Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Let’s see, Darth Vader got killed 1983, the year my oldest son was born. Long, long ago. And now, 32 years later, what’s his son, Luke Skywalker up to? We don’t know. No one knows! But everyone wants to find him. Such is the plot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, or Episode 7, or just SW7. It’s all in the text crawling up the screen at the beginning of the movie.
It turns out an old man has a map and plants it in a little droid. Wait, what year is this again? I guess Disney, wanting to save money, decided to borrow from the plot of the original Star Wars movie. Remember R2D2? Well this newer model is named BB-8 and it rolls along like a bowling ball or marble with its head floating on top.
So, I’m just kidding about borrowing from the original movie, right? Actually no, I’m not.
It turns out that the producers of The Force Awakens are so smart. They’re geniuses. I mean, they’ve got nothing, a couple of aged actors, a nappy used Wookie costume, and a storyline so old it’s like an ancient history course. And now everyone’s expecting a billion-dollar movie. There’s only one thing they can do: play their weaknesses as strengths.
So everywhere you look in The Force Awakens you’re seeing echoes of the original: Little squeaking robots, sand worlds, and villains in masks. Floating jet speeders, lots of Stormtroopers and lots and lots of battles.
Make no mistake, Producers Abrams and Kennedy hit all the right notes. The bad guys are everywhere. Light Sabers, too. Only, where’s Luke? Where?
Without spoiling anything, I’ll be brief: Rey, a young scavenger of old junked starships runs into the BB droid. Rey is the scavenger’s name and she’s really tough, willing to risk her life to save the little droid. Then there’s a storm trooper named Finn, who isn’t crazy about being a Stormtrooper. He and Rey get thrown together and there you go.
Look, the plot isn’t original but that’s on purpose. It’s meant to pull you back into the world of those Star Wars movies where Han Solo and Princess Leia existed and more importantly, to make you forget all about those other three movies which came later.
And by golly, it works. Beautifully. And most of this, I’m convinced is because Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) are great actors, because, you know, Great Britain. Also, they’re appealingly young, as opposed to the currently ancient Han Solo and Leia, who even when they were young, were so-so actors.
That’s not to say that we mind them being in the movie, because their script for The Force Awakens is spot on, a resurrection of the wit and carefree attitude that made Star Wars so popular and memorable. In particular, Harrison Ford as Solo is just as reckless as ever, and meshes perfectly with Finn and Rey. Finn: “Look, I’m not who she thinks I am. “Solo: “Then you’ve got a problem, kid. Women always find out the truth. Always.”
As for what the oldsters have been doing for 30 years, well, that’s a lot of the story, so go see. But rather than treat them as revelations, all these developments (and there are many) are just dropped like Easter Eggs as we go along. So, will the evasive Luke Skywalker be found? Will the Force push our characters to the Dark Side or the Light? And will Chewbacca find a girlfriend?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is rated PG-13 for blasters and light sabers. I wouldn’t bring small children, but everyone else: Enjoy! Happy 2016!