Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Movie Review

Star Wars: The Force AwakensStar Wars: The Force Awakens – PG-13
Release Date: Fri 18 Dec 2015

The Force Awakens is a direct sequel to 1983’s Return of the Jedi taking place approximately the same amount of time after the events of that movie as has elapsed in real time. This helps explain the returning cast members age but also places the movie in an interesting time where a generation has grown up in a galaxy without the tyrannical Empire.

Director J.J. Abrams has said his desire to do the story came from the idea of a new generation, removed from the jedi discovering that the force, the jedi and Luke Skywalker aren’t myths. This allows us to meet the new characters, particularly Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) and learn about them as they find themselves suddenly a part of the grand adventure of the Star Wars saga.

The new characters are well crafted and expertly portrayed. For those we see less of, it only leaves us wanting more. So too, the story finds a good balance of being satisfying enough with it’s ending but leaving plenty of unanswered questions that the next chapters will get to explain. Detractors may call it safe, too nostalgic or too reliant on what’s come before. I think it’s a refreshing reminder that movies can still be made that feel more like the original trilogy than the prequels.

I will not spoil the surprises and am happy to report that the trailers are refreshingly spoiler free. If you are wondering about taking children with the PG-13 rating (all previous films apart from Revenge of the Sith were PG), my feeling is that if you’re okay with more blood than you’re used to seeing in Star Wars that it will be okay for kids. It’s not scarier and certainly not rated higher based on language, drug use or sexual scenes. It’s just a bit more graphically violent and realistic in that people bleed when wounded.

It’s a fun movie to see in IMAX 3D as well, but certainly not required. A 2D screening after the first weekend rush will be just as fun, just try to avoid spoilers if you can!

Nick, Aaron, Cal and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car:

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