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Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a great adventure movie, but not a great sequel to Star Wars
The Force Awakens definitely brought Star Wars back to its hype. After a year of speculation, it's finally here. So, what does it have to offer?
The movie starts by showing our villain - now Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) - as a tough, powerful user of the dark side. He even stops a big laser beam with his hands. He has an iconic mask and voice which makes him really intimidating but I think not as cool as Darth Vader's. With him, Finn (John Boyega) is introduced too. He is conflicted with the First Oder (the "new Empire") ways and what he has seen and helps Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) to escape.
The main plot device here is Luke Skywalker. He is lost, and there is a piece of map missing. The empire wants the map that leads to him that Poe Dameron had and gave to BB-8, that Rey (Daisy Ridley) later encounters.
Okay. So let's talk about he characters. Finn is great. He is very funny, emotional, and is very easy to like him. Rey is also great, and Daisy Ridley delivered a good performance. She is kind of underdeveloped though, as the only thing that adds depth to her character is she being left by their parents in Jakku (discount Tatooine) and being a scavenger in the beginning in the movie, so she finds some old ship parts for small amounts of money.
Carrie Fisher was not her best there, but it was fine seeing her again as Leia. Harrison Ford gives a great performance here. It seems that he had a lot of fun while in the movie, and Han Solo WAS Han Solo there. Of course, he is a little old, but the soul of the character was there with him. The "new Emperor", Supreme Leader Snoke is intimidating and I liked the way they introduced him. He seems so frightening when they show him as a 10m tall beast, but in the end it was just an hologram. That was cool.
The fight scenes are exciting, seeing Finn with the light saber was fun, and Rey is cool too with the light saber. I really liked that they didn't waste the new Kylo Ren's light saber shape and added functionality to it. Actually, it even adds depth to him. The light saber was poorly made and I think that it shows an immature side of him, as he almost lives in the shadow of Darth Vader.
The relationship of Rey and Finn works, is cute and very fluid, and I really liked it and I believe a lot of people will like them too.
The movie has a lot of problems, though.
The pace is so fast. So rushed that you'll notice it.
The Republic exists and is in apparent control, but there's still a resistance for the First Order. Their power was not explained in the movie.
The repetition of almost every movement (protagonist from a desert planet, death of a mentor-like character in a bridge with people watching, and the easy destruction of a giant weapon, etc..) from A New Hope just feels like an awful forced attempt from J. J. Abrams to not to screw up with this movie. Some originality in structure was welcome here. I liked that it kept the light humor of the old movies, though.
For me, showing the "Light side of the force" as tempting is a MAJOR error to illustrate how the force is. It's the dark side that is seducing. I know that it was to show that Kylo Ren is still not deep into the dark side and is weak but it should have been done in a different way.
And finally the protagonist. Rey doesn't struggle anywhere in the movie. Of course, she is poor and needs money at the beginning, but what I mean is that she is extraordinarily good at everything. She maneuvers the Millennium Falcon with ease just after she picked it up and had never driven it before. She fixes it better than Han Solo. Her path to the force is completely insincere. She JUST walks onto Anakin's light saber, that was lost. She knows how to mind control a storm trooper (something that took years to Luke to learn) and she is stronger than Kylo Ren, a well-trained knight. (when she uses the force to get the light saber)
There are many things left unexplained, and I think that Han's death was rather forced than needed, and it makes the difference of tone scream when compared to A New Hope. That was directly borrowed from The Empire Strikes Back as with some other things.
Even though I LOVED seeing Luke there, I think it should've done differently too. Rey stretching her arm to give him the light saber just feels unnatural as is the cheesy helicopter round shot
Don't believe anyone who is giving 5-less stars for this movie here. The movie is a lot of fun, has good characters, awesome special effects and the fight scenes are awesome. There are definitely memorable moments, and you will leave the movie very happy. It serves as a great homage to the original trilogy.
But don't believe who is giving 10 stars too. This movie is not perfect and they are only rating it this way because they are consumed by the Star Wars fanboyism. It is better than the prequels (Anakin's trilogy) but they had completely different problems.
The Force Awakens succeeds at being an enjoyable adventure space movie, but fails as being a new Star Wars movie in pacing, tone and structure, but is not in any way a bad movie.