choice towards the dark near the end). Klyo Ren despite all his evil menacing, still manages to have some funny moments and the scenes between him and Rey are a sight to behold. His worship of Darth Vader (to the point of keeping his helmet/head around) is both fascinating and creepy. I am eager to see more of the details of how he butchered Luke’s Jedi training academy and how Snope will complete his training.

I’m here, I warned you, the big spoiler is Han, Kylo Ren (who is actually his and Leia’s son) kills him. I didn’t cry but I have to say it was rough, I loved Han and while his death was meaningful and touching, it still stung like hell.  I always felt it would be Han or Chewy to die in this movie, but ultimately just before the movie I picked Han, I wish I had been wrong but such was not the case. Knowing there will never be another moment with Han is hard for any Star Wars fan but he died trying to save his son and doing what Leia asked him to do, it showed growth, maturity and ultimately that Han like many of the characters in Star Wars would do anything to help a loved one.

Now I have to talk about some of the bad, the movie is at least a little lacking in originality. While the new characters are great, the plotline very closely resembles A New Hope (Episode IV). I’m certain this was done as an homage but it could have been different, better. This is perhaps the main reason it’s not the best Star Wars movie and will fall for me in line with A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. The other thing is as I mentioned, R2-D2. C3PO explains that R2 is in low-power mode and that only Luke’s return may wake him. Once Han dies and they are still unable to find Luke (BB-8 has only part of a map to him), R2 suddenly switches on and reveals the rest of the map. It’s Deus Ex Machina at it’s best but it had to happen for Luke to show up. That’s the last thing, really? Luke couldn’t even have one line in the movie? I know it’s a cliffhanger but I really think it would have been better if he spoke even a few words at the end.

Final Thoughts:

Don’t get me wrong, I loved this movie. It’s brought back my excitement for the Star Wars movies, I am eager for Rogue Squadron and of course Episode VIII. I’ll be seeing this at least once more and maybe twice. The action scenes are amazing, the special effects wonderful and I was never bored for a second. I give it a solid 8/10 and a very strong recommendation for any sci-fi/Star Wars/Harrison Ford (or any other actor in this) to go. It’s certainly the best movie in theaters right now and one of the best of the year. Please don’t take small children (ages 13+) but do see it with someone who will enjoy it, or at least someone who doesn’t talk (two people came in late when I saw it and were chatty for a minute or two). Also have a Merry Christmas everyone, I’ll be doing my end of the year post soon and possibly another movie review this week as well.