Friday, December 18, 2015 marks the official release of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. Nerd Nation Magazine was in attendance for the official press screening the previous Tuesday, courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures, Regal Cinemas, and our friends at Allied Marketing.
While it’s no secret that the newest installment of the iconic Star Wars Saga is, without a doubt, the most highly anticipated and talked about film of 2015, the real question on everyone’s mind is of course “is it any good?” So with that said, and with ABSOLUTELY NO SPOILERS, let’s get right down to it!
Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens begins like any other Star Wars film, with the signature scrolling text, filling you in on what’s happened since we last left off. It’s been approximately 30 years since the events in Return of the Jedi, and right off the bat we learn that not all is peaceful in the galaxy. The last Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has disappeared, Remnants of the former Galactic Empire have regrouped under new leadership as The First Order, and both they and the Resistance army (formerly known as the Rebel Alliance) led by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) are desperately in search of Skywalker.
A brash, young Resistance pilot named Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac) has found a map leading to Skywalker, and as you’d probably guess, The First Order is after it. Led by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) a mysterious, sinister figure who has the power of the Darkside, and backed by a massive army of new-gen Stormtroopers, the action kicks off right out of the gate.
We are then introduced to FN2187 (John Boyega) a Stormtrooper who after seeing first hand the evil of the First Order, decides to break free. FN2187- or “Finn” eventually crosses paths with Rey (Daisy Ridley) a crafty young scavenger, and a spunky BB-8 droid unit, carrying with it the map that’s got the whole galaxy on the brink of war. Together, the unlikely allies set off in search of the Resistance… and hopefully Luke Skywalker.
As everyone who has seen the trailer could tell you, we are later re-introduced to legendary heroes Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) as well as quite a few others I won’t dare mention here. By now you’re probably wondering – What will happen? What will become of everyone? Who are all these new characters, really? Well, once again, this is a SPOILER FREE review, so you’ll just have to go see the film and find out for yourself!
From a technical standpoint, this film is everything we’ve all come to expect from a Star Wars film. The visuals are absolutely stunning, the special effects are outstanding, and the score (by none other than John Williams… of course) is most certainly award-worthy. The locations (including some beautiful new landscapes set in Ireland and Iceland) fit perfectly with the story as well. Moviegoers will definitely not be disappointed.
New director J.J. Abrams does an excellent job with such a massive project, dare I say much better than George Lucas ever did, and the entire cast – both new and returning – do a wonderful job all-around. The storytelling is perfect for the start of a new trilogy, and rivals that of Star Wars IV: A New Hope – which yes, is still the real episode I to many of us.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens is everything you could ever want from a new Star Wars movie… not to mention everything most people wanted out of the, let’s be honest here, rather abysmal prequel trilogy. It’s the perfect mix of nostalgia with all the familiar faces/voices, and excitement from fresh faces and a new story for a new generation. It’s not a remake, it’s not a re-imagining, it’s not an alternate universe, it’s a truly new Star Wars film… and it absolutely works on all levels. Is it the second coming of The Empire Strikes Back? Well, no. But it is on the level with the original trilogy, and quite frankly, it’s just a really fun movie. Forgive the pun, but it’s impossible not to make it… Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens really does bring a New Hope to the Star Wars Saga. Go see this movie. In fact, go see it a few times. I know this writer will. – 9.0/10
Editor: Nerd Nation Magazine