Review: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ leaves us wanting more

Timothy Page, Arapahoe Pinnacle Movie Critic

Note: This review is spoiler free.

“This will begin to make things right,” says a character at the beginning of the movie.

That is true for the characters in the film and us as an audience.

“The Force Awakens” makes things right again with the “Star Wars” saga, and is one of the best in the franchise.

It’s been 30 years after the events of “Episode VI” and The First Order has risen. A new galactic empire, ruled by the Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis doing motion capture). They’re bent on finding the last of the Jedi and wiping them out so only The Dark Side survives.

Insert Finn, a man who was trained from birth to be a Stormtroope.

When something goes wrong and he is ordered to do something terrible, Finn just can’t seem to pull the trigger. Realizing that everything he has been trained to do is wrong, he escapes the first order with a captured Rebel pilot Poe Dameron (a fantastic Oscar Issac). From there, Finn meets Rey a scavenger on the junk planet Jakk, and they have to figure out how to get to the rebels in order to deliver something of great value to them.

It’s a movie that moves at a breakneck pace, rarely giving you anytime to breath. From one action set piece to the next, it somehow finds the time to give us some great characters, too. Rey and Finn are the highlight here, and Director J.J. Abrams cast mostly unknown actors for his leads. Daisy Ridley is a star in the making and does an incredible job as Rey – who is set to be the main character of this trilogy of films. John Boyega is equally good as Finn, and his chemistry with Rey is awesome.

Of the original cast, you have to big three returning. Harrison Ford pulls out the blaster again as Han Solo and is just awesome as an older, wiser version of his character from the earlier films. Carrie Fisher is back as Princess Lea and, while not having a lot of screen time, does very well with what she’s given. Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker is here, and that’s all I’m going to say about these characters.

The main villain to talk about here is Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. He had the potential to be just another bad guy in a mask, but ends up being a much more compelling villain than you’d think. I can’t go into too much about this guy without giving away some major plot points, but he’s a villain of equal parts coward and menace. I loved it.
The action also is some of the best in the series. From the intense dogfights to the shootouts and the lightsaber fights, everything here is just perfect. The lightsaber fights were my favorite part. There aren’t many, but when they come out, it’s earned. They feel less like choreographed dances and more like battles to the death. As the characters hack and slash at each other, you can tell it’s a fight for survival.

It’s hard to put everything I loved about this movie into this review without giving it away. Just know that J.J. Abrams has reinvigorated this franchise.

From the action to the characters, everything about this movie just works, and it all comes together in a 135-minute movie that flies by and leaves me wanting more. It’s a movie that brings back the little kid in me going to see “Episode III” in the theaters 10 years ago and that’s the best compliment I can give it.

It made me realize why I grew up loving “Star Wars.” I can’t wait to return to this universe again and again as this new saga continues.

Rating: 5/5 A fun, thrilling, sci-fi movie that sets up a great future for this franchise.