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Star Wars: the Force Awakens

Jonathan Hinshaw - Thursday, December 24, 2015

We just saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens, starring Harrison Ford, Carrier Fisher, Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew, and Anthony Daniels (all reprising their roles from earlier Star Wars movies), as well as newcomers John Boyega as a resistance leader and Daisy Ridley as Rey, a new Star Wars heroine.

So this movie is set 30 years after the defeat of Darth Vader and the Empire.  Rey is a scavenger on the planet Jakku, finds a droid that knows where Luke Skywalker is hiding out after the long battle with the Empire.  Turns out lots of people want to know where he is, including the First Order, the bad guys who took over when the Empire was defeated.  The new team of good guys is called the resistance, no caps.  First Order is another version of the dark side, lots of storm troopers, a new Darth Vader type, Kylo, played well by Adam Driver (This Is Where I Leave You, and Girls from HBO).  Side note on Adam, he is a Marine who did all kinds of odd jobs (door to door sales of vacuum cleaners!), admits he could not see out of the Kylo mask.  Poor guy! 

It was good to see Harrison Ford back again, he had an accident while getting into the Millennium Falcon.  A door closed early, broke two bones in his leg and ankle, J.J. Abrams later shared he broke his back trying to get the door opened.  They were filming in the middle of nowhere, Harrison picked up his cell and called his helicopter in to give him a ride to a hospital, rather than wait for an ambulance. 

Peter Mayhew again played Chewbacca, a role he has done since the first movie in 1977.  Another alumni was Anthony Daniels playing C-3PO for the seventh time, since the first movie.  Lupita Nyong’o played a character called Maz who runs a bar that may have a clue to where Luke is.  She actually is the basis for a computer generated character, but they retained her eyes and facial expressions, she is even shorter as Maz. 

Bit of trivia, it is rumored that Daniel Craig plays one of the Storm Troopers, we may never know.  Enough about the characters, how did the movie go?

We enjoyed the movie, it starts with the First Order working on a new weapon, that will eliminate any trace of the resistance.  Problem is that the weapon is not finished.  It is solar powered to a certain extent, meaning it sucks the power from the neighboring sun, when the sun goes dark, it be ready to fire.  Early on we see Kylo, playing a role similar to Darth (whom he worships), lets the guys working on the weapon know that they are late. Got to speed things up or the Supreme Leader Snoke will make a visit.  He is played by Andy Serkis, looks like he is 30 feet tall, impressive for a guy who played Gollum in earlier movies.  Adam Driver has some of  the mind control powers Darth had, but he is not a Jedi by any means.  His mind control can actually be repealed, as Daisy does later on. 

The resistance wants to find Luke quickly, before the First Order does, so he can help them with their fight.  We start on an interstellar trek to find him, blowing up space ships, cities, villages all along the way.  We have a few new characters involved, but it is hard to continually create characters who have the sizzle that we saw originally. 

What we do see is Harrison Ford and Chewbacca on the hunt for Luke, fighting the First Order in the dependable Millennium Falcon, sort of seems like old home week.  They manage to sneak onto the “weapon” and create some harm.  Turns out Harrison and Carrie Fisher had a son, won’t go into detail, but that is a turning point in the movie.  Several fight scenes with Adam and Daisy, using light sabers.  They are old school light sabers, actually one is Luke’s original light saber from days past.  Still look good. 

We enjoyed the movie, had enough excitement to keep us engaged, enough humor to entertain us, it was a good effort on J.J. Abrams part.  Will go with 3.5 X-wing fighters, who had a huge part in the movie.  Looks like it is set up for another run, we may get to see Luke be part of the action in the next one.  

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