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Movie Review: Star Wars’ Seventh Installment Impresses

Photo: Internet Movie Database

Photo: Internet Movie Database

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One of the most highly anticipated films of the year—Star Wars: The Force Awakens—hit theaters on December 17th. As expected, the seventh installment to the space opera saga has quickly become a success, bringing in an estimated $248 million at the box office through Sunday, making it the biggest opening weekend for a movie ever.

After the franchise was acquired by Disney, speculation arose in regard to whether or not the film, directed by Star Trek great J.J. Abrams, would be able to maintain the classic Star Wars feel and approach that so many people have become familiar with—and oh, it did. Possibly not in the way expected, director Abrams artfully crafted a plot with scenes closely resembling the greatest moments from the original trilogy, allowing a wonderful sense of nostalgia to return while at the same time drawing a new generation of Star Wars fanatics.

Original actors Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill reprised their respective roles from the original trilogy while John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Adam Driver were among the notable additions. Many fans also quickly fell in love with a new astromech droid, BB-8 (rest assured, R2-D2 and C-3PO return as well).

Darth Vader lookalike Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is a perfect addition and plays a significant role as part of the First Order (new dark side), which is in conflict with the Resistance (new light side). To add, gone are the days of the smooth, sleek lightsabers wielded by Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in the original trilogy; enter the new and improved powerful weapons which appear as if they’re running on diesel gas.

Special effects are yet another drastic improvement to the seventh Star Wars episode, and from a digital standpoint, The Force Awakens compares closest to Episode III: Revenge of The Sith, the last film in the franchise to come out a decade ago.

Not a die-hard fan? The Force Awakens plays well as a standalone film; in classic Star Wars fashion, the universal themes of family, friendship, trust, and courage are again evident throughout the film. And what’s Star Wars without music? Composer John Williams returns with another inspiring score which drives the plot, and enhances the film each step of the way.

But that’s not all for the Star Wars franchise; The Force Awakens marks the first of three new installments to the saga, but before Episode VIII even hits theaters, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released in December of 2016. Rogue One will be the first of its kind, acting as the first of three Star Wars anthology films. According to sources, the film will chronicle the events that took place between Episode III: Revenge of The Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope.

Final Rating: 4/5 stars: J.J. Abrams brings new life to the Star Wars franchise as The Force Awakens appeals to all fans old and new, but at times relies too heavily on plot and thematic elements from the original trilogy. Star Wars is definitely worth the time, and marks an invigorated beginning to a new age in the legendary saga.

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Movie Review: Star Wars’ Seventh Installment Impresses