A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… is how distant a new series of films in the epic space saga felt just a few years ago.
But now the world’s most popular film franchise has returned for its seventh installment after Disney’s acquisition of the classic IP.
Directed by J. J. Abrams, The Force Awakens’ cast includes the original trilogy’s star actors—Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carry Fisher, Peter Mayhew, and Anthony Daniels—as well as newcomers like John Boyega and Daisy Ridley.
Set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens continues the story of the battle between the Rebel Alliance (now the Resistance) and the evil Galactic Empire (now the First Order).
The Force Awakens has already released to rave reviews, being described as a “mighty triumph”. It has received near universal praise from Rotten Tomatoes, where it has a 95% and 92% score from the critics and audience, respectively.
The Independent’s review calls The Force Awakens “the sequel you are looking for,” noting that the film has potential to hold its box office record for forever. An “indisputable improvement on the abhorred prequels,” The Force Awakens is said to have obsessively held to the style and tone of the originals, and is referred to as “probably objectively the best Star Wars yet.”
On the actors, The Independent praised Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley, while describing John Boyega’s efforts as “okay.” Peter Mayhew was commended yet again for his portrayal of Chewbacca.
IGN enjoyed the echoes to A New Hope, although found the new elements added in by the new director and cast the most enjoyable aspect of the film. However, they found frustrating the way some antagonists were not fully explored in the film—like Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke—although they admit that such characters will likely take a bigger role in the subsequent films.
Calling it “visually stunning,” Abrams’ visual style is at its best in the film’s space battles, says IGN. Practical effects are said to be used most often when possible, although IGN say that the motion capture characters blend seamlessly into the film.
The New York Times’ review enjoyed the balance between “cosy favorites” like Han Solo with “new kinetic wows”, while The Guardian admired the interplay of action-adventure and fun. The Guardian’s review did however find the new droid sidekick a little bit Scrappy-Doo-like. Not only “ridiculous, melodramatic, and sentimental,” The Guardian found The Force Awakens “exciting, brimming with energy and its own kind of generosity.”
However, not all reviews have been entirely positive. Variety called the film “derivative,” and that the story did not “fire the imagination.” The Wrap note that only four out of 127 Rotten Tomatoes reviewers left unfavorable reviews, which describe the film as banking on nostalgia and marketing.
The clear picture is that The Force Awakens is a fantastic film, if not the best in the franchise yet. With all estimates saying that it will smash all sorts of box office records, expecting to open to $210 million plus, The Force Awakens has already been a rousing success.
J. J. Abrams has evidently done a fantastic job at bringing new life into the flagging Star Wars saga. Much like its origins in the seventies, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will enlighten the imaginations of a whole new generation, and the epic space opera series will certainly remain a huge talking point for film lovers worldwide for a long time to come.Related Topics: Stars Wars: The Force Awakens