By Sean Reis
Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you have not yet seen “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” do not read this review.
“There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it?”
I have not only felt it, but since its release, I have seen “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” three times. Yes, it was that awesome! The movie was easily one of the best of the holiday season.
The reason why is simple: Disney Studios and director J.J. Abrams did an absolutely amazing job keeping the new film close to the franchise’s roots. Although the movie was produced with the expensive special effects of today, it still felt like the original trilogy. From the recognizable transitions to the classic characters, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” just felt right.
The original, fan-favorite characters were present throughout the film, but enough time was dedicated to all of the new characters as well. It felt as though Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) were passing the lightsaber to the new characters.
These characters were very well-written and cast, with one small exception — Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. Driver had by far one of the best performances as one of the most well-written characters, but my only small complaint is that he looks nothing like the son of Han and Leia.
Despite the poor casting choice, Driver’s performance as Kylo Ren was as excellent as the writing behind the actual character. The character development for Kylo Ren is as deep as the gashes in his helmet which, like every other part of his character, has a meaning behind it. Driver’s performance was stellar throughout the film, from his childish tantrums to the murder of his father.
Shining light on the good guys, the New Resistance characters — Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), alongside the cute and lovable droid, BB-8 — have a chemistry rarely seen in Hollywood. This is a bold statement, but the last time I saw a cast with this much chemistry was in the “Harry Potter” franchise.
With this cast under Abrams’s wing, I have faith that Disney will not let “Star Wars” die. “Episode VII” was an easy nine out of 10 and I cannot wait for “Episode VIII,” which has unfortunately been pushed back to December 2018. Hopefully “Rogue Squadron” will satisfy my “Star Wars” withdrawal next year.