Star Wars The Force Awakens Review

Sang-Hee Park

I’ve never watched a Star Wars movie. My relationship with the sci-fi saga was akin to one with the popular kid who’s never in your classes — they’re recognizable, but not familiar enough to be particularly interesting. In order to get some context, my family watched and studied an hour’s worth of Star Wars summaries. Everything from the Skywalker lineage to whoever ‘Boba Fett’ was became clear. Now, the movie has generated two billion dollars in office revenue (the third-highest grossing film in cinematic history to do so) and is the highest grossing Star Wars movie film in North America, and film in 2015. Was it worth the hype? Well, millions of people seem to say yes, but, regardless, let’s take a look.

PLOT:
Thirty years have passed since the destruction of the second Death Star. Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi, has disappeared. From the fallen Galactic Empire arises the First Order, a military dictatorship headed by Commander Kylo Ren. The First Order seeks to eliminate Luke and the New Republic.
Poe Dameron, a resistance pilot, hides a map of Luke’s whereabouts in BB-8, a special droid. As BB-8 rolls around on planet Jakku, it encounters a scavenger Rey and renegade Stormtrooper Finn. Together, the three must journey to the New Republic to utilize the map and find the Jedi before the First Order captures them.

REVIEW:

This movie took my breath away. The visuals were astounding, the writing was fantastic, and the characters were incredibly likable. Even the action scenes (which I’m normally not the biggest fan of) had me gripping the edge of my seat. Any doubts I had about the saga’s overhyped fandom were quelled. I was just as pumped up as any other nostalgic adult or fanatic kid in the theater. Lightsaber battles? Heck yeah! Main protagonists that aren’t white or male? Buddy, sign me into the fandom.

*SPOILER START* Everything involving Kylo Ren fascinated me. During his interrogation with Rey, he took off his intimidating helmet to reveal an average-looking guy underneath. I initially felt disappointed, but I realized that he was supposed to look normal. He’s no Palpatine or Darth Maul — he’s just Ben Solo, a kid overwhelmed by darkness. Yet, he still struggles to stray away from the light. On the climactic bridge scene where he stabs his father, he cemented his decision to join the Dark Side. I highly anticipate his character development in the later movies. *SPOILER END*

However, I am very unaccustomed to the series, so I may not have the insight a seasoned veteran might have. As a result, I researched other people’s reviews (including 40 plot holes from TFAhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-abramson/40-unforgivable-plot-holes-in-star-wars-the-force-awakens_b_8850324.html ) and discovered valid criticisms ofthis movie.

*MINOR SPOILERS START* Many avid Star Wars fans have expressed displeasure towards the story. The plot, far from the worst, is very derivative. Some have pointed out that it is almost a scene-by-scene remake of The New Hope. Again, we see “imperial troops from a galactic empire pursue a robot with stolen plans across a desert planet and into the care of a young loner with mysterious powers who was then aided by a wisecracking smuggler and his space ape in a seedy interstellar tavern where cheerful aliens play catchy orbital music.” ( http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-force-awakens-is-the-least-interesting-star-wars-yet ) and another Death Star-esque mothership explodes. Even as a newbie, I noticed the callback to the classic Star Wars films. At the same time, it doesn’t make for a bad movie. Marketability and nostalgia are intertwined in this mess, but it’s still a good mess overall.
*MINOR SPOILERS END*

Although I can definitely see where people are coming from, I still appreciate what good The Force Awakens had to offer. Overall, I had a fun time. Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Issac (Poe Dameron), and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) played their parts beautifully. I left the theater with everything I expected and more; now that I’ve seen my first Star Wars movie, I’m definitely a fan.

I Would Rate This:
9 BB-8’s Out Of 10

You Should Watch This If:
You have even the slightest interest in the Star Wars saga (for optimal viewing, try starting with the fourth movie.)