Star Wars: The Force Awakens

“There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?”

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The Force Awakens is the reincarnation of nostalgia. The most universally recognised film franchise captured the imaginations of the whole world, merchandising the cinema experience into something that lasted much further than the foyer. Now, the behemoth of Star Wars is back and aren’t we glad it is.

The Force Awakens is glorious, great and then good. It is a battle between the past and present and is hampered by the accommodation of the former.

The film is set up much like A New Hope. A group of relatively-unknown actors being paid minimal fees are flung into a film bigger than themselves, with more focus placed on enjoyment than acting. This time however, the excellent newcomers are guided by a raft of returning faces. Han, Chewy and more return to aid Rey and Finn in their adventure. Yet, this support frustratingly turns into control. Nostalgia has its supreme highs and its murkier lows and Force Awakens veers near both.

A carbon-copy New Hope premise is trotted out in the hopes that audiences won’t mind. I’m sure they won’t. Though the progression is strikingly obvious, The First Order ensure that’s okay. Grown out the Empire’s ashes, The First Order is again styled on the aesthetic and organisation of the Nazi regime. This recycling feels comfortable and necessary, as we see its inner workings only fleetingly and through select pairs of eyes.

Anyway, these niggling reinterpretations hardly matter, as the new elements are so damn good. Crucially, Rey is near-as-dammit perfect. Whilst some will call her a ‘badass female’, like Furiosa before her, she is badass, period. A perfect and vital future role model for a generation of children following her, Rey’s gleeful openness to the world is combined with a proficiency in practically every area. Rey is no damsel-in-distress and never shall she be. She is charming, vulnerable and legitimately powerful. Across the original trilogy, women other than Princess Leia talk for less than one minute. There will be no such repetition.

Furthermore, John Boyega channels his inner Harrison, bringing an honest cheek and charm to ever interaction. BB-8 is a wonderful creation, though little more than a cat that cares. These heroes are also brilliantly offset by the First Order’s soldiers of doom: Kylo Ren and General Hux. Both could be formidable adversaries as the trilogy progresses, despite Ren feeling slightly too Anakin and Hux too showy.
The Force Awakens is a trilogy film. All characters introduce themselves by name and set up their roles in this most familiar but affected world. Yet, this is no Hobbit. Blueprints have been liberally traced for this incarnation, but they have only facilitated an overwhelmingly successful rebirth. When a film is this fun, all the criticisms in the galaxy can’t prevent a bit of starry-eyed indulgence.
May the feels be with you.
,
★★★★

Header courtesy of ScreenRant and Image courtesy of StarWars.

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One thought on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens

  1. Pingback: The 2nd Annual Wilson Awards – Winners | Wilson Reviews

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