Note: It should go without saying, but the comments of this post will have spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? After more than a decade since the last Star Wars film, and arguably a few decades since the last good one, fans finally have a chance to return to a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Anticipation for the film couldn’t be higher with record-breaking early ticket sales and, despite Disney chief Alan Horn‘s attempt to temper box office expectations, The Force Awakens is all but guaranteed to shatter opening weekend records — a particularly impressive feat in a year that has already seen so many records fall like dominoes in the face of mega blockbusters like Age of Ultron, Furious 7, and current reigning champ Jurassic World. Even so, the safe bet is on The Force Awakens to absolutely dismantle the competition this weekend.
So, is all the hype worth it? Fortunately, yes. Initial reactions were almost unanimously positive, and the critical consensus, if slightly more tempered, is that the film is a worthy entry into the beloved sci-fi franchise (you can read Matt’s review here).
Indeed, J.J. Abrams has created a fast-moving, spirited galactic adventure that honors its roots in the original trilogy — too much at times — but also creates something new through the strength of the film’s new generation of characters. While it’s fun to see the old gang back in action, especially with Harrison Ford having the most fun of his late career, the film’s greatest asset is the talented cast of young actors and their wonderful new characters. Kylo Ren is a standout — a formidable and complicated villain, portrayed with nuanced pathos by Adam Driver. Finn and Poe are likeable, consistently entertaining heroes made lovable by the charms of John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, respectively. Daisy Ridley‘s Rey is an exceptional heroine that is no-nonsense, clever, and always treated with the same respect as her male counterparts. And yeah, BB-8 actually is the cutest droid that ever droid-ed.
The Force Awakens suffers from a little too much reverence for the OT, A New Hope in particular, and occasionally the fan-service winks and nods can be a bit jarring. It also has one noticeably weak and goofy action set-piece in the second act and Abrams is a bit wishy-washy with the rules of the force, making it all seem a little too easy at times. However, even with these small issues — and they are relatively small compared to the film’s greater successes — The Force Awakens delivers a return to Star Wars that is fun, genuinely funny, looks right, and most importantly, feels right.
But that’s more than enough of my yammering! We want to know what you guys thought. Did the film live up to the excitement? Did you tear up on the opening crawl? You did, didn’t you? No judgement. How do you like the new cast of characters, and who was your favorite? Sound off in the comments below after revisiting the film’s very first teaser and first trailer.