Just before Christmas break, the newest installment of the Star Wars dynasty, “The Force Awakens,” was released in theaters, and on its opening weekend alone, it earned $247.7 million in the box office. For many fans of the original series, the newest Disney creation didn’t disappoint. J.J. Abrams, while adding a bit of his experimental filming technique, stayed true to the aesthetic of the original films. He admirably put aside his own style and kept his signature lens flares to a minimum. Instead, he included classic transitions (such as wipes and irises), incorporated flawless camera work throughout battle scenes and utilized stunning lighting effects to maintain the beloved feeling of the original George Lucas masterpieces.
Directing aside, the story plot was engaging and the characters were captivating. The heroes Finn, Rey and BB-8 were lovable and iconic. Of course, perhaps the most exciting part for original fans was the epic return of veterans Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. True to his nature, Han Solo returns by reclaiming his lost Millennium Falcon with his faithful Wookie, Chewbacca, at his side.
Ford stole the show with his classic sarcasm, his well-known soft side and brought fans back to what they truly loved about the first six movies.
The introduction of new characters didn’t fail to disappoint either. Maz, a tiny, thousand-year-old orange woman served as the prophetic presence within the film much like Yoda before her. Her quirky character brought forth many questions for fans such as Rey’s mysterious upbringing and the newest story behind the always-rocky relationship between Han and Leia.
Furthermore, the newest villain Kylo Ren has some mystery to him as the first lightsaber-wielding character of the new trilogy. The dark son of Han and Leia, Ren represents the wickedness of the new First Order and the ongoing battle between good and evil in the galaxy. Some fans may have complained that even though there is an ongoing presence of Sith brought about by Ren that there is much to be desired in terms of lightsaber battles. The iconic fighting style developed by Lucas doesn’t appear until very late into the movie, and it is short-lived. However, Rey brings with her the promise of the return of the Light Side and plenty more battles to come.
Overall, “The Force Awakens” is a stunning mix of aesthetics, character development and story plot. Fans of the original series will not be disappointed by this newest addition. Many viewers, such as Wittenberg senior Sam Klarer, described it as nothing more than a “set up movie for the next two films.” Regardless, it brings promise of epic installments to come. The fate of the galaxy is still unknown, but this much is clear: Disney has undertaken perhaps the most iconic dynasty of our time, and they are more than up to the challenge.