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Andrew Hankinson Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

Posted on Dec 31, 2015 in Film | No Comments
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

Hello. You wouldn’t believe the amount of effort I put in to get this review posted before the year was out! You better read it!! If you came this far then you hopefully will. I went to see Spectre, Bridge of Spies and Victor Frankenstein, but haven’t had any time to write reviews for any of them; they were all great films! But Star Wars was always going to get a review from me!! Hope you enjoy and of course if you haven’t seen the film, this isn’t the review you’re looking for…

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS! Set 30 years after defeating Darth Vader and the Empire, a girl called Rey comes across a droid called BB-8 who has the secret to finding Luke Skywalker. Rey, and a rogue storm-trooper called Fin need to get BB-8 to the Resistance and out of reach from the First Order and their leader, Kylo Ren. And of course we learn important moral lessons like blue means the good side and red means the bad side.

My friend, Anthony and I really wanted to see this film on opening night because of all the hype, but unfortunately the first showing (midnight) at the Glasgow Science Centre IMAX was fully booked, so we decided to go to the 3am showing instead. When we arrived people were exiting from the first showing – I think we would have killed any rebel scum who spoiled anything for us! Our show was almost fully booked as well so we were limited to the bottom right corner which wasn’t ideal, but it was ok. Before the film started a guy told us facts about the IMAX; this always happens here because it the Science Centre, but I don’t understand why it still had to happen at 3 in the morning! We were all nerds going to the 3am showing; I’m sure we all knew what we booked well in advanced for!

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As soon as the Lucasfilm logo appeared I already had the shivers of joy, and then the classic John Williams music theme played; I was very close to shedding some very manly geek tears! Could have walked out of the film at that point, I was so happy! The one thing I was really questioning prior to the film was how would Luke Skywalker be included; I personally thought he was going to be the main villain. Little did I know that it would be Han Solo and Leia’s son. I wasn’t surprised at Han Solo’s fate though; I did predict that he was going to be bumped off. I thought Chewie would have got it as well, so I was half right. I think it was probable because Han Solo was always the doubter in the original trilogy, but when he became a believer of the force and gives hope to Rey and Fin, he was sure to be killed off. Now: do I think he is actually dead? My theory is…yes, he is dead – kaput – and won’t even come back as a blue ghost, but I think in the next episodes we’ll see flashbacks of him and Luke when Kylo Ren turned to the dark side. His character and fate in this film were very similar to Obi Wan Kinobi’s in Episode IV. In fact there are a lot of things very similar to Episode IV. BB-8 was brilliant! No wonder there is so much merchandising with him; he was popular even before the film released! But BB-8 trying to deliver a message to the Resistance…it’s spooky how similar it is to R2-D2 delivering Leia’s message to Obi-Wan Kenobi. And that they happened to stumble across the Millennium Falcon; it was great seeing it for the first time again, but surely Rey would have known what spaceship it was, as she explains the history of it Han Solo when he arrives, yet she still calls it garbage. And the orange skinned alien (Maz Kanata) has big eyes, knows about the force, can tell what people are really like and is very wise…basically a female orange version of Yoda. And the planet, the Resistance are trying to destroy in the end, is just a bigger, version of the Death Star…again! Even although there is a very similar structure and many of the same motifs to previous episodes, it was still great to watch!

The villain, Kylo Ren was brilliant! Loved how he lost his temper frequently, his Darth Vader voice (even without the mask), his light-saber with its red fiery-like light (not so much for the crucifix look) and obviously him killing his own dad with no regrets at all. There was a lot more tension with the fight scenes too because there were more actual injuries, light-saber burns and bloodshed. Great baddy, but I’m surprised Disney let his light-saber go through Han Solo; they didn’t allow it with Agent Calson in Avengers Assemble. That being said, it is amazing how many times Rey manages to outwit Kylo Ren – blocking his mind torture and reversing it, tricking the storm-trooper to let her escape, catching Luke’s flying light-saber instead of Kylo Ren (the-wand-chooses-the-wizard style) and ultimately Rey kicking his arse in their light-saber fight. She was brilliant; Luke was a bit of a wimp whenever he fought Darth Vader! Rey doesn’t hold back! It was just a great film in every aspect but created a lot more questions. Like what was Luke doing on top of the mountain and why did Rey park at the bottom to get to him? Or why is there even a map to Luke in first place and why is it a jigsaw puzzle? Or who is Supreme Leader Snoke? Darth Sidious’ second-cousin? Palpatine’s mentor? Luke? I genuinely thought Snoke was an actual giant – in the entire Star Wars galaxy it could have been possible! And of course that final question, what’s the deal with C3PO’s red arm?

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We already knew that this film was going to be the first of the third Star Wars trilogy, but what was a surprise were the additional side film announcements. The first film which is set to release December 16th, 2016 (almost an exact year after the Force Awakens) is called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and is about Rebel fighters carrying out a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star before it can be used to enforce the Emperor’s rule. It hasn’t been established when in the Star Wars timeline this is exactly set, but it sounds exciting anyway! The other side film is untitled but is supposed to be based around Han Solo, so it is confirmed we will be seeing Han Solo again, but the down side is in this film a different actor will act him out; I’m willing to give him a chance though to see what he’s like in comparison to Harrison Ford’s Han Solo.

I thought this film was absolutely brilliant especially in IMAX. JJ Abrams did a terrific job with the story and cinematography, and utilised what was great about the original trilogy into something modern. It is definitely so much better than any of the prequel trilogy films, but I’m still deciding where it ranks with the original trilogy though. It is so brilliant that I went to see it again with my family on the 21st, and am seriously contemplating seeing it again! It was a great film to end the year; 2015 has been a great year for movies! There are some films I’m looking forward to in 2016, but not as many as there were in 2015. I will be compiling a review of my 2015 movie reviews soon, so keep an eye out, but until my next review, may the force be with you!

 

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS –10/10

GLASGOW SCIENCE CENTRE IMAX – 8/10

 

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