Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Spoiler-Free)

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Posted by gmanfromheck (42524 posts) - - Show Bio

It’s been thirty-two years since Episode VI was released. As a child, in the days before the internet, I recalled rumors that Star Wars creator George Lucas would some day return to the characters made legend in the original Star Wars trilogy. What we got instead was The Phantom Menace, followed by two other films that made up what most fans deemed as a poor prequel trilogy. Now, 10 years since Revenge of the Sith, we’re finally getting the continuation of the story with the characters we fell in love with in Episodes IV - VI. We’ve been burned before so will this time be different?

The answer is absolutely yes.

As with Episode IV, The Force Awakens throws the audience directly in the middle of a conflict. Time has passed and a lot happened to the characters we know. The opening crawl does a fantastic job of not only catching us up to speed with our favorite characters from the past, but also introducing us to the new characters that will carry the series forward.

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With the story set up and the hook in place, it’s full speed ahead. There’s a big air of mystery as we watch the events unfold. You'll find yourself hanging on to the characters' every words in awe, anxious to find out what's going to happen next. Many times I felt like a kid again, wide-eyed, and taking in everything on screen. We get plenty of pure Star Wars action combined with trips to different locations that show us the size of the universe.

One of my biggest concerns heading into The Force Awakens was how old and new characters would mix on screen, and who we would see more of. Would the new film phase out the classic characters and mainly serve as an introduction to the newer ones? What I found was a really nice mix between the two. The new characters exceeded my expectations, and when they interacted with their predecessors, the two generations meshed surprisingly well. The characters we've been introduced to in the trailers clearly stand out. At the same time, you’ll have a big smile on your face as you see Han's familiar smirk or see Chewbacca roar into action.

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At two hours and sixteen minutes, there is a lot packed into the film. There were moments it almost felt the film's set up was rushed, with the pieces falling into place too easily and quickly. This rush initially bothered me, but the film's intention is clear; The Force Awakens is meant to serve as the beginning of an even bigger story.

The Force Awakens has quite a few humorous moments, but I found a few of those felt a little out of place. Having an extremely dire scene followed by one that will make you chuckle feels weird at first, but they're executed so well that you ultimately forget why the juxtaposition bothered you in the first place. You can see how this is a J.J. Abrams movie with his combination of big action and quirky humor used to flesh out characters.

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The visuals are amazing. Everything looks so crisp and clear. There were a couple of moments where some of action feels predictable, but visually they've never looked so good. Seeing the dogfights between X-Wings and TIE Fighters was spectacular and there were times I felt like I was smack in the middle of it all. This carries over into the land-based fighting with blasters and other weapons. The 3D was handled well also. The opening crawl looks great in 3D and the fight scenes are gorgeous. Seeing it in 3D may not be essential but is a great treat and does add more depth to certain scenes.

What would a Star Wars film be without John Williams' musical score? There may be some moments where the acting or dialogue might feel a little out of place in a Star Wars movie but the music ties it all together. It really helps you see the movie does have the heart and soul we would expect from a Star Wars movie.

With so much hype preceding Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the lifelong love many have for the franchise, it’s easy to go into a viewing with some trepidation. That trepidation is unwarranted: this movie hits all the marks you’d hope it would and delivers on many different levels. Having waited over thirty years for this, this satisfied my craving for the next chapter in the Star Wars saga. I was disappointed when all the Expanded Universe novels and developments were pushed aside but it’s easily forgiven after seeing the movie. You might see some moments as predictable but it still amazes me when a movie can completely catch you off guard with more than one surprise or punch to the gut. You'll feel all sorts of emotions. You aren’t just watching the movie—you’re experiencing it all. It may not be perfect but it hits the mark on many many levels. It’s definitely earned a worthy spot next to the original trilogy as one of the best Star Wars films.

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#1 Posted by the_stegman (40187 posts) - - Show Bio

Like anyone would dare give this movie less than a five.

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#2 Posted by theMightyMODOK (439 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, The Force Awakens is awesome.

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#3 Posted by MAZAHS117 (12537 posts) - - Show Bio

Been hearing great things so far

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#4 Posted by GermanComicIdiot (68 posts) - - Show Bio

Somebody on the internet spoiled me the plot of this movie. Why has the internet forsaken me?

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#5 Posted by Outside_85 (23518 posts) - - Show Bio

Good and entertaining, not exactly a masterwork and... felt kinda like we've seen the story before.

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#6 Posted by righteous300 (3975 posts) - - Show Bio

Just ordered my tickets online. Not really a fan of star wars but I've been hearing great things about this movie.

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#7 Posted by rob1157 (206 posts) - - Show Bio

So close!

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#8 Edited by worldFlash (253 posts) - - Show Bio

Doubt that is an accurate score, but I'll see.

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#9 Posted by Petey_is_Spidey (11557 posts) - - Show Bio

Like anyone would dare give this movie less than a five.

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#10 Posted by rogueshadow (29252 posts) - - Show Bio
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#11 Posted by Squalleon (9994 posts) - - Show Bio

Still not hyped. And I am glad that I am not, I am sure I will enjoy it a lot though.

Good and entertaining, not exactly a masterwork and... felt kinda like we've seen the story before.

Wasn't that the point. I mean look at the people involved in the movie.

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#12 Posted by Outside_85 (23518 posts) - - Show Bio

@squalleon: I wont spoil, but it's not really about who's in it.

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#13 Posted by Squalleon (9994 posts) - - Show Bio

@squalleon: I wont spoil, but it's not really about who's in it.

Please don't :P I also meant the crew behind the scenes too, screenwriters, composers, all people who worked on the OG trilogy.

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#14 Posted by the_stegman (40187 posts) - - Show Bio

Doubt that is an accurate score, but I'll see.

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Exactly these. I feel like SW fans are so starved for a good movie, that they will probably overhype this.

I understand though, I'll probably be the same way for BvS.

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#15 Posted by Squalleon (9994 posts) - - Show Bio
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#16 Posted by Outside_85 (23518 posts) - - Show Bio

@outside_85 said:

@squalleon: I wont spoil, but it's not really about who's in it.

Please don't :P I also meant the crew behind the scenes too, screenwriters, composers, all people who worked on the OG trilogy.

When you've seen it, you'll know. (But if not, and you still care by then, come back and ask :)

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#17 Posted by sinikettu (2629 posts) - - Show Bio

Good and entertaining, not exactly a masterwork and... felt kinda like we've seen the story before.

I suspect that it was an intentional homage to episode IV.

Seriously expected certain major characters to croak in spectacular blaze of glory and pass on the torch. I wasn't too dissapointed with how Abrams handled it.

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#18 Posted by DamoMinimus (100 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't believe it, Luke isn't even in the review!

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#19 Edited by Outside_85 (23518 posts) - - Show Bio

I suspect that it was an intentional homage to episode IV.

I... kinda fear it's just how the formula works for this franchise, or the one they've chosen to follow atleast.

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#20 Edited by Petey_is_Spidey (11557 posts) - - Show Bio

I hope for the sake of SW fans this isn't another Phantom Menace.

For me, I've never been a big fan of SW, so I'll just wait until this comes out on DVD/Blue Ray or until I can find a free version with decent quality online.

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#21 Posted by Egie_Asemota1 (103 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll be honest here. I LOVE Star Wars and all but honestly this movie is just good. It basically a retread of "A New Hope". A nostalgic trip with good writing, but it doesn't really offer anything new. At least the prequels tried to do a lot of new stuff. Plus, I am kinda miffed about what happened to Finn.

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#22 Posted by Egie_Asemota1 (103 posts) - - Show Bio

@outside_85: I'll be honest here. I LOVE Star Wars and all but honestly this movie is just good. It basically a retread of "A New Hope". A nostalgic trip with good writing, but it doesn't really offer anything new. At least the prequels tried to do a lot of new stuff. Plus, I am kinda miffed about what happened to Finn.

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#23 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (45774 posts) - - Show Bio

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This is exactly what I was thinking

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#24 Posted by darkdetective27 (7953 posts) - - Show Bio

Great cant wait.

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#25 Posted by DoctorThomasElliot (321 posts) - - Show Bio

@darkdetective27: Ahhh!!!! A positive comment!!!!! But seriously I'm with you man it looks pretty good from what I can tell.

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#26 Edited by Pelykan (228 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked how it felt more like the old trilogy. The overall story moves a bit slower but it does give me hope the entire trilogy will be a great story alltogether.

I was seriously bummed Phasma hardly had any screentime.

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#27 Edited by TheSpoiler (3608 posts) - - Show Bio

I hope for the sake of SW fans this isn't another Phantom Menace.

For me, I've never been a big fan of SW, so I'll just wait until this comes out on DVD/Blue Ray or until I can find a free version with decent quality online.

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#28 Posted by buttersdaman000 (22731 posts) - - Show Bio

Definitely not 5-stars, but a solid 7.5-8/10 for sure

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#29 Posted by amazing_webhead (9816 posts) - - Show Bio

i keep forgetting this is already out. gotta make sure to see it soon

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#30 Edited by Frozen (21123 posts) - - Show Bio

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Lol @ these reactions. The denial that the film was a steaming POS is sure fiery.

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#31 Posted by Farkam (12025 posts) - - Show Bio

I forgot about this movie.

No really.

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#32 Posted by deactivated-5ac4e862bd47b (3700 posts) - - Show Bio

Im so excited, im seeing this movie this week.

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#33 Posted by NukeA6 (914 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll be honest here. I LOVE Star Wars and all but honestly this movie is just good. It basically a retread of "A New Hope". A nostalgic trip with good writing, but it doesn't really offer anything new. At least the prequels tried to do a lot of new stuff. Plus, I am kinda miffed about what happened to Finn.

Where would you place Force Awakens? Is it better than Revenge of the Sith? Below Empire Strikes Back?

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#34 Posted by D9000 (1637 posts) - - Show Bio
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#35 Edited by DarthAznable (16928 posts) - - Show Bio

It may be getting good reviews but I feel like it's just hype. I'll still watch it but I have my reservations. Please just don't kill off Fin. -____________-

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#36 Posted by silent_bomber (4931 posts) - - Show Bio

It was okay, I think most people would like it, its much more like the old films than the newer ones.

There was some "progressive" pandering going on, but it wasn't too obnoxious.

Everybody else I was with thought it was awesome.

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#37 Posted by dotwilson (334 posts) - - Show Bio

this is the only review im reading before seeing this movie because tony knows whats up. thanks @g_man

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#38 Edited by Batmanbat35 (4 posts) - - Show Bio

@silent_bomber: what do you mean by Progressive Pandering??

That being asked...

I am the proud father of a newborn baby girl and seeing the prospect of a strong female lead character in a film series that I am so personally invested in makes me VERY excited to watch all 9 episodes with my daughter when she gets older. Sadly the Nerdiverse seems to have always been dominated by male characters and for me specifically it's great to see things like the New Ghostbusters movie, Jessica Jones on TV, and hell even the new Super Girl show, anything that will allow me to bring my daughter to the "Dark Side" :)

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#39 Posted by YoungDoctor (83 posts) - - Show Bio

Really liked it but The Empire Strikes Back is still my favourite.

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#40 Posted by Incursion (1510 posts) - - Show Bio

Thank god it has great reviews I can now rest easy lol

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#41 Posted by silent_bomber (4931 posts) - - Show Bio

what do you mean by Progressive Pandering?

The main character is verging on being a Sue at times, I wouldn't say she quite gets there as she's written and acted well enough to feel like her own character, but a few moments grated a little.

In regards to your daughter, I was actually thinking after watching it that it was cool that there would be a film for young girls to get into and a character to relate to, that was one of the main pro's I think.

The more I think about the film actually, the more I feel its plot is a bit too similar to the old ones, It doesn't really feel like you're seeing anything particularly new, its a "more of the same" experience.

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#42 Edited by batkevin74 (15307 posts) - - Show Bio

Out of 5 this is a solid 2, doesn't knock any of the originals off their perch

Nostalgia + too much comedy + homage everything = detractions from great new characters and attempting to go forward

But watch it yourself and make your own mind up

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#43 Posted by RabumAlal (4963 posts) - - Show Bio
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#44 Posted by SaintWildcard (21784 posts) - - Show Bio

I found out the twist, turns out that Darth Vader is Luke's father

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#45 Posted by Waking_Dreamer (666 posts) - - Show Bio

Really liked the movie!

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#46 Posted by Ready_4_Madness (15823 posts) - - Show Bio

With Star Wars fandom keeps people blinded. I can't trust any review.

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#47 Edited by Number1intheuniverse (37 posts) - - Show Bio
@ready_4_madness said:

With Star Wars fandom keeps people blinded. I can't trust any review.

Here's a non biased review: the movie is good but the villains are garbage. If you thought Phasma would be a cool and interesting character or even a mysterious bada** think again. Kylo Ren is very predictable too and his final fight is so anticlimactic that it forces you to suspend your disbelief because he should have won judging by the skill and experience of the person who killed him. Kylo Ren's defeat seems very forced(no pun intended). It's not a 5 out of 5 movie but it is good.

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#48 Posted by SuperiorBeast (65 posts) - - Show Bio

Does Poe Damerom play a large role?

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#49 Posted by Outside_85 (23518 posts) - - Show Bio

A more comprehensive review of SW:FA now that I've had some time to sleep on it:

Good bits: Very entertaining, very pleasing to people who have seen the 3 original movies and a nice bonus to people who hated the prequels. I quite like Ren and Finn, and seeing Leia and Han together is very nice (but by god do they look old). And BB-8 does have a more tangible personality than R2D2 did, as you can tell what BB is 'feeling' on your own, while R2 needed C3PO to basically tell you what all the beeps and blobs meant.

Bad bits: Humor is more forced than it was needed to be, people are very quick to act like age old friends despite only having known each other for like 2 minutes, it doesn't try to do anything new, but the worst part by far is that the villain (Kylo) is basically a crybaby thats desperate to be as evil as Vader... just without any of the charisma or menace. Side complaint; name of dark master, now eludes me, but keeps reminding me of 'snot' 'socks' and 'snookie'...

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