A Franchise Awakens in Star Wars

A Franchise Awakens in Star Wars

James Mason, Movie Critic

New Star Wars good.

That’s about as spoiler free as I can get. Fans have been waiting 10 years for this movie (35 if you don’t count the prequels, which most people don’t), and they’ve become super sensitive about what they don’t want to know. So there, that’s the best I can do. You can stop reading here.

For everyone else, it is a good movie. This is the Star Wars movie we should’ve gotten in 1999, not The Phantom Menace. It does a lot of things right, but the most important is that it feels like a Star Wars movie. It feels like an extension of the original trilogy, like a piece that’s been missing for the last 35 years. As a fan, what more could you ask for?

Oh yeah, the original cast. They’re all here too. Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are all back, with Ford getting a lot of screentime (and that’s OK). Even Anthony Daniels and Peter Mayhew, who played C-3PO and Chewbacca respectively, return.

There’s also a handful of new faces they mix in, too, which fits in with George Lucas’s decision to cast unknowns in the original. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are two fresh faces making their film debuts here, and fit in well. Adam Driver (Girls), whose career is quickly growing, makes for a good villain. And Oscar Isaac (ExMachina), who I can watch in anything and is easily one of my favorite contemporary actors, is awesome as Poe Dameron. Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o, and Andy Serkis all round out the rest of the cast.

The movie has a plot, too, but I don’t feel like digging into it. These movies were never really about plot; they were about characters and action. There are a lot of great characters and a lot of great action. Director, Co-Writer, Co-Producer J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias, Star Trek) balances them both perfectly. Here is a man who clearly grew up watching the movies and loves them as much as the fan base. Giving him the reins to the throne was a good move. He gives this franchise the treatment it deserves.

An old rumor says the less involvement Star Wars Creator George Lucas has in the movies, the better. I always tried to give him the benefit of a doubt, but this kind of proves that theory. He only served as a consultant on the story. And this is easily the best Star Wars since The Empire Strikes Back, which also had little involvement from him –which more or less proves the rumor true.

Fan or not, The Force Awakens has a whole lot to like. It’s about as perfect as a Star Wars movie can be.

 

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