“There Has Been an Awakening. Have You Felt It?”
It’s safe to say that the entire world was sent into a frenzy when Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in December. Crowds rushed to theatres decked out in cool Star Wars attire, waited in lines for hours, and inevitably, argued afterward about whether The Force Awakens lived up to its much-loved predecessors. Now, after months of raking in money at the box office, the film has claimed its title as the third all-time highest-grossing movie release worldwide, and the number one highest-grossing movie in domestic box office history. The Force was strong with this one.
Now, I DO understand peoples’ initial skepticism about whether this film would be able to live up to the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy (although the latter is a controversy in itself), because it’s always a touchy subject when changes are made to an old classic. It appears, however, that they had nothing to worry about.
I think people were afraid that because Lucasfilm – the production company that released all six previous Star Wars films – was bought by Disney before this movie’s release, it would not have the same style as the cult classics, and would ruin the franchise. But miraculously, The Force Awakens still felt like a Star Wars movie, which could not have been an easy feat. So on behalf of the entire world: thanks a bunch, Disney, for not ruining our lives.
Let us take a moment to appreciate the sheer entertainment value of this movie, before getting into the franchise-specific stuff. Holy action, Batman. The battle sequences and chase scenes were so thrilling that they’d have anyone on the edge of their seat. For example, the way the camera followed the darting TIE fighters so closely basically made me feel like I was the pilot (the bigger the screen, the better). And, because the audience knows a lot of the characters, battle scenes become even more intense; the good guys have to win!! All in all, the movie never slows down too much, which was incredible. It seemed that something interesting happened every few minutes, which kept my attention and excitement levels high.
Speaking of entertainment value, The Force Awakens is also really funny, and I’m not just saying that to make it sound appealing to non-Star Wars fans. Plus, it has gorgeous scenery – it was filmed in a ton of amazing locations like Iceland, Abu Dhabi, England, Ireland, and Switzerland. I really believe that you could enjoy this movie even if you’re not a Star Wars enthusiast. Even though you may not understand some of the references or connections, it’s still totally worth watching for the action, laughs, and fantastic cast.
I don’t know if BB-8 counts as a cast member, but he is exactly the droid I was looking for. How do they make a robot who can’t even speak show so much dang personality? He was a great compliment to the movie, and added a lot of emotion to some scenes. As for the actual cast, Daisy Ridley did an incredible job as heroine Rey. I didn’t know her from anything before this movie, so she made a great first impression. John Boyega, who played Finn, was able to provide comic relief and seriousness in his character, which was a much-appreciated mix.
One of the more controversial cast members was Adam Driver, who played Kylo Ren. There were hugely mixed reviews on this casting choice, ranging from positive to critics basically saying he ruined everything (some even saying that this was because he was too “good-looking” to be a villain…what?). I personally like him, as I’ve said in previous blogs, and I think the almost teen angst-y thing works for his character development.
One of my absolute favourite things about the movie was its adherence to the feeling of the Star Wars franchise. One scene where this really came out was the one in in Maz’s tavern, where there were people and creatures of all different sizes, shapes, and styles. There were also scenes containing horrifying, slimy beasts that are the things of nightmares, which I think is another component essential to making a classic Star Wars film. Overall, J.J. Abrams really thought his characters through, and did a great job bringing them to life.
Okay okay, one last thing about characters and old-school Star Wars feels. POTENTIAL SPOILER, but did anyone else get emotional when R2-D2 “came back to life”?? I actually got a little teary-eyed when I watched it for the first time in the theatre, and C-3PO says “Oh, my dear friend, how I’ve missed you” because I was like I MISSED MY FRIEND TOO, C-3PO! It hit me right in the childhood and perhaps made me realize the deep-rooted connection I have with the franchise, similar to the one I know millions of other people have.
In simple terms, I loved this movie. It was action-packed, emotional, funny, and beautifully done. It had heart-racing moments, scenes bursting with tension and suspense, and was filled with surprises (this is a huge understatement). It opened up a ton of questions and got fans talking about the meaning of certain events, who characters really are, and what will happen next. It did everything a good action movie should do, and it set up the next film perfectly. I 100/10 would recommend to everyone, whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not, and I’ll see you at the premiere of the next movie.
You can find Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Execulink’s VOD channel (ch.100) starting on Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you) until August 2nd, 2016.
Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor
Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.