Star Wars: The Force Awakens

By Guest Writer, Zhay’lan Reese

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was an absolute hit at the box office, earning over $1.6 billion dollars in its first few weeks and vaulted to the number one spot for the highest grossing movie of 2015. Many people, including some of the more cynical “Star Warsians,”admit that this new addition to George Lucas’ incredible film series fits the bill perfectly. Tons of critics have heaped upon it high praise, with magazines such as Variety calling it “…a rousing, even restorative seventh chapter in the immortal space-opera saga” The performances given by its lead actors, Daisey Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe, and Adam Driver as villain Kylo Ren, were excellent and well crafted by the film’s director, J.J. Abrams.

20160127_150517 (1)It is plainly evident in this modern installment that the producers wanted to stay true to the spirit of the original trilogy. The new cast, Rey, Finn, Poe, and BB-8, parallel the original trilogy cast of Luke, Leia, Han Solo, and R2-D2, respectively. For instance, Rey is an orphan who figures out she has control over the Force, which parallels Luke. Poe Damaren is the cool, funny pilot for the Rebellion, an easy comparison to Han Solo, and there’s no need to compare the two droid sidekicks, BB-8 and R2-D2. However, this might be the film’s main pitfall: Many critics have argued its resemblance to Episode IV of Star Wars to be a little too familiar.

Even with its similarities, however, The Force Awakens cast gives us unique and creative characters that you can’t help but love. Rey and her resourcefulness, Finn and his independence, Kylo Ren and his tantrums — all of them give the original gang a run for their money. Speaking of which, Abrams inclusion of the classic cast was a stroke of genius. Han and Leia’s broken relationship, as well as Luke’s disappearance made for an incredible plot for our new characters to be launched into. The conflict with the Solos might feel a little forced (if you’ll pardon the pun) and out of place, but more may come to light in subsequent episodes.

The overall production values of the film is truly spectacular. The soundtrack and composition by John Williams made sad scenes more sad, exciting scenes more exciting, and epic scenes even more epic. The settings were incredible, looking like totally separate worlds inside of one universe. The cinematography made the film even more thrilling to watch, and the way the filmmakers kept true to the realistic tone of the original movies with little CGI made viewers all the happier. More than Lucas’ own prequel series, the aliens and creatures in The Force Awakens truly reminds us of the unique universe Lucas imagined in the original the film 30 years ago.

Comparing this movie to the origional trilogy just doesn’t do it justice. People who have never seen Star Wars before can relate to the fast-paced plot, exciting action, and stimulating characters. The twist and turns this movie has will leave you reeling and begging for more, easily giving its ability to stand alone. All in all, this film had extremely large shoes to fill, and according to its rave reviews, it did an amazing job. The only question is… when’s Episode 8?

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