By: Keegan Douglass
A short time ago in a galaxy not too far away, Star Wars Epsiode III: Revenge of the Sith had a tagline claiming that “The saga is complete,” but that tagline has been nullified since director JJ Abrams released the most recent installment: Star Wars Epsiode VII: The Force Awakens.
This film features new characters, including ones who were in the original saga. Returning characters include Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Leia Organa (Carry Fischer) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew).
Both Han Solo and Chewbacca are used to their full potential, bringing their original best friend banter back. Leia, however, was only used as a way to please older fans. While Fischer’s performance as Leia is stellar, the character didn’t have anything to do, other than give a few reaction shots to any action occurring on screen.
The new cast and characters are perfect and will fit the new saga as well as the old characters fit the original saga. Rey (Daisy Ridley) serves well as the new Jedi Learner character, and Finn (John Boyega) has a perfect blend of both comedic relief and seriousness.
The saga’s new villain, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), is an interesting character, but is a perfect example of what is wrong with The Force Awakens. The plot elements are exactly the same as the ones used in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977). Ren is a big bad guy, dressed in all black, wielding a red lightsaber, and wearing a dark metallic mask. That description is almost exactly the same as one that could be given to Darth Vader (James Earl Jones/David Prowse).
Major plot elements of The Force Awakens aren’t anything new to the Star Wars saga. There is a big battle station, which can destroy an entire planet, that the good guys must destroy in order to save the galaxy. This is something that has happened twice before in both A New Hope (1977) and Return of the Jedi (1983).
While the plot elements are too similar to be realistic, it fits the overall tone of the film. Star Wars never really was about plot, because each film told the generic story of rebels fighting against the greater evil, something that this film portrays incredibly well. No film is without its flaws, and the flaws of this film are minimal.
After going so long without a decent Star Wars film, The Force Awakens is a breath of fresh air, providing audiences with something that truly feels like a Star Wars film. Overall, this film was a great addition to the saga, but earning only three out of five stars because of the continued use of its clichéd plot elements.