It’s the most hotly anticipated movie this year, heck it just might be the most eagerly awaited film of this century. That hasn’t stopped those at Disney from creating a hype train for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Lucasfilm, Buena Vista Rated PG-13 Running Time: Two Hours 15 Minutes) that conceivably has never been matched. In the end does the movie itself live up to those lofty goals? Or does it fall victim to tremendous pressure from Disney to produce a quality film that will keep audiences coming back for more? Without yielding major spoilers (only ones alluded to in the trailers), the plan set forth for this film in many ways sets the tone for the Star Wars universe for years to come.
While technically considered a sequel in the series, the movie itself feels more like a reboot of the franchise that seemingly ignites the passions for younger Star Wars audiences while embracing older ones with a heavy dose of callbacks and nostalgia. Director J.J. Abrams, who’s previous efforts include the rebirth of the Star Trek movie franchise in 2009 strikes it hot again with a movie told a breathtaking pace, seemingly with every intent of washing away any ill will movie goers have for the series after the much-maligned prequels generated it’s fair share of negativity and apathy.
The movie itself centers around Rey, whose scavenger life is taken in a completely new direction when she meets up with Finn, a defector from the evil First Order and BB-8, a droid clearly patterning itself from R2-D2’s legacy. Their journey takes them on a roller coaster ride through the galaxy to escape the clutches of the evil Kylo Ren, but none is this is possible without some of our old friends meeting up along the way to provide a helping hand. Han Solo, Chewbacca and Princess Leia are just some of the familiar faces met along the way that provide key assistance to not only Rey and Finn but in some cases to the movie’s overall level of success in translating its ideals to audiences.
While many will nit pick at the film’s frenetic pace, the reliance (to some too much so) on deriving its plot from well known territory that comes off as predictable to seasoned Star Wars fans and the sacrifice some characters have to make when it comes to their on screen development, the movie has one thing going for it that speaks volumes above all other factors. This film at its core is a truly enjoyable trip with banter and good will spread out among the cast that makes this film a can’t miss for even those who do not have an affinity for the Star Wars saga.The idea of going to the movies with your family and friends for a fun time in a Galaxy Far, Far Away seems like a novel concept that has been lost on some movie goers for quite some time. But escaping into a world filled with laughs, thrills and chills makes for an incredible film experience…and that’s what going to the movies should be all about.