Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a great film but it is a better piece of Star Wars canon. That distinction is important.
I won’t spoil any details of the filmâ€™s narrative, as even though there are more explosions in Episode VII than Episodes I-VI combined the story is still the most compelling thing about it. What I can say is that it is a mix of familiar circumstances occurring within an unfamiliar context with a great cliffhanger ending that paves the way for an exciting future of the galaxy and the franchise. Â
But before we can get to the future we the audience needs to be reassured that the filmmakers haven’t forgotten where we were before. Being reintroduced to Han Solo, Chewbacca, Leia and Luke and seeing the slight alterations on scene constructions from the previous films that I felt were put in just for me alone was fulfilling on so many levels.
Fans like me, and the world at large pinned their hopes on this film vindicating their love of the franchise despite the foul aura that the prequels left on it. I just wish that so much of the film wasn’t spent reminding us how much respect JJ Abrams has for the original trilogy as that nostalgia overload distracts from the best thing about The Force Awakens movie, the forging of a new path for the series that I can’t wait to be lead down. Â
Leading the charge against the reinvigorated Empire, which is now known as the First Order are Rey, Finn and Poe. They are all perfectly suited to carry on the lightsabers and blasters for Luke, Leia and Han even when the roles they are filling are of a different race or gender. A special nod has to be given to Adam Driverâ€™s portrayal of Kylo Ren, a villain that is as evil as he is tragic.
The Force Awakens is visually resplendent with both practical and computer generated special effects. And like everything else, the artistic design leans heavily into evoking the original trilogy while slightly updating it just enough to connote the fact that three decades have passed since we saw this technology in use.