10 Best Things About Star Wars The Force Awakens
Star Wars The Force Awakens marks the triumphant return of the Star Wars Saga. Largely banishing memories of disappointing prequels it’s widely accepted to be the Star Wars sequel fans had always hoped to see. Below is a list of the Ten Best things about the new film…
1. Han Solo & Chewbacca
In truth Harrison Ford has spent the past decade or two mostly treading water in half-hearted performances. So it’s a joy and a relief to see him finally reprise the iconic role that launched his career and recapture much of his wisecracking charisma. It’s an emotional sight to see the beloved duo of Han and his ever faithful companion Chewie back together, still blasting their way out of trouble with style. In particular Ford thankfully delivers a sincere and significant performance as one of the film’s most prominent leads.
2. The Millennium Falcon
For most Star Wars fans the vehicles of the original trilogy are as much beloved characters as any of the cast. In particular the Millennium Falcon is one of the most universally adored hunks of junk in the galaxy. It might be because it’s the ship that did the Kessel run in 12 parsecs, but more likely it’s because she’s responsible for some of the most beautifully balletic asteroid dodging death star exploding manoeuvres ever seen. Lovingly reintroduced with just a few more dents, the Falcon flies again across the galaxy and back into our hearts.
3. Poe Dameron – Black Leader
Introduced confidently as the best fighter pilot in the resistance, Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron doesn’t disappoint. Whether it’s a stolen Tie Fighter or his one of a kind Black X-Wing there’s nothing this dapper ace can’t fly with dizzying ease. It’s nice to have an unashamed hero flying back into the franchise to save the day.
Poe describes spherical droid BB8 as white, orange and one of a kind. Even before the film was released the cute beach ball inspired droid was already an instant fan favourite and the must have Christmas toy. While Sphero’s diminutive smartphone controlled toy version is plenty of fun, the real thing is even more awesome. BB8 proves a smart successor for the more clunky and camp antics of R2D2 & C-3PO.
5. A Galaxy Far Far Away
The Star Wars universe takes place in a galaxy far far away and The Force Awakens continues to take fans to strange new worlds. While the sandy wasteland of Jakku obviously pays direct homage to the Tatooine desert setting of the original trilogy it’s grander in scale and definitely boasting a unique character. The wreckage of crashed star destroyers and x-wings gives the sand dunes a stark look and provides a dramatic setting for some of the film’s early action set pieces. The film also showcases an alien packed bar scene that fuses Mos Eisely Canteena with Jabba’s Palace.
Newcomer Daisy Ridley proves to be a worthy choice of lead. Thanks to never ending casting calls and careful direction the young British actress delivers a defining turn as the sagas new ultimate heroine. Rey is a character that does the near impossible task of balancing mystery, believability, beauty and ferociously strong willed spirit. She easily holds her own alongside her fellow newcomers and legends like Harrison Ford. Rey’s growing awareness of the true power of the force also provides some of the film’s most breath-taking moments.
7. X-Wing vs Tie Fighters
One of the defining images of the original trilogy is the iconic aerial battles between X-wings and Tie Fighters. The prequels mostly lacked magnificent dogfights but thankfully the force awakens does not. There’s plenty of bombing runs, attack formation and red wings standing by to keep fans cheering wildly.
8. Kylo Ren
With a Vader inspired mask, rasping voice modifier and flame hilted lightsaber, Kylo Ren is a menacing villainous presence from the first moment he strides into action. His almost unprecedented mastery of the dark side, bursts of pure rage and gradually exposed backstory gives Adam Driver huge opportunities to deliver terror and tragedy. Kylo Ren more than any other character, personifies the film’s earnest desire to pay respectful homage to the past saga whilst genuinely advancing the story for a new generation.
9. Lightsabers & Force Powers
A Lighsaber might be a more civilised weapon for a more civilised age, but it’s also undeniably cool and the source of the Star Wars saga’s most unique and exhilarating action sequences. Though Kylo Ren’s hilted Lightsaber divided opinion intensely when it was first revealed, in action it is an undeniably effective and visually stunning weapon. The film combines classic Lighsaber duels with some previously unseen force powers. It’s reassuring to know that now an entirely new generation of children will forever feel compelled to make funny sound effects whilst hitting each other with sticks and pretending to deflect laser blasts with their minds.
10. The Spiritual Force
The Force was always the true heart of the original trilogy. One of the pre-quells greatest crimes was robbing the franchise of its rich spiritual mythology in favour of clinical sounding reference to Midi-chlorian counts. It’s a massive relief to see the first chapter in the new saga return to a more mystical view of the force. More than almost anything else this goes a long way to re-establishing the magical atmosphere of the saga. Once again it’s about the ultimate battle between the forces of good and evil, not just about blood tests for inherited speciality.