FILM: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS 3D
CAST: DAISY RIDLEY, JOHN BOYEGA, HARRISON FORD, CARRIE FISHER, ADAM DRIVER, OSCAR ISAAC, MARK HAMILL
DIRECTOR: J.J. ABRAMS
REVIEWER: PETER FELDMAN
After all the hype, the release of the new ‘Star Wars’ epic, ’The Force Awakens’ does not disappoint. Reignited after a 30 year hiatus, the new narrative is a stunningly visualised, gloriously executed space opera, one which will fire up a whole new generation of ‘Star Wars’ fanatics.
I was in the preview audience when the revolutionary first ‘Star Wars’ hit the big screen and an exciting and dazzling new space age concept was unleashed on an unsuspecting world, thanks to the genius of George Lucas. He realised a dream by exploring new vistas of cinematic creativity.
In ‘The Force Awakens,’ a bold, stylish seventh instalment, director J.J. Abrams and his team acknowledge the past, while introducing fresh ideas and a raft of new characters to add to the Galaxy. They have kept the spirit buoyant.
This time the search is on to find the missing Luke Skywalker. It’s an excuse for two opposing forces, the menacingly dark First Order and the courageous Resistance, to do battle for supremacy.
The past surfaces with welcome appearances by Harrison Ford as the grey-haired Han Solo, still a crusty rogue with a strong flow of one-liners; Carrie Fisher, no longer Princess Leia, but now the battle weary General Leia Organa; Max Von Sydow as Lor San Tekka; and Mark Hamill, as the reclusive Luke Skywalker.
The new faces, however, are equally impressive. Two key characters are the feisty Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger on the desert planet Jakku who is a completely self-sufficient entity until she meets Finn (John Boyega).
Finn, who defected from the First Order, has joined the Resistance to do battle against the savage Force and is fortunate to have in his possession the lightsabre that belonged to Luke and Anakin before him.
Adam Driver plays Kylo Ren, a dark warrior with the Force, who was originally a member of the Knights of Ren, but is now commander of the First Order. He is not a villain in the true sense of the word, but he’s dangerous and unpredictable, and morally justified in doing what he thinks is right.
New creatures also put in appearances and help to drive the narrative. One of them is the strange looking Maz Kanata, a wise, spiritual pirate who has lived over a thousand years. She has owned a galactic watering hole for about a century. This is the kind of bar, inhabited by bizarre, out-of-the-world creatures, that you’d expect to find in a corner of the ‘Star Wars’ universe.
Other fresh faces include Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, a Resistance X-wing fighter pilot who has been sent on a mission by a certain princess, and ends up coming up against Finn and their fates become intertwined. And there is Domhnall Gleeson, as General Hux, leader of the primary First Order base, a pretty ruthless individual who obeys orders to a tee.
An old favourite, the hairy giant Chewbacca (John Mayhew), who is Solo’s indomitable side-kick, is a fun entity once again, and there are brief appearances by the talkative, gold encased C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and R2-D2. A +new droid, with a spinning head, has been added to the pack and it steals much of the honours in the cuteness department.
‘The Force Awakens’ is the first film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy and it’s a stunning affair with the tone and texture of its predecessors kept happily intact. The many combat sequences, accompanied by John Williams’ soaring musical score, are impeccably rendered.
Cinema–goers can look forward to two more epic episodes that will propel the unfolding narrative forward and into newer and more enterprising territories.
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