Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Unoriginal but excellent return of a beloved franchise


      Star Wars: The Force Awakens, released December 18, 2015, is the latest installment in the wildly successful Star Wars franchise. It takes place 30 years after Return of the Jedi and has two new heroes, an ex-Stormtrooper named Finn (John Boyega) and a lonely scavenger named Rey (Daisy Ridley), who fight a new threat to the galaxy called The First Order and the mysterious Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). The highlights of The Force Awakens are the characters, old and new, and the action sequences.

      The action is exhilarating and perfectly filmed with every shot being clear and concise. The climactic lightsaber duel is breathtaking in its pace, drama and choreography. Finn and Rey are by all means worthy successors of the original trio, with Rey stealing the show. Old favorites, most notably Han Solo (Harrison Ford), not only return to pass the torch on to the newcomers, but add some charm and dramatic weight to the movie.

      The Force Awakens tries its best to recreate the feeling of the original three Star Wars films, and succeeds in doing so for the most part. While die-hard fans may not be thrilled with this new turn in the franchise, general audiences will be more than delighted to see Star Wars back in the limelight.

      The major issue with The Force Awakens, without delving into spoilers, is that its story arc is almost identical to the first Star Wars film, A New Hope. While this particular story is in no way overdone, it makes the movie feel more like a rehash than an original movie.

      The Force Awakens may not be perfect movie, but it reinvigorates the Star Wars franchise with new faces and terrific storytelling while showing promise for the future of this adored series that continues to span the generations.