Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Star Wars The Force Awakens: You Will See This Movie and Enjoy It - No Jedi Mind Trick Required
Star Wars The Force Awakens Main Title - courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

darthmaz314 returns from a long hiatus during the normally insane month of December and there is really only one thing to write about...The Force Awakens. The film opened fourteen days ago (which includes the December 17 evening showings) and it has already raked in over $1.1 billion worldwide and has yet to open in China, the world's second largest film market. So it has certainly made a lot of money and secured the financial futures of Disney, Lucasfilm, and a lot of product licensees. But was it worth all of the anticipation, speculation, prognostication, and the plain old hype? Absolutely, positively, undoubtedly, unequivocally YES!

If you are among those few who have not yet made it to the movies to see this seventh installment of the Star Wars saga, you must do two things right now:

1. Finish reading this post and bookmark to visit in the future.

2. Purchase tickets now for the next showing that you are physically able to attend.
Han Solo from Star Wars The Force Awakens - courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

If you were a prequel hater and rolled your eyes when you heard that there would be another Star Wars film released to further destroy your once warm feelings of love for the franchise, fear not! You will not leave the theater with that post-prequel sour taste in your mouth. Check your cynicism at the theater door and you will be won over once again. This movie fires on all cylinders and hit the bullseye almost without fail in terms of meeting or exceeding expectations. 

Everything you wanted from a Star Wars film is delivered in this film. JJ Abrams has made the ultimate fanboy movie, purposefully avoiding all the traps that made the diehards cringe in the prequels. Gone are the incessant shots of completely digital sets and characters, sprinkled with a human actor or two. The lived-in "real world feel" of Star Wars is back, with scenes shot on actual sets and locations, with CGI being the exception not the rule.
Rey from Star Wars The Force Awakens - courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

There are great performances from the new cast members across the board. First and foremost, who has seen this movie and not fallen in love with everything about Daisy Ridley's Rey? I was a Natalie Portman fan before she was cast in the prequels and was very excited to see her bring her beauty and talents to the Star Wars universe but she was absolutely blown away by what Daisy Ridley brings to this new film. Ridley delivers beauty, likeability, compassion, intensity, emotional depth, and an ability to crank the dial all the way up to near ferocity for the action scenes. Hands down the best Star Wars female character ever. In fact, one of the top five characters of any gender in the Star Wars films thus far. I can't wait to see the next film for many reasons, one of which is where Lucasfilm will next take the character of Rey. Star Wars finally has a true heroine and little girls everywhere are suddenly feeling the Force. It may have all been well planned-out to tap a left behind demographic in the Star Wars universe, but who cares? It works. It isn't phony and contrived and you don't get the sense that feminism is being forced down your throat for its own sake.
Daisy Ridley's Fiery Rey from Star Wars The Force Awakens - courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

John Boyega's Finn, a stormtrooper with a crisis of conscience that defects from the evil First Order (the Empire sympathizers who have risen up to reclaim the galaxy), is instantly a character you want to root for. His humility, humor, and uncertainty about his ability to succeed are disarming and allow the character to develop as a flawed but well intentioned hero that we can all identify with. His chemistry with the rest of the cast is so fluid that it feels like he has known them all for years. Ridley and Boyega's portrayals are not unique in how they connect to the audience. Nearly all the cast's performances deliver in similar fashion to the original trilogy. You immediately care about the characters, at a level beyond the fact that they are needed to progress the plot.
Finn from Star Wars The Force Awakens - courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

There is so much more to report, so darthmaz314 will return with more posts on The Force Awakens in the coming days. Come back and visit us again and go see this film, you will not be disappointed.
Finn and Rey from Star Wars The Force Awakens - courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

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