Star Wars is back!
It’s been 32 years since Return of the Jedi and finally we have a sequel – a continuation of the Original Trilogy set roughly 30 years after the events of RotJ. Episode 7 always had its work cut out following the lacklustre and generally ill thought of prequels if it was to revive the franchise and bring Star Wars back into the hearts of existing fans and to capture the hearts of new ones.
Star Wars The Force Awakens returns the series to better days: great actions scenes, a believable cast, a well placed and thought out plot and not to mention the ever fabulous John Williams music score. I can’t deny having some reservations with JJ at the helm but this delivered and delivered with style.
Poe Dameron Rey Finn
For me, the standout elements of the film were not the old but the new – Rey played by Daisy Ridley and Finn played by John Boyega were excellent additions to the cast. Ridley bringing a toughness, resilience and strength of spirit we haven’t seen since we last saw a young Luke and Boyega bringing a unique perspective and point of view we have never seen before. Oscar Isaac is great as Poe Dameron – the “best pilot in the resistance” and with his bright orange jumpsuit and dark hair is a definite Wedge Antilees reminder.
Kylo Ren played by Adam Driver is excellent as the conflicted antagonist whose actions ultimately shape the film, Adam never comes across as an “insert generic Darth bad guy” with Kylo oozing barely checked rage with a strong undercurrent of guilt which combines in a terrifying and unpredictable cinema baddie. Adam undertakes his role with skill and subtlety and encapsulates the conflict between Light and Dark in a way Hayden Christenson never managed as Anakin in the Prequel Trilogy.
While I was impressed by all that was new I was still awed by much that was old. Han and Chewie are back with Ford getting some fantastic lines and effortlessly bringing back that roguish charm to Solo. Princess Leia, now a General, reprises her role and although her role was only minor it was still emotionally touching, her reunion with Chewie in the form of a furry hug.
Overall this was a fantastic film, it captured the magic of the Original Trilogy whilst avoiding the pitfalls of bad casting and CGI that the Prequel Trilogy suffered from. JJ has done a great job and this bodes very well for the franchise and has really added to the mythic and legendary feel of Star Wars.
This is very much the sequel we have been looking for!