A long time ago in our very own galaxy, a new film genre emerged. Perhaps not so much a new genre, but instead a unique combination of several genres. Namely, the cowboy-western, the action movie, and the adventure movie crossed paths in a galaxy far, far away; additionally, the location as well as weaponry made it a science-fiction movie. Yet, in the end it was not the plot, nor the genre that was meant to draw people to the cinema. Rather, what made Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope unique were the special effects that were a consequence of the action taking place in space.
Almost 40 years and 6 movies later fans of the franchise get what they have been waiting for for 35 years.
Chills run down your spine, even if you are not a Star Wars enthusiast, the moment those familiar words appear on the screen: “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” The once unique formula of the combination genre is perfectly executed by J.J. Abrams, whom we of course know from hitseries like Lost and Person of Interest. Abrams makes up for the mealy and milky Episodes I-III, instead of romantic drama there are now well-placed plays on words as well as enjoyable banter.
The original Star Wars was a spectacle in space; flashy firefights and magnificent settings of colossal spaceships grabbed the viewers and made the larger chunk of them instant fans. With the current developments in 3D it is not hard to imagine that those special effects are more thrilling than ever in The Force Awakens. Space is a complex concept to grasp, yet the 3D effects in Episode VII make you wanna reach out and touch that spaceship or give you the urge to gently caress BB-8’s noggin. What is more, the lightsaber and the firefights are more realistic and as a result more sensational than ever.
No viewer can be fooled by just amazing special effects, though. Accomplished performances by particularly newcomers Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver make sure The Force Awakens is more than just special effects. Of these two it is especially Ridley who delivers a solid performance. Where in previous episodes Leia was seen as a strong independent woman, it is Daisy Ridley as Rey, who shows what such a woman truly looks like. Rey does not need men to escape from the claws of The Dark Side. A palpability that is uttered literally several times throughout the movie; fact of the matter is that pointing out this obvious character trait literally might actually undercut part of it. This does not take away from the fact that Ridley brings Rey to life in an upclose and personal way; showing strong, determined actions as well as a vulnerable side when talking and reminiscing about her past. Ridley is definitely the star in this Star Wars episode. Still, the old cast is a welcome sight as well and the moment where Han Solo and Chewie appear on screen will definitely cause a sigh in every cinema audience.
J.J. Abrams manages to make you forget about the prequel trilogy and let the Star Wars fan endulge himself in a breathtaking action-adventure in hyperdrive. The film is constantly in motion and it lacks any kind of dull moment. Writers Abrams and Kaskan created their own version of Star Wars, while adhering and honoring the original three movies: in the words of Han Solo, “…we’re home.”