Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Star Wars the Force Awakens :
Does it Live up to the Hype? (Spoiler Free)

Chris Pappas

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The wait is over. The movie event of the year has finally arrived, bringing back to life one of the most fanatical franchises in movie history. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” leaves fans with one question – is it better to go against expectations or to meet them?
“The Force Awakens” embraces what made us love the original “Star Wars” of 1977. Actually, it's essentially the same thing, and isn’t that we we all wanted?
“The Force Awakens” takes place three decades after “Star Wars: A New Hope,” leaving our heroes – Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford),  and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) – a little bit older. Newbies are also introduced, such as Rey (Daisy Ridley), a desert scavenger abandoned by her family on Jakku; Finn, a former First Order stormtrooper; and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), a pilot working for the Resistance.
J.J. Abrams has successfully gone away from the formula of the dull Star Wars prequels and brought the spirit of the original films back to life. It certainly helps that many of the original actors (including R2D2 and C3PO) have returned. The overall vibe of “Star Wars” felt recaptured, bringing back more energy, organic humor, and grounded action sequences, all while introducing fantastic new characters. These strong new characters seem perfectly capable of carrying this film and the entire upcoming trilogy.
It also presents a great new villain, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Much like Vader, Kylo Ren is one of the leaders of a dark new army, the First Order, which is out to conquer the entire galaxy. Kylo Ren takes great inspiration from Darth Vader, worshipping his mask and wearing a similar one. Ren is the evil intimidating villain everyone wants from “Star Wars,” while at the same time possessing a sort of motivation for his actions. The greatest movie villains are ones that you can actually sympathize with, and Kylo Ren is one of those villains. The writing for Kylo Ren is incredible, and Adam Driver delivers.
    Abrams keep the film moving at a brisk pace, leaving its 135 minute length feeling like the blink of an eye. Visually, “The Force Awakens” is impressive, and Abrams does a splendid job of using practical effects rather than overusing CGI.    Abrams earns the affection we felt for R2-D2 again, with the surprisingly emotional BB-8 droid.
    John Williams’ invigorating score is filled to the brim with captivating fresh themes and melodies. What would a Star Wars movie be without John Williams anyway?
  Overall, “Force” faced the exciting yet incredibly difficult task of both bringing back the magic of the original films, introducing fresh characters to the franchise, and taking this characters on an intriguing new adventure. Abrams accomplishes all of the above.