Film Review – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015): Jordan’s Take

Star Wars the Force Awakens BB-8 Rey

BB-8 is rescued, and instigates a grand adventure in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Directed by J. J. Abrams

Starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver

Review by Jordan

For Eddie’s take on The Force Awakens click here

It’s ironic that the unparalleled success of the Star Wars saga lies in both the detailed creation and merciless destruction of vast planets.

There is a lyrical majesty in the way the worlds are portrayed: wholly lived in and supporting all manner of creatures, some with purpose and some without. Insectoid aliens mingle with grubby scavengers and bounty hunters, while droids, like a form of wildlife, weave in and out of conscious view and sometimes serve a purpose greater than their design. Then, in a dastardly act perpetrated by purveyors of vengeance and hate, these worlds can be obliterated, the sight and sounds of which being awesome beyond almost anything else in the sci-fi sphere.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens successfully utilities this method of success, with the mountainous sand dunes of Jakku and the imposing image of a fallen star destroyer setting the tone early for the impressive visuals to come, backed by the typically stirring John Williams score and booming sound design. Of course, the other ingredients necessary to ensure iconicism (the first boasted so famously in the original saga and both lost in the prequels) are the inclusion of characters worthy of inhabiting such environments and a story to enthrall the masses. Both have their heroes, but the villains are undeniable.

Finn (John Boyega), known only as a digit and robbed of a family, is a Storm Trooper with a conscious, who seizes his chance for freedom when ordered to guard captured Rebel fighter pilot  Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). After stealing a Tie Fighter, the two crash into the treacherous terrain of Jakku, where Finn escapes into the path of the hot-tempered and resourceful Rey (Daisy Ridley), a tinkerer clearly destined for greater things. Fleeing the evil clutches of the First Order in a familiar vehicle and with important droid BB-8 in tow, the new acquaintances then chart a course for destiny, where they will fight alongside famous bounty hunters, witness the might of the Rebellion and face the dark side of the force.

Upon reflection, the plot is light and any surprises sparse. An effort is clearly made by director J. J. Abrams to avoid falling into the trap of repeating past highlights, but in doing so the final act is found lacking in power and the outcomes can be easily concluded reading the writing on the space station walls. Once revealed, the villain loses his power of intimidation and his scenes hold no sense of gravity; the ending too, it must be said, doesn’t conjure the emotions one would hope for. The failings in the story though are compensated for by a pair of heroes among the most likable in the franchises history, each instilled with a sense of wide-eyed wonder by relative newcomers Boyega and Ridley. Finn’s caring nature and moralistic stance to fight for good might sound corny, but he only comes across as authentic, and watching the increasingly mysterious Rey unwittingly discover her strength feels rewarding thanks to her enchanting combination of independence and duty.

Other fan favorites will be the daring Poe Dameron and a certain Wookie, but I fear that fans may leave slightly disappointed with the underwhelming return of Princess Leia and a lack of any outstandingly orchestrated pivotal battles.

The seventh journey to a galaxy far, far away is instilled with moments of brisk humour and sudden danger, and filled with technical mastery throughout. Seen in 2D, the special effects appear vibrant and the prosthetic work and make-up for the various lifeforms flawless. It’s not game-changing, but whether you’re new to the series or have a Jedi costume hanging in the wardrobe at home, you’ll most likely agree that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the biggest and arguably the best blockbuster of the year.

4 light sabers out of 5

Star Wars the Force Awakens millennium falcon

P.S – For Aussie Star Wars fans how cool is this! A great new way to enjoy breakfast over the Summer break and a unique Star Wars product in amongst the abundance of new merchandise that has hit our streets –

Star Wars - 1

Kellogg’s Australia has teamed up with Disney and Lucas films to bring Star Wars action to breakfast time with a limited edition range. The new cereal is inspired by Star Wars and features some of the most iconic characters from across the seven films. The cereal hit shelves in early December, just in time for the release of the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and will be in store until July 2016.

The cereal consists of Star Wars inspired chocolate flavoured wheat and rice stars and moon shapes and has received a four-star health rating. The packs with cost RRP $4.99 and are sold exclusively at Woolworths.

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15 responses to “Film Review – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015): Jordan’s Take

    • I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan either, but I do like the films and characters. If you do get a chance I must say that the visuals are worthy of the big screen.
      Thanks, Jordan

  1. I am a huge fan and totally agree with your score and most of your review-discussion. I still thought Ren was interesting after he “took off the mask” so to speak, but I thought the Starkiller base was as forgettable as f*#%. I also didn’t notice much of John Williams new score either, which was disappointing.

    That being said, the characters were great, the film looked amazing, and the hand-to-hand combat (the action scenes on the ground) were very well done. The film had that raw grit and used-future aesthetic that Star Wars so desperately needs. Moreover, I think the correct characters were emphasized over less interesting ones, and the right one bit the dust, if you know what I mean.

    • Ye I would love to listen to some of the new score without the film, little bits I caught were great. So glad you enjoyed it man, it may get some hate for things but wow was it a lot of fun and just a great popcorn blockbuster.
      E

      • Hey, it’s Star Wars. It’s the definitive modern blockbuster that turned Hollywood into… an assembly line for blockbusters. At the very least it should be excellent popcorn entertainment. It achieved that, so therefore I’m satisfied.

        Unlike the way someone *else* did it… (glares at Jorge)

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  4. Great review. You make some good points about plot and lack of surprises, but the familiarity and traditional Campbellian hero journey is what I wanted. Force Awakens delivers there! The 1st big action sequence involving the Falcon was a really exciting cheer out loud sequence. Fisher was weak with her dialogue, but emotion was there. That hug at the end was very moving. I like that your review is fair though, and doesnt nerd gush too much 😉 Once the story ended I instantly wanted more. Check my nerdy theory article so I dont spoil anything here. Interested to hear your take on Rey. Overall, not a dull second the entire runtime.

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