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Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Adam Driver stars in Star Wars: The Force Awakens Lucasfilm

I never include spoilers in my reviews anyway, so the request to not have them in this piece about Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn’t really causing me to alter my approach. The only thing I have to change is the I highlight the summary since that’s a part of what they don’t want spoiled. Then again, even if no one ever says anything about what happens here, the movie is mostly treading over familiar territory as far as Star Wars and science fiction is concerned.

As we all know by now, The Force Awakens is set decades after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Its story primarily follows Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Fin (John Boyega) as they somehow find themselves on a collision course with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and his vicious brood of soldiers known as the First Order, the next version of the Evil Empire who are doing their best to restore themselves to that preeminent position of power they once had.

The Force Awakens is a fine movie overall that fans of the original trilogy will almost certainly fall in love with, but it’s also just a typical sci-fi flick that should have been more than what it actually is. While there isn’t much to hate here, there are some things to complain about as far as predictability, clichéd dialogue and the lack of logic when it comes to the outcomes of certain scenes. While this stuff may not matter to others that much, they matter to me when speaking of the quality of films out there. Even if I simply grade on

When specifically looking at the predictability seen here, not only can you see what’s going to happen, you can also pretty much figure out how the final film in this latest trilogy will conclude very early on. I can’t overlook that when paying attention to the kinds of people involved in getting this thing made. The fact that it’s so obvious without even knowing anything about the next two flicks can’t be seen as a good thing. I know foreshadowing in film has and will always been around, but this is a bit much for a project that isn’t based on something like a book or some kind of true story.

After I watched it, there was a part of me that was kind of disappointed at first, but thinking about it more allowed me to see that I may have been wrong for expecting more than the usual in any of what Star Wars: The Force Awakens is offering up. Looking over the brief career of J.J. Abrams, it’s quite obvious that this is who he is as a director. In many ways he’s actually similar to Zack Snyder in that case.

Like Snyder, Abrams doesn’t appear to have the ability (or maybe the desire) to create anything original as he looks to be completely comfortable with simply replicating the movies I imagined he grew up watching as a kid. The only real difference between these two directors is that J.J. Abrams has actually proven to be capable of making good movies. Other than that, their career arcs so far follow a similar path of duplicating rather than creating.

If you’re hoping for something somewhat new, fresh or original, you will not experience that in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you’re the type that’s into the conventional movies of this genre, you can definitely spend your time in worse ways since it’s not a film where you will likely have a reaction that’s mostly negative. People such as myself would appreciate something with a bit more thought, but that doesn’t mean there’s no value here when viewing the picture strictly as a feature that services its fans.

In the end, the hype surrounding the spoilers isn’t really necessary. There’s also no need for me or anyone else to use spoilers anyway because the movie spoils itself and the forthcoming sequels all on its own. It accomplishes this simply by choosing not to be its own entity in any capacity and relying on the many films of the genre that have come before it. Since the movie is decent, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but something as important as this is supposed to be in terms of film should strive to be a step above the rest rather than just fitting in.

Rating: PG-13

Director: J.J. Abrams

Harrison Ford
Mark Hamill
Carrie Fisher
Adam Driver
Daisy Ridley
John Boyega
Oscar Isaac
Lupita Nyong’o
Andy Serkis
Domhnall Gleeson

Release Date: December 18, 2015

Film Length: 135 minutes

Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

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