This review will be in two parts, the spoiler free review will come first and the spoilery section will come after, so if you want to know what I thought of it and you haven’t seen it yet then be not afraid for I will not spoil what is perhaps the most anticipated film of 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
As redundant as it sounds, I think that box office gross for the film was over a billion dollars, and it still hasn’t finished its run in cinemas as of writing this article.
IT’S GOOD GO SEE IT!
While this sounds like a bit of a cop out, I would argue that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is at its best when you don’t know anything about it. So I am afraid I cannot go into any more without delving into minor and major spoilers.
Right, now with that out of the way I can get into some deeper analysis of a film that concerns space wizards with laser swords fighting an evil empire.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens follows two main characters Daisy Ridley’s Rey and John Boyega’s Finn as they are embroiled in a war between the Empire-esque First Order and the Rebellion.
The reason why the film is so good and works well, is that it is simple, easy to follow and fun. It is a fun movie. It is fun to see the character interactions between the two leads. It is fun to see lightsabre duels filled with passion, the dog fights between tie fighters and x-wings. It is fun to see old fan favourites interact with and pass touches to the newer generation of heroes. The filmmakers are clearly fans of the series and had fun making it, which translates to the screen.
What many have noticed is that the plot and story of The Force Awakens is very, very similar to A New Hope down to a masked bad guy with a relationship to the mentor character who is killed in a giant planet sized space weapon that the rebels must defeat by firing missiles at a specific spot while the shields are taken down. While this is definitely a little distracting it makes perfect sense. The filmmakers need to prove to an audience that they can make a Star Wars film, not like the prequels but the original trilogy. After that they can diverge to tell their own story, or at least I hope they do or they will lose a lot of good will really fast. Similarly George Lucas’ original story is stolen from so many other films and books it would be hard to list all of them, but for this point the most important is Joseph Campbell’s Hero of a Thousand Faces a compendium of all troupes in fantasy heroic fiction and the similarities between the tales.
Furthermore many people have said that the film is simple and has deep gaps in logic that become apparent after viewing. While that is certainly true, does it matter? Does it matter that the world has a black and white morality? Does it matter that Rey seems to master the Force and Lightsabre out of nowhere with no training? Does it matter that Finn switches sides so completely as to kill what were his colleagues? Similarly does it matter that Rey and Finn are female and black respectively? The answer is also No, why should it. Why should it matter, when they are so well written, and so likable. The audience cares about the universe The Force Awakens explores which is so fun and lived in and alive.
The film is by no means perfect but Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a fun
film. And while picking it apart is something that I am wont to do, I am keeping it intact to enjoy the pure and joyful experience of an old school cinematic adventure, like the original trilogy. May the force be with you.