This review is 100% spoiler-free.
For the past year, we have been treated to some awe-inspiring trailers that have sent expectations flying through the roof and into a galaxy far, far away.
Outside of the main 3 trailers, there have been Instagram teasers and about million TV spots, each with new snippets of never before seen footage.
The one thing that has stood out from these trailers is their ability to show us lots of beautiful Star Wars imagery, yet remain in the dark about what stories we are set to see on the big screen.
A lot has been said about the practical and old-style FXs of The Force Awakens, it’s not until you actually sit down to watch it for yourself that you can truly appreciate what an outstanding job they have done. The time, effort and attention to the smallest detail just added more and more layers to the overall film. It felt real, it felt like the originals, it felt like Star Wars.
The CGI usage was also kept pretty self-contained and was used sparingly, this helped to give the film a nice balance of practical and digital storytelling.
The blend of special FX also complemented the blend of the original Star Wars characters and the new ones. The character interaction between these two different groups was captivating and held your attention for the most part.
The film started very strongly and the pace was frantic, it was scene after scene and rarely paused for breath. There were lots of questions left unanswered about some character storylines and backgrounds, but J.J Abrams isn’t afraid to keep his cards close to his chest in the first movie of an ongoing saga. These questions will be answered, they are designed to keep you guessing and wanting more.
The one thing that most people will come away saying from this is that you felt like you have seen this film before. There are lots of familiarities with Episode 7 and Episode 4, but when it comes down to it that is not such a bad thing given the last 3 films we have been subjected to in recent times.
Embrace these similarities and enjoy them, don’t fight against them or see it as “unoriginal”, this is a movie designed to please old fans and create new ones and ultimately to be enjoyed.
The second you start to over-complicate stories in Star Wars you start to find yourself in prequel territory about trade embargoes and taxation.
The story was simple and set up the universe as it stands which has laid the foundations for the next two films to build upon and be more original.
Another minor quibble was that some characters just disappeared and we won’t see them again until the Episode 8, a quick scene of a getaway or departing would have just tied up a few loose ends.
Some characters also seemed to have a smaller part to play in this than you might imagine, but It has already come out that we are going to see a lot more of these characters going forward, so that is something to look forward to.
But these are only little issues that can be found in most films and franchises, so while these have been identified they are insignificant next to the power of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Episode 7 takes you back to your childhood, the second that music hits you are transported back to the moment you first saw Star Wars. That childlike wonder and amazement is something to hold on to and cherish, not to over analyse and critique the film into the ground. Enjoy it for what it is, classic Star Wars but updated.
A big mention has to go to Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, the progression and development of his character throughout the film were brilliant, and it’s exciting to think what will happen in the next instalment given the events of Episode 7.
One thing that had noticeably returned to the Star Wars franchise was the humour, actual humour, not the childish “fart noises” and other cringe moments as seen in the prequel films. The laughter was back and it was used correctly which just further added to that Star Wars feel.
While there is no sting or teaser at the end of the film, if you want to listen to the beauty of a John Williams score then it is very much worth watching the credits roll. It is also worth applauding every name on that screen for creating a fantastic piece of cinema.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the film Star Wars fans have been waiting for. The blend of nostalgia and new, practical and digital all comes together to create something worthy to stand toe-to-toe with the original films.
Episode 7 takes from the established universe but builds on it giving much hope and excitement for the future of the current saga.
The best advice when seeing this film is to go and just enjoy it and immerse yourself in the joy that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens.