*SPOILERS* Force Awakens Review
There was a lot of worry and speculation surrounding the new addition to the Star Wars saga The Force Awakens. Many fans worried that it would not live up to the first three that were released [four through six in the series], but the naysayers may have been proven wrong. J.J. Abrams directed the film and Lawrence Kasdan, the lead writer. Kasdan was a writer on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, so he brought back a lot of the satire that was found in the first three movies.
The Force Awakens is set thirty years after Return of the Jedi, catching up with beloved characters such as Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and, of course, C-3PO and R2-D2. New characters are introduced as well to keep the plot moving along. It is quite easy to fall in love with the new characters, such as Finn; a rouge Stormtrooper who abandoned The First Order. Then there is Rey, a scavenger who just exudes female power. Unlike Leia in the first few films, her character is not sexalized for her body, but praised for her power and strong will. There is also the quickening fan favorite BB-8, who has the same outspokenness that fans were so fond of in R2-D2; without actually speaking, of course.
The storyline follows the search for Luke Skywalker who has gone missing. The Resistance, led by Leia, is trying to track down the map that will lead to Luke, but they are not the only ones after it. Kylo Ren, a sith in training, is hunting after him as well. There has been a lot of speculation behind who Ren could be under the mask. The list was endless, including Jar-Jar Binks and even Luke himself. The reveal was shocking to say the least.
Ren turned out to be… Ben Solo; son of Leia and Han. When they discovered that Ben possessed the force strongly like his uncle and grandfather, Leia decided it was best to send him off to study with Luke. Ben was eventually corrupted by a Sith who was leading an armada known as the First Order. There is not much known about Ben’s fall to the dark side [it will most likely be explained in the next film], but it was obvious that he resented his parents. Leia and Han were at odds; obviously long separated. Han got back into his scoundrel-like ways as Leia slipped back into her own roots becoming the General of The Resistance. It was a bit hard to process that the beloved relationship had been doomed, but they had been dysfunctional from the start. It only made sense for them to separate.
Ben was prone to tantrums and fits much like a teen defying his parents. He took it to extremes, though when he pierced his lightsaber straight through his father, Han’s, chest. The scene is hard to watch. There was a sense that Ben may repent; even ask his father to kill him, but without hesitation he stepped forward and impales his father. It is very bittersweet, because seconds after being stabbed Han strokes his son’s cheek before falling to his death.
Although that scene was hard to watch, and hurts the soul a lot; the movie as a whole is breathtaking. CGI was not as forced as it was in the last three that were released. Abrams listened to fans’ suggestions, and went back to costumes which made it so much more authentic. Even though many had their doubts, the film really lived up to the original trilogy. There were many small jokes that only diehard Star Wars fans would get, and little references, as well as cameos from the first three films.