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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Movie Review

December 18, 2015

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Movie Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 18, 2015
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

Will Star Wars: The Force Awakens thrill and please long-time fans and newbies alike? Has the light-saber truly been passed to a new generation? Check out Kidzworld’s movie review.

By: Lynn Barker

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Luke has disappeared, Leia is a weary Resistance general, Han and Chewie are back in the Falcon and newbies Rey, Finn and Poe are feeling the Force and joining the battle against Kylo Ren, a Vader wanna-be.

Han and Chewie to the rescue!Han and Chewie to the rescue!Courtesy of Disney

(NOTE: This synopsis contains story points but no big spoilers!! If you want to know zero about the film, don’t read it).

Looking for Luke

Around thirty years after the Rebels destroyed the 2nd Death Star weapon (In Return of the Jedi), Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi, (Mark Hamill) has disappeared. Now the Empire has morphed Into The First Order and the Rebel Alliance has become the Resistance headed by Luke’s sister Leia (Carrie Fisher) now seasoned General Organa. She has been searching the galaxy for her bro Luke without success.

Han and Leia are reunited but worriedHan and Leia are reunited but worriedCourtesy of Disney

On Jakku

Resistance ace pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is sent by Leia to the desert planet Jakku to obtain a map of Luke's location. Stormtroopers under the command of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) land and ruthlessly destroy a village and everybody in it. They capture Poe but his droid BB8 escapes with the map hidden in his memory. Wandering, BB crosses paths with Rey (Daisy Ridley) a smart scavenger who was abandoned as a child and who feels sorry for him. Ren tortures Poe with the Dark side of the Force and learns about the map in BB8.

Stormtroopers are ordered to show no mercyStormtroopers are ordered to show no mercyCourtesy of Disney

Droid BB8 contains a map to LukeDroid BB8 contains a map to LukeCourtesy of Disney

Defection

Stormtrooper FN-2187 (they don’t have names) is fed up with the “kill everything that moves” orders and he quits, helping Poe escape. Poe names him Finn (John Boyega) and their stolen TIE fighter crashes back on Jakku. They encounter Rey and BB8 and The First Order starts firing on them. The three escape in the near-junked and abandoned Millennium Falcon and flee the planet.

The Millennium Falcon vs. TIE fightersThe Millennium Falcon vs. TIE fightersCourtesy of Disney

Bring on Han and Chewie

The Falcon breaks down, leaving them stranded but here come Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) who’ve been searching for their ship. Han tells them the story of Luke’s efforts to rebuild the Jedi but he gave up and disappeared after losing a particular student to the Dark Side.  After being attacked by two groups of pirates who rat out their location to The First Order, the group escapes.

Finn and Poe prepare for battleFinn and Poe prepare for battleCourtesy of Disney

Starkiller Base

At Starkiller Base, a planet converted into a superweapon capable of destroying entire star systems, Ren is told by Supreme Leader Snoke that he knows what he has to do to stop being drawn to the Light side of the Force.  Han takes the new Falcon crew to planet Takodana to get help to get BB8 to the Resistance before the bad guys get the map to find Luke. Maz Kanata (voice of Lupita Nyong’o), a wise old bar owner, will help.

Kylo Ren pulls his three-pronged light saberKylo Ren pulls his three-pronged light saberCourtesy of Disney

The Vision

Finn decides he has lied to Rey about being a Resistance fighter and should go out on his own. Rey seems drawn to an old vault, opens a box and finds Luke’s old light saber that also belonged to his dad Anakin Skywalker (later Darth Vader) . She gets a weird vision of her childhood that creeps her out. She runs away in horror.

Rey and Finn search for an escape shipRey and Finn search for an escape shipCourtesy of Disney

Another Battle and Enter Leia

The Starkiller device destroys the entire star system that houses the Old Republic Senate. The First Order and Ren arrive on Takodana and Han, Chewbacca, and Finn, who ends up with Anakin's lightsaber, are saved by a squadron of Resistance X-wing fighters led by Poe, but Rey is captured by Ren. Rey discovers that she can use The Force and resists Ren and escapes her cell with a Jedi mind trick. Han, Chewbacca, Finn, and BB-8 arrive at a Resistance base on D'Qar and are reunited with Leia and the droid R2-D2, who has been sitting dormant since Luke's disappearance.

R2D2 and C3PO are back!R2D2 and C3PO are back!Courtesy of Disney

The Plan

Knowing their Rebel base is next for destruction, the Resistance plans to lower the shields on the Starkiller so fighters can disable it. Han, Chewie and Finn get to the Starkiller and find the escaped Rey. Together, can they disable the giant weapon? Can they kill Ren? Can anybody find Luke and what strange personal discoveries are ahead?

Rey rescues a trapped BB8Rey rescues a trapped BB8Courtesy of Disney

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

 

Wrapping Up

As a long-time fan of the original Star Wars trilogy, I review as a seasoned fan but will also try to put on my “newbie” hat for those of you seeing the film as a stand-alone movie.

TIE fighters fly into the sunsetTIE fighters fly into the sunsetCourtesy of Disney

Star Wars The Force Awakens is an exciting, action-packed yet emotional and personal film as old, well-loved characters interact once again and some promising new characters are added. Harrison Ford steps right back into Han’s boots with ease, Carrie Fisher is still the feisty, strong princess Leia but with some personal burdens to carry. Yes, Mark Hamill as Luke is in the movie but has also been changed by the 30 years since we last saw him. Chewie is..well Chewie; funny, huggable and still loyal to Han.

General Leia fears for the RebelsGeneral Leia fears for the RebelsCourtesy of Disney

Newbies Finn, Ren, Rey and Poe are all interesting and really well-played by John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and Jason Isaacs. CGI character Maz is really well made and believable. The film succeeds in passing the Star Wars baton on to this new generation. Daisy does a great job as Rey, a bright, capable young woman with a shadowy past who slowly discovers that she is strong with The Force. I’m happy to see that her girl-power, kick butt capabilities are really emphasized in the film.

Defecting Finn will help Poe escapeDefecting Finn will help Poe escapeCourtesy of Disney

The basic story, however, is pretty much the same as the first film that introduced us to Luke Skywalker. Check it out:  Secret plans/maps hidden in a droid have to get to the good guys, a wise and strange old alien guides and counsels the good guys (Yoda and now Maz), there is a fun Cantina/bar loaded with weird aliens, there is a powerful super weapon to destroy that can wipe out planets or, in this case, entire star systems, there is a young, naïve good guy (in this case gal) who doesn’t realize he/she is “strong with The Force”, etc. etc.  I wish the basic story could have been more original BUT, there are complicated family issues and some emotional upheaval waiting for fans of the original films that will both surprise and maybe even upset you!

Rey tries to understand The ForceRey tries to understand The ForceCourtesy of Disney

Will you enjoy the movie? Definitely. Is it a good set-up for the Star Wars films scheduled to follow? Yes. Will you be okay with some of the revelations and big emotional reveals? As a long-time fan, I’m still dealing with it.  We go four stars.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Movie Rating:4

Star Wars: The Force Awakens PosterStar Wars: The Force Awakens PosterCourtesy of Disney

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in theaters now!

Have Your Say

Have you seen all the old Star Wars movies? Are you a fan, a newbie to the Star Wars universe who can’t wait to see more or you couldn’t care less? Leave a comment!