Star Wars makes a triumphant and welcomed return to the big screen with its newest installment, “The Force Awakens.”
Fans, as well as characters in the film, have asked that same recurring question: “Where’s Luke Skywalker?”
After defeating his father, Darth Vader in “Return of the Jedi,” fans remember the end of the epic trilogy with Skywalker celebrating the fall of the evil Republic with his sister, Leia, friend Han Solo and the rest of the light side. “The Force Awakens,” however, shows the Dark Side as more ruthless, as if the death of Darth Vader had no effect on it whatsoever.
The film opens with new Sith Lord Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), invading the planet, Jakku, with storm troopers from the evil Force One. He is in pursuit of a map that leads to Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi. The map is stored in droid BB-8 by its master, who is captured and interrogated by Ren.
The cute droid has a ball for a body and rolls on it when traveling. BB-8 gets into trouble and is rescued by local resident and outsider, Rey (Daisy Ridley).
Rey looks after BB-8, but soon runs into Finn (John Boyega), who claims he is a member of the resistance. Together they escape the planet of Jakku and travel to unknown planets, trying to return BB-8 to the resistance. Fans will root for these new characters, who share a good friendship and potential love interest as they learn more about the Resistance and The Force.
Fans will be happy to know that their favorite well-known characters appear in this film. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) still making debts that he can’t pay, Leia (Carrie Fisher) general of the resistance, Chewbacca, Solo’s Wookie comrade and co-pilot who now has a girlfriend (voiced by 12 Years A Slave Lupita Nyong’o) and the two droid duo C-3PO and R2-D2. The Millennium Falcon also returns, still soaring at light-speed.
“The Force Awakens” reminds me a lot of “A New Hope.” Like Rey finding BB-8, Skywalker found R2-D2 and C-3PO on his home planet and there was a message from Leia to Obi-Wan Kenobi, pleading to be rescued from Darth Vader. Han Solo had unsettled debts and captained the Millennium Falcon. There are also one-liners references that true fans will recognize from the original film.
“The Force Awakens” has a great amount of action, special effects and abnormal creatures that hold true to the Star Wars franchise. The only thing that was off for me was the score. It wasn’t the same throughout as the original films. Although it included the main theme song in the opening and closing credits and a few familiar pieces, the rest of the score was different. This could tick off die-hard Star Wars fans who have known the saga since its debut in the 1970’s.
The plot, characters and special effects or “Force Awakens,” like the previous Star Wars films, is worth the price of admission for fans young and old.
Editor’s Note: Rest in Peace, Carrie Fisher.
Studio: Disney (2 hr. 16 min.)
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill
Director: J.J. Abrams
Story: A young woman learns the powers of the force on a quest to find Luke Skywalker.
Final Score: A+
This review was first published on the Metro Post-Telegraph