** Spoiler Free **
Most who know me, it goes without saying I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I love everything about it. From the movies to the TV series, Rebels, from the clothing to collecting merchandise, Star Wars has been a part of my entire life. Yes, you could classify me as a “nerd” or “dork” when it comes to it, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling myself an “extreme nerd”. Since Star Wars means a lot to me, one could only imagine my excitement when it was announced the Star Wars film series was returning with Episode 7, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Plus, to have the original cast from the trilogy return such as, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker and of course Peter Mayhew was well, more than you could imagine. To top things off, Director J.J. Abrams was running the show and John Williams, Mr. John Williams himself, was composing The Force Awakens!?! Take my left arm and give me 10 tickets!
Before I jump into my review about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, let me share a personal experience that connected me to the force more than ever. It occurred at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim this year, as fellow staff member Mike Kinney and I attended the event. Day 1, we arrived super early, in fact the night before and camped out waiting for the doors to open. This was to attend the opening panel which came with getting the first glimpse at the highly anticipated trailer for The Force Awakens. The opening panel was amazing! As I looked upon the stage seeing all of the original cast (minus Ford due to his injury) and the future cast of Star Wars, I felt so much joy to be apart of the franchise that has taken the world by storm. Then, the host informs the audience we are going to see the first trailer. The crowd went nuts! Not one sound from anyone in the audience during the trailer. When Han Solo says, “Chewy, we’re home.” Chills ran threw my body and everyone in the theater lost it. The lights come back on and the host says, “How awesome was that!?! You guys want to see it again!?!” The crowd roared and the trailer kicked on again. I’ll never forget that moment, by far my most memorable and favorite Star Wars experience ever! This set the tune for one of the greatest Star Wars weekends I could possibly imagine. So, the reason I share this story, is to give an idea as to how excited I was to attend my first viewing of the film. Star Wars: The Force Awakes brings back everything Star Wars was from the Original Trilogy. As I said before, this review is spoiler free and will only express my feelings for the film.
Some have already ask me how The Force Awakens measures up to the other films. Everyone can be at ease, this film is definitely better than episodes 1 thru 3. As for being better than the Original Trilogy, this might be a bit harder to say. Of course the anticipation for the new film has a large impact, but I really don’t want to say it is better or not as good as any of the Original Trilogy films. Going into The Force Awakens (TFA), my favorite was Ep. 3, I can’t really say it has changed or stayed the same yet. I’m sure I will be able to decide after seeing TFA a few more times.
The story for The Force Awakens hasn’t skipped a beat. The film is packed with action, emotion and exciting adventures, everything you would want or dream for the future of Star Wars. It does however run at a lengthy time, which the audience is caught up to speed with what has and is currently going on in the galaxy. Everything rapidly evolves, so the story has to feed tons of content. Don’t be misguided though, the viewers are given everything needed to jump on board this fantastic ride for Ep. 8 and 9 in the years to come. Of the new additions to the cast, these particular cast members made a grand entrance to the Star Wars Universe, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Wyong’o and let us not forget the awesome BB8 droid, this is the droid you’re looking for. Whether you like their role or not, I feel things have only just begun for what is just around the corner for Ep. 8. We are being lead into some amazing things. Let’s not forget Andy Serkis and Gwendoline Christie, I expect we will see much more soon enough. The crew is here for years to come, expect even bigger things from them.
On a side note, you may wonder if The Force Awakens is something you should bring younger children to see? For me, I believe, yes. Think of it this way; Star Wars has grown to a scale no one would have ever thought of, our parents, us and our kids. The force surrounds us. But think about it, even the children of our kids will more than likely be the fans of the future. Not just here in America, but across the world. I for one want both of my children to see Star Wars. They are only 4 and almost 3 years old, but I want them to be able to look back and say to their youth, “I was there, I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens when I was a child.” Not many of us nowadays can say we saw the Original Trilogy in the theaters, heck I didn’t, and I’m still a huge fan of the films. The Star Wars Universe is bright, people. We are getting new movies, TV series, books, comics and even theme parks. Embrace it, feel it, don’t allow this epic film slip by, go see it! In fact, go see it multiple times!
I’ll end this review by saying, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will leave an ever lasting impression on you as the Original Trilogy did, I loved this film.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens