The Force is strongest with this one – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” review


Photo from Finn (John Boyega), BB-8, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
Photo from
Finn (John Boyega), BB-8, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

4.5 stars

Jason Wiese | Culture Editor
Wednesday, Dec.16; 2:01 a.m.

I have been a cinema fanatic my entire life and I grew up with many franchises that I still cherish today. However, I was not among those who grew up with a love for George Lucas’ “Star Wars”.

After recently exposing myself to the entire series and having now seen the seventh episode in the saga, “The Force Awakens”, I can say that I am a changed man. The Force is certainly strong with this one.

“The Force Awakens” begins in typical “Star Wars” fashion by luring the viewer in immediately with a scene of intergalactic action. The exciting opening sequence locks you in and never lets go.

The film continues to build upon itself with the right amount of exhilaration, wit and heart throughout to please both life-long “Star Wars” devotees and newcomers alike.

The comic relief, which has been prone to insufferable effect in the series’ more recent entries, never feels out of place. The dialogue is often soothing. The exposition never feels forced. It flows with very little disturbance.

There is not much else that I can say without spoiling the fun for fans who have been waiting 32 years to see the continuing adventures of Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), outlaw Han Solo (Ford), former princess of Alderaan, Leia (Carrie Fisher) and plenty more. But I will say that the story does continue, this time revolving around the event that the title suggests. How does the “Force awaken?” What does that even mean? You still have much to learn, young Padawan.

Speaking of youth, the fresh new cast of characters only add to the joy of revisiting this galaxy far, far away, with the perfect casting of Daisy Ridley as scavenger Rey, John Boyega as troubled aspiring hero Finn, Oscar Isaac as X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron and Adam Driver as a masked leader of the Dark Side known as Kylo Ren.

Above all, I have J.J. Abrams to thank. After Lucas’ disappointing prequels, I believe that we have finally found the Chosen One, destined to bring balance to the franchise. Abrams adds his own signature directorial vision, but is humbly faithful to the story. He is more powerful a filmmaker than one could hope for.

“The Force Awakens” is, in my humble opinion, the supreme leader of the saga.