JJ Abrams Awakens The Force In A New Generation

Chad Holiday

The STAR WARS franchise began way back in 1977 and captivated the world with its space battles, amazing characters and innovative technology. Creator George Lucas was able to bring a galaxy far, far away to theatres in never before seen ways.

It was a massive hit and over the next few years, audiences loved more and more of the war between the Empire and the Rebels. Names like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Darth Vader were ingrained into pop culture for decades to come. Almost twenty years after the original trilogy ended in 1980 with Return Of The Jedi, a prequel trilogy began in 1999 with The Phantom Menace. The prequel trilogy was met with criticism over its less interesting characters, weaker plot and overall inconsistencies with the previous movies. STAR WARS fans had to deal with what they had and turn attention towards the many other avenues of STAR WARS media. TV Shows, games and books had to tide fans over until a new movie was announced.

 

In 2015 it finally happened. STAR WARS Episode VII: The Force Awakens was released and it was done by a different director, the one and only JJ Abrams. Abrams had successfully done many science fiction films, including Star Trek, so he had quite a good reputation in the sci-fi community. The hype ensued and fans eagerly awaited the continuation of their favorite move saga.

 

The Force Awakens presents itself as more of the same, albeit in a good way. This is without a doubt another STAR WARS movie and it inserts itself perfectly into the timeline. It starts off presenting numerous questions surrounding the new characters as well as the 30 year gap since the last movie. Viewers are presented with a stormtrooper named FN-2187 who goes by Finn, who decides that life under The First Order isn’t what he wants and joins the Resistance. He soon allies with Poe Dameron, the greatest pilot in the galaxy and Rey, a mysterious scavenger from Jakku. Together along with BB-8 they embark on a journey to piece together the rest of the map to find Luke Skywalker. Naturally Kylo Ren and the First Order want to find it first and conflict ensues. The Force Awakens is a STAR WARS movie, although i9t is handled differently. You can tell from the get-go that Abrams has a very different style than Lucas or any other director of a STAR WARS film. The way scenes are shot, to the cinematography to the overall look and feel of the movie screams “this is not George Lucas”, and that’s a good thing. Abrams has the task of re-sparking a love of an entire franchise in just a few hours, and it is evident from how fast the movie moves. Characters are introduced and given a little backstory, then they go on with their adventure and most fans want more answers.

By the end of the movie we still don’t know who Rey’s parents are, or how exactly she ended up on Jakku. This may be a disappointment to some, but I believe its Abrams being Abrams. He presents viewers with many questions and doesn’t answer them entirely. Some say this pure bait for the next film, while I call it good directing-sometimes we need a mystery.

 

Without spoilers, I can definitely say that The Force Awakens is a worthy entry in the STAR WARS saga and perfectly sets up the sequel trilogy. I give 8 out of 10 Soaring Eagles.