Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

star wars episode vii poster

Year of Release: 2015

Genre: Science Fiction

Related to/Remake of: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi

Directed By: J.J. Abrams

Music By: John Williams

Starring: Daisy Ridley (as Rey), John Boyega (as Finn), Harrison Ford (as Han Solo), Oscar Isaac (as Poe Dameron), Adam Driver (as Kylo Ren), Carrie Fisher (as General Leia Organa), Peter Mayhew (as Chewbacca), Domhnall Gleeson (as General Hux), Lupita Nyong’o (as the voice of Maz Kanata), Gwendoline Christie (as Captain Phasma), and Andy Serkis (as the voice of Supreme Leader Snoke)

Basic Plot: Set roughly 30 years after Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker has gone in to exile, and the key to his whereabouts are located in a memory chip stored in a droid named BB-8, which is now being sought by the evil group that has replaced the Galactic Empire, the First Order.  It’s up to a scavenger girl and a former First Order stormtrooper to get the droid back to the Resistance.

Rating (Out of 4): 4

Pros: A great mix of new characters and old favorites.  Excellent special effects that include both practical and CGI effects.  Some of the best acting you’ll see in this series, on par (and at times exceeding) that of Episodes IV, V, and VI.  Seems to avoid nearly any references to the inferior prequel movies.  BB-8 is a great addition to the droid characters featured in this franchise.  Good humorous scenes sprinkled throughout the movie.  A truly intimidating bad guy in Kylo Ren.  Although it does tip its hat quite a bit to the original films, this movie is not afraid to take chances.  It’s nice to see a female character who’s just as capable of handling some action as her male counterparts.

Cons: Some may view this as a bit too reminiscent of the original Star Wars movie, but there’s really not too much to quibble about here, although one has to wonder when the bad guys will come up with a more original plan…