Released: 17 December 2015
Seen: 17 December 2015
Cinema: Hoyts Melbourne Central
Director: J.J. Abrams
Cast: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Max von Sydow
Gene: Science Fiction
Rating: 8.5 / 10
Thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. When a defector named Finn crash-lands on a desert planet, he meets Rey (Daisy Ridley), a tough scavenger whose droid contains a top-secret map. Together, the young duo joins forces with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to make sure the Resistance receives the intelligence concerning the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the last of the Jedi Knights.
Review (warning spoilers)
The Force Awakens is a memorable welcome back to the Star Wars Universe. The prequels are now behind us which most people are happy to forget but I thought we passable (at least Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith).
The movie quickly establishes the new main characters; the wonderful Rey (Daisy Ridley), the conflicted Finn (John Boyega), an ace Starfighter Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and the main protagonist Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
There is much in common with the original Star Wars Episode IV including having an android (BB-8) lost on a desert planet after Poe Dameron realises he will be soon be captured and needs to get critical information to the Resistance. The old stars are back, Harrison Ford (who plays a significant large role), Carrie Fisher (in a small but important role) and in Mark Hamill (for about 30 seconds but very important for the future).
At times the movie felt like a rehash (but a fund rehash) of the original Star Wars movie.
There is a death star like weapon (well be a sequel it’s an even bigger weapon), a call to arms but a young hero, a reluctant hero (Finn) and a dark opponent. But that is selling this movie short. The new characters have greater back stories and motivations, there are secrets we still don’t know and the pieces for successful future movies have been set.
The only thing I was unhappy was with is how they explained the Resistance as different to the New Republic and the First Order. I totally understand the First Oder being established out of the Empire but at the start of this movie there shouldn’t have been a Resistance, they were the winners and part of the New Republic. With the destruction of the Republic (I’m fairly certain Coruscant was destroyed or at least the New Republic headquarters planet) we then should have seen the survivors form a ‘resistance’. For the story to make sense the New Republic needed to be destroyed for the opposing sides to be of similar strength but the Resistance doesn’t make sense existing before the destruction, they could have still be the New Republic Army hunting down the First order.Still it’s hard to be critical when I get to see the Falcon jump to hyper-drive after all of these years. I’m looking forward to this new expanded universe and finding out what is to come and even who of the old cast will be there to see the Force Awaken a long time ago.
Recommendation: The Force is back and the House of Mouse (Disney) will be very happy for the next decade full of Star Wars movies that will expand the Star Wars universe while trying to forget about the prequels.