A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the original Star Wars trilogy entranced the world with its epic space graphics and valiant heroes—something the prequel trilogies didn’t seem to offer with their constant talk of politics and weak writing. The newest installment of the Star Wars films—Star Wars: The Force Awakens—revitalized not only the pure excitement of the original series, but also nostalgia and appreciation for the franchise. Taking over for director George Lucas, J.J. Abrams reignited the spark that the first films had with a trio of highly likable heroes and the reappearance of fan favorites such as Han Solo—played by Harrison Ford—Leia Organa—played by Carrie Fisher—and Luke Skywalker—played by Mark Hamill.
The film’s plot is similar to the first film, Star Wars: A New Hope, following rogue stormtrooper Finn—played by John Boyega—and scavenger Rey—played by Daisy Ridley—as the two unlikely heroes team up with Solo and Chewbacca to fight with the Resistance against the new villain of the galaxy: Kylo Ren—portrayed by Adam Driver—and the First Order.
Ren serves as a “misunderstood” villain, throwing silly hissy fits if something doesn’t go his way. Attempting to follow in Darth Vader’s footsteps, Ren’s villainous nature helps bring back memories of the first film. Although he has great potential, Ren’s character seems somewhat underdeveloped; lacking a backstory or a strong motive. Hopefully, this will be something that is expanded upon in later films.
Ridley shines in her role as the daring, independent female protagonist. She has huge potential to become a positive role model for young girls with her new identity as a Jedi-in-training. Boyega, on the other hand, serves as the determined and loyal companion to Rey and his action and wit help the team move along. The valiant and highly skilled pilot Poe Dameron—played by Oscar Isaac—completes the trio as he works to stop the First Order and their plans to destroy the Resistance.
It’s hard not to believe that Finn, Rey and Poe will become the new faces of the franchise, replacing the Han, Luke and Leia trio. Even other new additions like the energetic and adorable BB-8 seem promising in continuing to entertain audiences, a change from previous additions like the infamous Jar Jar Binks in the prequels.
The trio’s diversity and relatable humor amongst characters like Finn and Han are what made the film so likeable, even for audience members who have no knowledge of the previous films. It’s hard for a film like Star Wars to be appreciated the same way it was originally, especially when audiences today are spoiled with such thrilling and stellar graphics. The characters, however, really aided in making the film more welcomed by today’s audience.
Abrams rejuvenated the franchise with this film, making up for the prequel trilogy that garnered so much criticism amongst the fandom in the 2000s. The Force Awakens recaptures the classic “heroes versus villains” feel of the original films.
Whether you are rooting for Rey and Finn or lamenting over the loss of old-time favorites, The Force Awakens evokes that feeling you had when you first watched Star Wars.