Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens ★★★★★

"Crazy thing is...it's true. The Force. The Jedi...all of it...it's all true."

My first viewing of this film was one of the most magical experiences of my life, and after watching the film for the third time (yeah I'm not sure why I didn't see this film more times when it was in theaters), I'm still left with that...amazing feeling inside. Like I'm a kid again. I will forever defend Abrams', Kasdan's, and Arndt's decision to use plot elements from previous Star Wars films. After fan reaction to the prequel trilogy and as the opening film to an all new trilogy, they felt the need to revisit familiar ground. Abrams said it himself. That's all I'm gonna say about that. "Remake" my ass.

Was Force Awakens made primarily for the money? I don't doubt it. But that didn't stop J.J. Abrams and every single person involved in this production from giving it their all and creating a fantastic experience. Their love for the franchise is imbued in every frame of this film, and when I watch it it only reinforces my deep-rooted, undying, obsessive love affair with Star Wars.

The passion put into The Force Awakens is evident in every aspect of the filmmaking. It's easily one of the most visually beautiful Star Wars films, maybe THE most-the colors are so vibrant, giving the world and characters of the film so much life, and this is enhanced by Abrams' dedication to using as many practical effects as possible. The CGI present is fantastic, as well. The sets, especially, the set of the final lightsaber duel, are beautiful. In short, the film is a visual majesty. The sound design is incredible-this is the first time in the Star Wars saga in which the weapons really sound like they have a weight to them. The blasters sound like they pack a hell of a punch, and the crunch of the blaster bolts making contact with bodies is something I've loved since the first viewing. John William's score is, in short, magnificent. Of course, it was wonderful to hear the classic tunes again, but new songs such as Rey's Theme are beautiful. The guy's still got it.

I could go on and on an on about the technical aspects of the film. But I'd rather talk about the real reason Force Awakens is such a shining beacon of hope for the Sequel Trilogy-the newcomers to the series. Whether it be the more experienced actors such as Domnhall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver, who all kill it in their respective roles, or John Boyega and my love Daisy Ridley-I cannot put into words how much I love these two. The series could not be in better hands. I cannot wait to see the ways these characters grow and develop.

God damn, even after a third watch I'm still at a loss for words when it actually comes to writing a coherent review of this movie...what can I really say that hasn't been said before? I just love it.

I didn't realize until after watching that Episode VIII comes out about a year from now, and that this will be the first anniversary of TFA's release in theaters. While I am skeptical of how Episode IX will turn out (Jurassic World tried and failed miserably to do what TFA did, and the director of that film is in charge of ending this series), I cannot wait for Episode VIII. Whether Rey is Luke's daughter, or Kylo Ren's sister, or if Snoke is the Emperor, or whatever, I cannot wait.

Thanks J.J.

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