Now that the hype has died down and I have seen the film, multiple (5) times, to see if I wasn’t Phantom Menacing it, I have some final thoughts about the polarizing 2015 space opera. Just a warning the review will be split into two sections, spoilers and non spoilers.
Not only did I enjoy the most anticipated film since it’s most disappointing entry, The Phantom Menace, but now The Force Awakens is now my favorite Star Wars film. Having grown up with the original trilogy and being a 90’s kid who saw these before the prequels, it is safe to say that I hold these films in high regard. As it stood before this film was released, I had only really loved two Star Wars films, I had liked two others and would rather not mention the other three (Yes, I am including the Clone Wars movie). And now there are three that I love, The Force Awakens. This movie exceeded all of my expectations and then some. Coming into the move, I went in very excited, but with my hesitancies, I mean who wouldn’t when the previous entries weren’t as good or good at all. But as soon as those words ” a long time ago in a galaxy far far away…” flashed on screen and the scroll started to flash by, I began to cry and the expectations and thoughts I had previously went out the window and I once again was a five year old in front a movie screen. My attention never shifted, never was off the movie, I was living in the moment. Even I was overwhelmed and overcome with a large amount of emotion. The film made me grin, ooo and ah and of course take me back to the reason why I love Star Wars. It had a breakneck pace, fun characters,an excellent score, theme and nostalgia beats that mirrored every film (yes, even the prequels), excellent CGI and practical action set pieces and of course a great story. While many people may not understand this love, or call it a rehash, which is exactly what it is, the film has its fair bit of new in order to introduce and expand its already expansive universe. After seeing the film 5 times, it has become more and more my favorite film, it is entertaining and emotionally gut wrenching, I still see a few problems, but nothing can stop this movie from being classic cinema. 10/10
Now what the internet has obviously been waiting for, SPOILERS!!!! Han Solo is dead, Luke is a hermit and ,yes, Kylo Ren is Ben Solo, the offspring of Han and Leia. Do all of these Shakespearean twists work? Of course they do, while one may have been predictable, these twists all rocked me to the core with a mix emotional meaning and a heat pounding that would not stop until I returned home from the movie, a few hours later. The music, especially Rey’s theme, hold their own against classic tracks such as the Force Theme and the much maligned Duel of the Fates, it is superb. (Expect a full review of the soundtrack sometime soon.) The Lightsaber duel between Finn, Kylo Ren and Rey is excellent, not choreographed but filled with pure emotion and stands out as one of the most memorable scenes of the movie. While action certainly takes precedence in a film such as Star Wars, the action is not the only thing here. The story of two people who don’t seem right in the world, Rey and Finn is one that mirrors Luke Skywalker’s in A New Hope and is an homage to its classic tale of growing up and of course self discovery. All the characters brim with charisma, the classic cast delivers, the new cast properly fits and BB-8 is the biggest hit of the holiday season. The jokes hit, the marks it needs to hit are there. Is there anything and I mean ANYTHING wrong with this movie? Yes, because it’s a movie and every movie has flaws. But it is those that make you forget that there are flaws or ignores that it has any, that are best. And this is just one of those movies. There are two burp jokes, it’s almost identical to A New Hope and Luke is not in the movie for more than 3 minutes, but that’s the extent of these personal “flaws” I had with the film. Which artistically isn’t anything at all. This is a new classic that is instantly rewatchable with as much drama as there is comedy and as much action as there is adventure. It balances western motifs with a purely science fiction backdrop with perfection and leaves us wanting more. Star Wars is now one of those perfect movies and just could be my favorite of all time. 10/10