I know I’m a little late to this party, but “Star Wars: the Force Awakens” is an awesome movie. I have held off going on a public rant about the significance the film holds, not just for the storied franchise, but for the film industry in general, until my feelings have been digested enough to not come out in all caps and single run on sentence. Now is that time. Better yet, these are my “first steps” (you’ll get that if you’ve seen the movie and compulsively read the literature surrounding the movie).
First off, I’m so happy that new director J.J. Abrams didn’t overuse CGI. In an era when other successful franchises (“Avengers,” and the new DC franchise directed by Zac Snyder) have gone full throttle in the CGI department, Abrams has the good sense to return to basic special effects, in some cases even reverting to the styles used in the filming of the original “Star Wars” trilogy.
The new characters are also immediately likable and notably diverse relative to most of the films put out by Hollywood since… well, ever. Finn (John Boyega), Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) represent a new era of heroes in the galaxy far, far away and they are nothing if not interesting. Finn is a conflicted stormtrooper on the run, Rey is a force sensitive scrapper abandoned on a desert planet (excellent allusion to “A New Hope”) and Poe is “one hell of a pilot.” In a way, each character seems representative of some larger body. As I see it, Finn is the new generation of Star Wars fans, Rey is the older generation and Poe is who Abrams thinks he would be if he lived in the “Star Wars” universe.
The movie manages to be original enough while giving credence to the original trilogy to satisfy both old and new fans. It has a love story that isn’t archetypal (there’s no kiss in the movie, imagine that!) and it has the Force and bitchin’ lightsaber duel. My only complaint is the color palette, which seems oversaturated, however, other than that I loved it. That is, I loved it enough to see it, wait a week, buy a ticket for “Hateful Eight” and walk back into the “Star Wars” theater at the last minute. It’s that good.
— Will McQuilkin, A&E Editor