Nothing short of astronomical expectations surrounded the theatrical release of the long-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens this past December. Announced following the purchase of Lucas film by The Walt Disney Company in 2012, the latest installment in the iconic space adventure film series had been in talks and production for several years. Directed by renowned filmmaker J.J. Abrams, who also helmed the sci-fi pictures Super 8 and Star Trek, it marks the newest entry in what is perhaps the most popular franchise in film history.
The movie takes place roughly thirty-some years after the events of the original Star Wars trilogy, in which the galaxy is threatened by a regime known as the First Order, a remnant of the once-powerful Galactic Empire. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), a dark side Force user and agent of the Order, has become obsessed with the eradication of the Jedi, and his subsequent attacks result in the mysterious disappearance of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker.
The story follows the actions of Finn (John Boyega), a rogue stormtrooper who wishes to flee the horror of the First Order, and Rey (Daisy Ridley), an orphaned desert scavenger who longs for something more than her harsh environment. Aided along the way by hotshot pilot Poe Dameron, service droid BB-8, Rebel Alliance general-turned-smuggler Han Solo and his Wookie first mate, Chewbacca, the two of them embark on an incredible interplanetary quest to deliver a star map containing the secret of Skywalker’s location to the freedom fighters of the Resistance. High-flying adventure ensues as the unlikely heroes must battle the military might of the First Order, as well as their own personal fears, to accomplish their goal.
In addition to the new actors, most of the original cast of Star Wars returns for this installment, with Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, and Peter Mayhew all reprising their roles from the first trilogy. In addition, the film hosts bit parts with several other notable actors, including Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings), Warwick Davis (Willow), and Max Von Sydow (Flash Gordon).
In an effort to recreate the look and feel of the original Star Wars films, The Force Awakens utilizes an impressive array of practical effects and sets to create several imaginative places, vehicles, and creatures, which populate the screen at every turn. The movie’s whimsically epic soundtrack was scored once again by veteran Star Wars composer John Williams.
Due to the film’s impressive performance, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is still playing in most theaters. For all fans of classic adventure and storytelling, charter a starship and head to the nearest cinema for a return to the long-awaited galaxy far, far away…