It’s been 30 years since the Resistance defeated the Empire but there is a new threat to peace in the Galaxy. The New Order has set out to destroy what is left and ensure they control everything. A scavenger called Rey meets a rogue Storm trooper, Finn along with some familiar faces as they battle their way to stop the New Order trying to find Luke Skywalker and destroy the resistance once and for all.
Rey a girl living on her own, who is very agile and can stand up for herself stumbles across a droid known as BB8 which holds some very important information that the New Order are keen to acquire. She soon meets a Storm trooper who decides to leave the New Order and escapes, crash landing on the same planet as Rey. As they battle to leave the planet and fight against the enemy, they commandeer the Millennium Falcon. It appears Rey isn’t just good at fighting but is more than capable at flying too. Cue a gloriously scripted dogfight with some Tie Fighters as they scramble through the debris of the old Empire that crashed in defeat on this barren planet.
As Rey embarks on a journey to find the resistance and return the loveable droid, Finn wants to get as far away from the New Order as possible. However he does agree to assist Rey with the help of BB8 and find the planet along with their new friends Hans Solo and Chewbacca. Old meets new here for the first time which is refreshing to see and it works well. The playful nature of Hans and Chewbacca is still there after all these years and makes for some good light-hearted moments.
They visit an old friend of Hans called Maz Kanata to help them. Little do they know that the New Order has been alerted to their presence and are on their way to capture them. At the same time the resistance are also aware of their location and here is the first major battle scene of the film, and it’s fantastic! As the X-Wings come flying in to battle their counterparts, it’s a moment of joy and any Star Wars fan will be jumping in their seats at the excitement. For any die-hard fan it may just make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. It’s at this point the main enemy character Kylo Ren comes to forefront. Dressed in black he is trying to follow in the footsteps of Darth Vader and finish what his predecessor started. Trained in the arts of the dark side he possesses great strength but he isn’t without his own mental weaknesses.
During the battle Rey is captured by Kylo and it’s up to Finn and the resistance to try and rescue her. They embark on a journey that sees Finn turning back to the very thing he wants to run from. It’s at this moment you see Finn release those fears and show a new strength to get his friend back. The New Order has a highly powerful weapon and Finn provides information on its location and how it can be defeated. A plan is put in motion to destroy the weapon, recover Rey and stop the New Order from fulfilling their plan of destruction. With epic fight scenes of X-Wings and Tie Fighters and ground assault of Storm troopers it’s action packed and leaves you breathless at times with the visual effect of what is happening and what is at stake.
Star Wars – The Force Awakens brings a new life to the series. With loveable characters such as BB8, a small droid but with a big personality it’s a triumph to the Star Wars franchise. Rey and Finn more than hold their own amongst a cast of A-listers, their performances are brilliant. Its director J.J. Abrams knows how to pack as much as possible into 2hrs of a film. Fast paced action, exhilarating fight scenes, light-hearted comedy moments that get everyone laughing while maintaining a purpose to the script. All edited together to make a fantastic film.
There are questions that arise from the film which may not seem obvious as first but on reflection make you think and wonder where the next film is going to lead you. But these are good questions and leaves it open for discussion with other Star Wars fans. The Force Awakens has been highly anticipated since Disney bought the Star Wars franchise from Lucasarts paying over $1billion for them and it doesn’t disappoint.
A must see film!
Reviewed by Jon Elliott