Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)


Pros
  • Gorgeous CGI, a near lock for an Oscar nomination (but also a nice dash of practical effects as well)
  • A bit more emphasis on 'the force' being used by characters, whether it be for the light side or the dark side
  • More action than previous installments
  • Kylo-Ren is a new worthy opponent of the light side of the force
  • Some great unexpected humor (this was a nice touch)
  • Glad 'the dark side' aspect of the movie received plenty of screen time
  • Head and shoulders above the prequel trilogy

Cons
  • Relies way too much on nostalgia, so much so that there are few surprises
  • Kylo-Ren's power levels are frustrating to say the least, even if he is 'flawed'
  • Completely makes Jedi training irrelevant
  • The whole movie doesn't feel 'fresh' it feels like a retread of something we have seen before (aka the original film)
  • The sense of 'wonder' is gone

Score: 6/10

I should probably say this now, I've never been a Star Wars fan. I like certain aspects of the movies but as a whole, they are way overrated in my eyes. So it should come to no surprise I found the new movie rather tepid. Again, the movie had it's moments of great action, lightsaber battles, and uses of the force, but outside of those moments, the magic wasn't there.

Nothing felt new in the sense that this was supposed to be the movie to reinvigorate the franchise. It felt like a total retread of the first movie from 1977. Yes, it had new characters and a slightly new mythos, but everything else was more of the same. The Force Awakens was trying to be nothing more than nostalgia, which is bittersweet. It succeeded as such which will please fans of the original three but at the same time, nothing new was offered, nothing except future promises. It was nice to see old characters and their introductions, but it was borderline too much. Had the movie introduced them then put them on the back burners, we could be talking about something different, but that wasn't the case. It is hard not to talk about specific beats without spoiling the movie. Even the mighty soundtrack by John Williams was borderline the exact same thing as the original, yes it is nice to see it appear once again, but this is a new generation, something new must be offered.

That's not to say everything was about the movie, the young new characters seem like a great new addition. Only time will tell how well they develop and fit in within the Star Wars universe. Not to mention they are a driving force behind the great comedic moments in the movie. This was something that was unexpected yet very welcome. The movie has made promises (Mockingjay Part 1 anyone?) so only time will tell where we head from here. But as of now, all these new characters are just treading water waiting for their time to truly take over the franchise.

Yes, the movie will break box office records and fans will rejoice the franchise is back. But with the promises of an unknown amount of sequels the franchise will have a difficult time maintaining the stakes at hand. So at the end of the day, it really comes down to the following, is this something I want to rewatch? Something that demands to be seen multiple times because of its greatness? The answer, sadly, is no.