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I'm not a film critic, but I'll tell you what I think about the movies I watch. I enjoy understanding the history behind the movies we watch, as well as the collaborative effort necessary to produce movies.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens


Star Wars The Force Awakens 9Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Directed by J.J. Abrams

Based on characters created by George Lucas

Written by Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt

Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher

With the Empire defeated the First Order is now attempting to fill the void. With the First Order’s show of force, an unlikely group of rebels is forced into action to save the galaxy. They’re joined by the Resistance, a heroic organization seeking peace.

Star Wars The Force Awakens 2The world of this film was created when George Lucas (Raiders of the Lost Ark) brought his vision to life in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. For the seventh installment of this series, the details came from the writing team of Lawrence Kasdan (The Big Chill), J.J. Abrams (Super 8), and Michael Arndt (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). Abrams also took on the tough task of directing this film.

Star Wars The Force Awakens 4Bridging the gap between the original three films and this new installment is a great cast of new and returning actors. Harrison Ford (Witness), Mark Hamill (Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back), and Carrie Fisher (Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi) all reprise their roles in this one. Daisy Ridley (Scrawl), John Boyega (Imperial Dreams), Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina), and Adam Driver (Inside Llewyn Davis) all come into the series with new characters.

Star Wars The Force Awakens 5It’s fair to say that creating another film in the Star Wars world is risky. The criticism that Episodes I, II, and III received has reverberated throughout the fans of the series for more than 15 years. (Let’s leave it at that. I know that there are many fans of those films.) So, moving forward to this film, the challenge to make the story great was at the forefront of the news.

Star Wars The Force Awakens 8That’s where Star Wars veteran Lawrence Kasdan came in. Together with J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt, Kasdan helped to bridge the gap from 1983’s Return of the Jedi to now. The result is a story that does some wonderful things. The world of the movie feels perfectly connected to the world of Episodes IV, V, and VI. In addition, the new characters and the old ones all seem to blend in together wonderfully. This isn’t a complicated story, but it opens the door for the future films to go in a number of great directions. I really loved it.

Star Wars The Force Awakens 6The acting in this one is solid from every one of the stars. Seeing Hamill, Ford, and Fisher back in such classic roles is a treat. Every one of them makes the most of their time on screen. The new faces also do great work. Daisy Ridley really brings a nice strong female character to life in this one. She’s able to connect with the material and really bring out something special. John Boyega also does some nice work in his role in the film. Like Ridley, Boyega seems to connect with the material in all the right ways. Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver also add some great moments to this one. Overall, this cast really did all the right things with to keep the world of the film true to the original three.

Star Wars The Force Awakens 7This movie looks spectacular. The combination of practical effects and CGI come together perfectly. One of the best aspects of the film is the cinematography by Daniel Mindel (Mission: Impossible III). The camera work frequently pays tribute to the original three films. In addition, it finds some really great ways to capture the action. The costumes, sets, and all of the other visual aspects of this movie come together to make this a wonderful movie to see. Adding to the experience is the wonderful score, written by none other than John Williams (Lincoln). (As though someone else would’ve been offered the job.)

Star Wars The Force Awakens 3This is a wonderful movie that will thrill audiences of the other films in the series. It’s also a great place for new audiences to be introduced to the world of Star Wars. If you’re a fan of the other movies this is a no-brainer. I am glad to see a movie that really connects with the original world that Lucas created with his first three films. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 135 Minutes

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