After this past weekend I think it is safe to say that many of you have had your Star Wars fix satisfied, however bare with me for just a bit longer as I offer you Celluloid Cinema’s view on The Force Awakens. For those of you that have not yet seen the film tread lightly as I will discuss the film’s story in detail.The only way to fairly gauge The Force Awakens is to remember that it is more of a first installment to a new trilogy than the seventh installment of a saga. To try to compare The Force Awakens to any of the films within the original saga is just setting the film up for failure. The original films have had decades to grow on us in order to gain our love so that we could look past the films errors. In our minds Star Wars is perfect, when in reality it does contain a few errors. Therefore, if we hold any new installment to the series to the same regard we have built up for the Star Wars saga, then we will never be happy because the only reason the old films seem so perfect is because our feelings towards the films blinds us. This means that we must treat The Force Awakens as any other film and see if the mistakes are small enough to allow the film to become perfect once the characters blind us. After finally being able to see the film this weekend, I can already say that the talents these new characters possess already have been able to detract from some of the flaws within the film.
The film presents us with four new characters, Poe, Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren. Considering the film is the first of a planned trilogy, the characters themselves still have a large way to go in terms of character development and as a result we are only given the basics about each character. Nonetheless, the brief glimpse into the life of each character is enough for the audience to invest in caring about the characters. The first of these characters that we are introduced to is the Resistance’s best pilot Poe. While Poe actually disappears for the majority of the film, the small screen time that he does occupy makes him out to be a witty fighter that actually has made changes for a cause he believes in. I do not believe Poe will transition to be the lead role in future installments, but he seems like the type of supportive character that can steal a few scenes every now and again. As I left the film, my favorite of the new characters was Finn. Ever since I first saw Star Wars I wondered what the person under the Storm Trooper helmet was actually like. They have always been portrayed as these emotionless robot-like soldiers but I always felt like exploring the troopers as characters would create an interesting story. Well with The Force Awakens I finally got my wish. As it turns out once Storm Troopers take off their mask they are the most relatable characters. In a film where each character is destined to become someone important, it is refreshing to see a character that is really a master at nothing and is only driven by trying to do good. Out of all of the characters that are presented in the film Finn is the most relatable because he is like the average person in the audience; he is not all that special. While both Poe and Finn are entertaining characters, we have not even started to discuss the force yielding characters of the film.
Like the original trilogy, the light and dark side of the force are in constant battle with one another by proxy between two individuals that embody each side. In The Force Awakens, Rey represents the light side, while Kylo Ren the dark. As the film starts off the origins of both of these characters are kept hidden, but as the story develops, we start to understand their past. Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia who turned to the dark side after he killed off the new wave of Jedi that Luke Skywalker was training. What makes Kylo Ren’s character interesting is that instead of being tempted by the dark side like we have seen throughout previous films, Ren’s goal is to be like his grandfather Darth Vader and is tempted by the light side. In fact, before he kills Han Solo in the final act of the film there is a brief moment where it appears like he may give in and let the light side overtake him. In contrast, we have Rey who’s past is not fully defined in the film (however, I think she is Luke’s daughter) but does not struggle with what side of the force she wants to fight for. Once she comes into contact with Anakin’s light saber the force was awaken inside of her. As a result, the audience was treated to the first lead female Jedi. So much is still unknown about Rey making it difficult to determine her path through this new trilogy, yet because Rey is the strongest wielder of the force in the film she is primed to be the star of the trilogy.
In conclusion, The Force Awakens is not perfect right now. Its pacing does not quite fit the story correctly but if you look at it as a first part of a trilogy instead of an individual film then I think that issue can be overlooked. The new characters that the film presents still have so much more of their story to tell and to be honest I will eagerly be awaiting the next installment in 2017. Considering that the hype for the film was so high and I was able to leave the theater feeling as if the film lived up to it, I have no choice to give The Force Awakens a full 5 out of 5 Reels. I could only imagine how well this film will fit into the Star Wars lore once these new characters are completely fleshed out.
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