Sunday, April 10, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Director: J.J. Abrams
Writers: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt, George Lucas
Stars: Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren)

Up until the end of last year, the only Star Wars films I had seen were the prequels, I never seen any films in the original trilogy. However, I really wanted to see The Force Awakens, and felt that I needed to view the original films before doing so. Thankfully, I have friends who were able to give me the original, un-"improved," cuts of the films which I watched in a marathon session with my mother and boyfriend before heading out to see the latest film.

And, I loved it! I had made a lot of incorrect assumptions about the storyline of the films, so I walked away with a better understanding of how it all fit together. Going to see The Force Awakens, I felt fully prepared for the story that J.J. Abrams had written upon George Lucas' creations and the motivations of the characters.

The Force Awakens picks up about a generation after Return of the Jedi, where a new dictatorship, the New Order, has risen from the ashes of the Galactic Empire. We're introduced to some new characters who find themselves in the midst of a fight against this new power; Finn, a stormtrooper who's none-too-pleased with the Order's cruelty, and Rey, an orphan of as-yet-unspecified parentage who collects scrap to survive. They meet up with some familiar faces, Chewy, Han Solo, and Princess Leia, and join the Resistance. Lots of stuff happens, some twists and turns, so I won't give too much away, plus you all have probably already seen the film anyways.

I really enjoyed this film and, speaking as someone without much experience with the Star Wars franchise and having seen the new film right after watching the originals for the first time, I appreciated that the storyline mirrored the premier film of the franchise. I consider it to be an effective story-telling tool; there's a familiarity to the story, some mystery over how this might end differently, and it reflects the world that we live in, one in which history often does repeat itself. I loved the new characters; I appreciated the shot of diversity into the franchise (from the perspective of a black woman, this is important), and the cast was incredible. I'm incredibly excited for the rest of this trilogy!

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