May The Force Be With You

Star Wars fans can rejoice now that the classic science fiction franchise is finally back on the big screen. The seventh instalment in the space opera created by George Lucas, The Force Awakens has had a ton of mystery surrounding its plot details ever since its trailers were released. This time, however, creator Lucas bears no involvement in this new film, which is directed by J. J. Abrams and shot partially with IMAX cameras.

Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens takes place 30 years after the events in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983). It also features both iconic old characters as well as new key players. Among the fresh characters are Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac).

First and foremost, props to Abrams for his decision to cast a female and an English actor of colour as his main leads, a notable improvement from the franchise’s history of white male leads. Ridley holds the screen as a strong-willed protagonist/heroine; her role as Rey is a scavenger, but she is no damsel in distress. Ridley puts on an excellent performance as an independent fighter, especially significant given that this is her first big-screen role. 

Boyega stars as Finn, a stormtrooper from the First Order. In short, Finn brings out most of the film’s humour as a childish and naive character, and Boyega plays the part very convincingly. Driver plays dark warrior Kylo Ren, strong with the Force and a commander of the First Order. While Kylo is seen as unpredictable, Driver’s acting gives off mixed feelings about his character, and is possibly the weakest performance here. Last but not least, Isaac plays X-wing fighter pilot Poe, a top-notch pilot on a mission from the Resistance.

As for the rest of the cast, The Force Awakens features voice cameos from Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, and Daniel Craig. It also sees Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher reprise their roles as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and General Leia Organa respectively. Finally, back in the film are Chewbacca and robots R2-D2 and C-3PO.

In essence, The Force Awakens centers on the fight between The First Order and the Resistance. With the introduction of new characters comes plot twists are as fantastic as they are unexpected. Abrams paces these moments consistently, and keeps the film light-hearted throughout. The most significant aspect is the use of modern technology that results in greatly-improved visual effects compared to the original trilogy. The lightsabers are way more realistic, and feature a new design! Opting for a 3D cinematic experience is highly recommended here. 

Needless to say, Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens is a movie not to be missed. Converging past and present storylines and introducing a whole new generation of moviegoers to a sci-fi adventure, the blockbuster is expected to break box office records the world over.

Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens is now showing in cinemas.

Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Running time: 136 minutes
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

This film was reviewed in IMAX 3D

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