Movie 411: Star Wars VII – The Force Awakens

Director: J. J. Abrams
Screenplay: Lawrence Kasen, J. J. Abrams, Michael Arndt
Rated: PG-13
Released: December 18, 2016
The Hook: It’s Star Wars!

All right. I’m not going to lie. I was late to this fandom, not joining these forces until 1999 with the release of Episode One.

Shut up!

I know?! But in my younger days, I was a different kind of geek. The nose-in-the-book-absolutely-loving-school kind of geek. I love movies and watched a few of them, but I was limited in what to watch. Movies were kind of expensive for a teenage girl so it was cable TV most of the time and well, the whole nose-in-the-book kind of thing, remember?

So, I repeat. Late to this fandom.

But I’ve love this universe, now that I’m a part of it. Which brings me to … mixed feelings.

It’s taken me this long to actually get my mind wrapped around this movie. Well, truthfully, I got it around a week ago, but it took me another week to find the courage to write this review.

But why?!

Well, it’s Star Wars. And Star Wars has a huge following and die-hard fans and … it’s Star Wars!

Let’s start with a recap.

Recap: In this one we’re introduce to a new generation of cast members and we get to see some of our favorites. The movie opens with Rey, a scavenger, who was left behind by what I’m assuming was family. She meets up with a droid who has lost his master because he’s protecting something for his master and to do so he had to run away while his master got captured. At this point, we really don’t know if anyone of these characters are linked the first generation of Star Wars. We know a rebellion is happening and that there is a new baddie in the house by the name of Kylo Ren.

Rey and the droid are being hunted, since the droid is carrying top secret info, and meet up with a defective bounty hunter who has met the droid’s master. And the story sort of gets moving from there. We see Leia and Hans Solo and Chewbacca.

And that’s basically summing things up without letting the spoilers run loose, even though I personally don’t mind them.

And if that sounds kind of boring …, well. I’m sorry! I don’t know how to spruce it up. And it may seem oversimplified, and you’d be partially right about that, but I seriously got nothing in terms of a recap.

So, the breakdown.

The story line, I appreciate. If you’re entering this fandom at this point of Star Wars history, it works. There’s a little bit of action and a little bit of backstory. Enough to give it some structure. There is also some stuff that may go over your head because there are a lot of references to the first two generations of Star Wars history. It may be because I’m new to this fandom, well almost new, but some references did go over my head or I didn’t catch until a few moments later. Again, the plot? I appreciate. It has a beginning, middle, and an end. It was pretty straight forward actually. No real drama to spice things up. It almost mirrored the very first movie, Star Wars IV.

Acting? I liked. You can tell their sort of new, except for the big names, but it wasn’t so bad where you couldn’t get past it. I can tell they’ll grow in time, depending on how the story is written. I like that they’re mostly new faces, the newer generation. I like that it’s a fresh start to a new story, so to speak.

The cinematography. Also appreciated. There was enough “real” action to balance out all the CG you know is happening. Camera angles worked, but again, pretty straight forward, even in the camera realm.



I feel like there’s a “so?” or a “but?”

Yeah, there’s a but.

As much as I generally liked all of the above, I can’t help but feel like it was missing something. They did all the right moves, but it really feels like something just wasn’t right. Maybe it was all the media hype? Maybe it’s been so long between the second generation? So many maybes and I don’t think I’ll ever receive an answer. And that’s okay.

As much as I feel that this story lacked something, I can’t help but think it’ll only get better from here. Not that the franchise is on rock bottom, just that they need to reestablish a connection. Maybe that’s it? There’s a connection error, so to speak, between movie and audience? Ah, whatever it is, I know it’s the start of something and not the be all.

I’d say this is a DVD worthy purchase, especially if you have the rest of the collection. Aside from owning some of the other movies, I’d say that I’d wait for the price to drop before adding it to my library.


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