Saturday, 16 January 2016

Film Review: Star Wars - The Force Awakens

I know, I'm delaying my Hobbit film review post again. But I'm already late to the party with reviewing this film and I didn't want to interrupt The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug once it got started.

My little local cinema outdid themselves at the end of last year, when they were able to arrange a midnight showing of the latest Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. I didn't go to it, but I was very keen to see the film. I was half hoping that we might manage a trip to the mainland to see it in a big cinema at some point over the holidays, but the weather was so bad we spent the whole time on the island.

We got down to the final three days of it at the cinema and Mr Click scored us some tickets. I'm actually kind of glad we didn't see it until towards the end of the run because it meant that we weren't seeing it in a packed out cinema. Plus I've diligently avoided spoilers and all my colleagues and friends have been very careful about not revealing spoilers to me (which I'm thrilled about).

That said, if you don't want to be spoiled. Don't read this post. There will be spoilers abounding in the next few paragraphs.

I'm warning you. Seriously, don't read on if you don't want to know what happens in this film.

Okay, read on, but don't say I didn't warn you.

This 'Episode' of the Star Wars saga is set roughly thirty years after the events of Return of the Jedi and things are not going so well in the galaxy far far away. A rather Nazi-ish group, known as the First Order, is trying to take over where Darth Vader left off, meanwhile the Resistance (a new and improved Rebel Alliance) is doing their best to bring them down. An X-wing pilot, Poe, hides an important document in a droid (the adorable BB-8), which then falls in with Rey and Finn (a scavenger and a Storm Trooper deserter, respectively) who must use this information to help the Resistance and bring down the First Order's latest weapon.

It all feels a little bit A New Hope.

And in a way it kind of is. There's an awful lot here which took me right back to A New Hope, to the degree that I came out of the cinema and pronounced it Star Wars: A New New Hope.

But I loved every minute of it.

Seriously, right from the moment that familiar music started, and the text began to scroll. I was in my element. I was almost expecting to be disappointed by the film, because so many people had told me how good it was, that I couldn't really believe that it was going to be that good. Sure, there are bits I could pick fault with, but on the whole, it was a really good story and I like how it's set things up for future films.

I should probably begin with the cast, but I honestly can't start with any of the human characters. They are all upstaged by the cute little droid, BB-8. Move over R2 and Wall-E, I've got a new favourite robot! It's amazing that a large ball with a head on top can have so much character, but he really does. I especially love the way that he hides behind people's legs and then peers out. He looks really scared and you feel for him. I really want an actual BB-8 of my own.

Also, Han Solo, Leia, Chewbaca, R2-D2, C3P0 and Luke! Everyone's there. It's so much fun watching them all appear on the screen and then wondering if any of the others will. And then they do! I'm so glad they did it like that.

I know that some people online have complained about scavenger, Rey's Mary-Sue-ish qualities and I can sort of see where they're coming from. She impressed Han Solo, for crying out loud! She's never had any training in the Force but just picks it up without any trouble and she can get the Millennium Falcon flying without too much trouble. But all the same, she's all kinds of awesome. I love that she's a female character who just doesn't really need rescuing; she ends up in difficult situations or in trouble and then just does what she can to get out of it. I hope that's a trend that continues in the future films.

I also like the character of Finn. Considering he's basically a clone, there's something very human about him. He found himself in a horrible situation and did what he needed to in order to escape, he's a little like Rey in that respect. At the same time, he's ashamed of where he came from and doesn't want anyone to know, so he's prepared to make up things which could potentially get him into trouble. He doesn't want to be a hero, he doesn't want to save the world, he just wants to get somewhere safe without anyone trying to kill him. He's very much a reluctant hero and it's that ambiguity in the character which I really enjoy.

The biggest moment for me in the film was when they killed Han Solo! I'm so glad that I wasn't spoiled for that, it was such a shock that it took everything in me not to yell out 'NO!' in the middle of the cinema. It certainly had the effect it was supposed to.

As for the rest of the film, I'm not sure I was prepared for it to be as funny as it was. I can't wait to see it again because there are some truly hilarious moments. One of my favourite bits was when Rey was trying to fix the Millennium Falcon and is getting Finn to hand her the tools she needs. She keeps pointing to the one she wants while he holds up completely wrong tools, she gets really annoyed with him and is all 'No! The one I'm pointing to!"'

I'm torn between reading online spoilers and speculation about the next films and avoiding it so it's all a big surprise to me when it comes. I'm fairly certain that Rey has got to be some relation to Luke or Leia. I just can't wait to see it again.


  1. I've only seen the very first movie. I haven't seen any of the others because I've never been a star wars fan but I've enjoyed all the different reviews of the film. I feel like I've watched it now.

    1. I feel that way about some other shows and films. Without a question, this is up there with the original trilogy.

  2. I'm so pleased you went to see it. I loved it too and obviously being of the age where I can say I went to see the first ever Star Wars at the cinema when I was a little girl (and boy was that an experience) and it brought back those type of memories for me shows how special I think this one was. Certainly this will be the film to hook the next generation of Star Wars fans! I'm sorry but R2-D2 will ALWAYS be the robot for me but I think you'd look cute with your own BB-8 :) Ooo - maybe you could knit one?

    1. I'm practically counting down the days until I can see it again. Once just isn't enough, hehe.

      I'd not thought about knitting a BB-8, but now you mention it, I'm sure it could be done...


Let me know what you think. :-)