Joel’s review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

30 years after the defeat of Darth Vader and the Empire, Rey, a scavenger from the planet Jakku, finds a BB-8 droid that knows the whereabouts of the long lost Luke Skywalker. Rey, as well as a rogue stormtrooper and two smugglers, are thrown into the middle of a battle between the resistance and the daunting legions of the First Order.


Since as long as I could remember, fans like myself have been asking, wondering, if George Lucas would ever produce Episodes 7-9. The first real taste of stories to take place after Return of the Jedi was the Timothy Zahn Heir to the Empire book trilogy. Soon after, we had a whole slew of books by various authors, the Dark Horse comics, and video games.

After the news of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Episode VII) was announced, I think many fans (such as myself) were guardedly anxious. Yes, J.J. Abrams could do well with Star Wars. We would finally see what happened after Endor, but visually. This could be fantastic. However, we’ve been burned before. You know I’m talking about George Lucas and his Prequel Trilogy. No, I’m not against prequels. His writing is terrible. And while I like J.J. Abrams  overall, Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) was terrible. Hollywood could very well screw this up royally.

After watching the film twice now, acknowledging some plot holes and retreading some A New Hope plot lines, bring us back to DEFCON 5. It’s a great film. The film has a great cast, especially with standout Daisy Ridley as Rey. Lots of entertaining action, good heartfelt moments, good writing, and the original characters are seen and treated well. And no long expositions about galactic politics. Thank the Maker.

There is a fine line between paying homage to a prior story, and blatantly ripping it off. I felt that Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) was a waste of a film, as it ripped off elements of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan without reasonable payback. It was homage in a sense, but it felt lazy. There are similar plot lines and themes from A New Hope in this film, but I felt it was on the right side of it. Personally, it was just enough to harken back, but not unreasonably.

  • The biggest potential offender is the Starkiller Base you may have heard about. It’s basically another Death Star. Is it awfully similar to the prior films? Not really. The Knights of the Old Republic videogame? Large space station to destroy. Suncrusher from the Expanded Universe books? Yeah, monstrously huge ship that could wipe out entire solar systems. It’s a common theme that reoccurs within this particular galaxy.
  • Young nobody destined to be somebody? Hey, honestly, not a big deal. Common element of “The Hero’s Journey” trope. Desert planet origin yes, but eh. It’s not a big deal.

There are a few more homage elements, but all in all, it’s a good film.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)


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