Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened in theaters on Thursday night all over the country. Fans flocked to their local theaters to see what spin Disney would put on the beloved series.
Due to a complicated mess of misfortune and dumb luck I was able to see the movie early Thursday evening before someone spoiled the movie for me. The theater was surrounded by fellow fans waiting to see the movies; the theater rang out with cheers of those who were able to get in to the 7:00 pm showings, the snack bar had a 30 minute line, and nerds were dressed to the nines in their fandom best… except for my boyfriend who does not own any Star Wars gear. Too bad I already bought his Christmas present.
The movie opened up in typical Star Wars fashion with the scrawling text that you must race to read after you have soaked in the fact that the moment as finally come to see the latest chapter of the franchise. In a nutshell Luke has vanished and Leia is trying to find him. The Empire has been replaced with the First Order as the latest group of bad guys bent on ruling the galaxy while embracing the Dark Side. I won’t go in to too much more detail in order to keep it spoiler free but a lot of the story line is similar to what the heroes faced in what is now Star Wars: A New Hope. However, I found that there was a lot more comedy in this one, especially for those familiar with the original trilogy.
After Jar Jar Binks, I am always weary of new characters being introduced to the Star Wars universe but the new additions blended well with the already established characters. Daisy Ridley, as Rey, brings in another strong female character who kicks some serious butt. John Boyega, as Finn, is a dynamic character that makes a great comedic pair with Han Solo. Oscar Isaac plays hot shot pilot, Poe Dameron, who almost reminds you of a less rogue Han Solo character. Adam Driver as Kylo Ren is the tortured villain who idolizes the fallen Darth Vader and seems to have not noticed that Vader ended up turning back to the light in the end. Kylo Ren’s fascination with power and conflicting feelings about the force are much less annoying and whiny than Anakin’s as he was courted by the Dark Side. Hopefully it stays that way through the remainder of the series. I was most interested in the new droid BB-8 who serves the same comedic assistance as R2-D2 in the previous movies, while adding an almost child like quality to the droid characters.
There was a good balance of new and old as Han Solo, Chewbacca, Leia, and Luke all returned. Han Solo and Chewbacca were pretty much their old selves just a little grayer. Leia had a much more serious role now that she is a General for the Resistance. Luke, well you’ll just have to see the movie to find out. The Stormtroopers also return and have finally learned how to shoot on target much to the dismay of the people who oppose them.
The visuals in the movie were absolutely stunning with action sequences that thrilled and excited the audience. The audience could not stop cheering and applauding throughout the movie. Overall the movie was a fun experience and flows nicely with the original movies. In one movie it seems that Disney and J.J. Abrams has erased the bad memories of Episodes I-III and continued on the great legacy of the galaxy far far away.