Friday, December 25, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Movie Name: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Year of Release: 2015
Director: J.J. Abrams
Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Domhnall Gleeson, Max Von Sydow, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong'o, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Pip Torrens, Greg Grunberg, Ken Leung, 
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Adventure
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Synopsis & Review:
After the divisive reception of "Star Trek Into Darkness", director J.J. Abrams was chosen to bring to life another iconic series, George Lucas' "Star Wars". The film follows the events of Richard Marquand's "Return of the Jedi": since the victory of the rebels over the empire, and the death of both the emperor and Darth Vader, Leia has become a General with the rebels, Han Solo has resumed his smuggling ways and Luke Skywalker has disappeared. There's a new face of evil, that comes under the title of First Order, who is shepherded by both Kylo Ren, a new follower of the dark powers of the force and General Hux. Into this mix comes three unexpected players: Rey, a young scavenger, Finn a storm trooper who becomes aware of the machinations of the evil empire and decides to quit, and Poe Dameron, a fantastic rebel pilot. Rey in particular ends up holding a crucial importance that ties to the evolution of what the story and these key players have been about. They all have to thwart the plans of the First Order to use their ultimate weapon of destruction, capable of destroying star systems.
At this point "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is part of a cinematic empire that is engraved in the memories of cinephiles all over the world. The films simply reach a massive amount of audience and expectation, since they deal with characters that have become classic and familiar since they first showed up in 1977. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is in a way, a restart of the original trilogy and features a more interesting plot than the one that George Lucas came up with in his three prequels which premiered between 1999 and 2005 (and were met with derision and heavy criticism). J.J. Abrams who has been working steadily and heavily in television, knows how to mix the classic references of the original trilogy, with the sophistication of the audience's new tastes (and also technology awareness). The film successfully mixes the analogical visual and style present in the first trilogy, with a far more modern and digital approach. This evolution of style and perspective can also be witnessed by the way the screenplay chooses to focus the story on a lead female central character. Where the film falters yet again, is in the edification of a good opposing force, one that has an edge and a sense of true villainy. Adam Driver and his Kylo Ren for instance never gets fully flushed out, and his arc is somewhat diminutive. The film is entertaining, visually stunning, but ultimately falters in being as well developed narratively as the original trilogy. Here's hoping the sequels progress the story in a better direction.