Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens review

Released exactly nine years, six months, and 28 days after Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is literally the start to a new age.

Directed by JJ Abrams, who also produced Star Trek, Super 8 and Mission Impossible, the film kicks off Disney’s promise to stay true to the original versions of the films, putting in only a few technological new age twists. For example, the new Sith Lord, Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. Electricity clearly bounces off the blade. However, most of these new-age twists are minor enough to go semi-unnoticed in the big picture as a large majority of the film brings back age old names and objects like the TIE fighters, X-Wing fighters, and the legendary Millennium Falcon.

Of course, nothing was better received back onto the big screen than the old characters. Getting a little aged and dusty in the hair, each still received massive amounts of applause from the audience from Leia (now General, not Princess) to C-3P0. Naturally, no one got a warmer welcome back to the screen than Han Solo and his loyal sidekick Chewbacca. As the two leading returners, their presence is felt more in this film than in any from their younger days.

Lucasfilm Ltd.

In another salute to the past, the newest characters, despite their refreshing new features, personalities and stories, still parallel characters in the past two trilogies. In one character, the path of Anakin seems to be mirrored; while in another, Luke; and still another, Commander Cody. It might be too early to predict all this, so I’ll stop while I think I’m ahead.

In terms of refreshing aspects of the film, though, I must admit my inner feminist was jumping up and down when I saw just how many women were in this film, and not just as extras. Like normal, there were a few female extras, but also minor and major characters as well – each having varying degrees of impact on the film. Even the main character is female! It is incredibly stimulating to see so many females on a set that had originally been almost entirely male-dominated minus a few spots here and there. What impact this new surge of women will have on the story is hard to tell. Overall, Disney’s marketing to the girls is unmistakable through this action.

This newest installment to Star Wars was a success, answering many questions. Yet, it also left quite a few (almost too many) questions, new and old, unanswered. Clearly beckoning viewers to the next film, Disney has elegantly mastered the art of cliff-hangers in this movie. Keep in mind that while I sit here calling Disney’s newest movie a well-done addition to the Star Wars collection, it kills me to say that it is a Disney film and realize that Leia is now a Disney princess. Disney may have created a very good film, but it does not stand up to the quality of the previous mastery of the series and simply does not offer up enough new concepts to achieve my highest praise. Nevertheless Disney has contracted for a total of six movies; giving them five more chances to either match and exceed the productions of Lucas Film or fall on their face. I pray that they they do the first.

Parkway West Pathfinder gives Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens a 7.5/10.