Upon hearing the rumors that a new Star Wars film was in the works, I though it was a joke. Then I found out it was a legitimate deal and I still thought it was a joke. However, when my family and I went to see it as a last minute decision last year on Christmas Eve 'Eve' I found myself pleasantly surprised and even happy to back in the Star Wars galaxy, even if the story left with me more questions than answers.
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The Force Awakens is not one story; it's many stories that eventually come together by the end. This is the story of a honorable pilot determined to get the job done, a storm trooper who senses his own humanity and a young orphan who is anything but normal. The story of a family torn apart; a father angry at himself, a mother trying to put herself together again, a son who has given into darkness and a brother who is a legend and who is also lost. And all of these stories are brought together by an extraordinary little astramach droid simply known as BB-8.
Thirty years after the destruction of the final Death Star two new powers have taken over the Galactic Empire. The First Order of the Dark Side who seek to undermine all freedom and are adversaries of the New Republic, headed by General Leia Organa. When famed Jedi Luke Skywalker goes missing, Leia sends her best pilot, Poe Dameron, to the Jakku Planet to gain information. However, Jakku is attacked by the First Order and Poe is taken prisoner by Kylo Ren. Poe's droid BB-8 manages to escape with the needed information on Luke's whereabouts.
BB-8 is then rescued by Rey, a young scavenger who spends her life alone and waiting for her family to return to her. While at the street market, Rey and her new droid meet Finn. a former stormtrooper trying to keep his past as secret as possible. Yet, BB-8 is being hunted by the First Order and Rey, Finn and BB-8 must make a run for it in a 'piece of garbage' (originally known as the Millennium Falcon) and with little hope of survival.
Rey and Finn then find themselves caught in the middle of the dysfunctional Skywalker/Solo family issues. Han and Leia's son, Ben has turned his back on his family in order to live up to the legend of his famous grandfather, Darth Vader. Rey is especially drawn to the family, especially Han Solo who tells her of the extraordinary powers of the Force. Overtime, she begins to sense, to feel, to understand in abstract ways that are far from ordinary. Eventually, the New Republic and the First Order go head to head and family, friends and fate are all at the mercy of the newly awakened Force.
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This movie was good. Very good! It was most definitely a throwback to the Original trilogy with it's humor and fantastic one-liners. It's new main trio, Rey, Finn and Poe are all diverse characters and wonderful heroes for a new generation of Star Wars fans. Rey, especially as a female, was a risk for a primarily male dominated franchise, but she absolute charm and strength that made the movie so worthwhile. Poe and Finn are pretty much Han and Luke's bromance all over again. Both guys were wonderful supporting characters and I just love the idea of a possible interracial relationship between Rey and Finn (because sadly, we don't see enough of those relationships in the popular media).
The Force Awakens had the fun of the Originals, but the underlying darkness of the Prequels. While their is no small shortage of heartbreak, there is also the continuing storyline of good always triumphing evil even at the hardest of sacrifices. Beautifully filmed and wonderfully acted, The Force Awakens went back to the old school Star Wars and told a story about duty, loyalty and neverending hope.