Addition to franchise entertains, sticks to origins


New characters include Rey, BB-8, and Finn who do a good job of making "The Force Awakens" a story of its own. Taken from the movie's trailer courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

By Nayeli Lara, Online Production Editor

Unlike the average stormtrooper’s aim, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” had way more hits than misses.

The film, which comes out Friday, is directed by J.J. Abrams and had a budget of around $200 million. With a talented director that is not unfamiliar with space adventures, having directed the recent “Star Trek” movies, a huge budget, and an even bigger fan base “The Force Awakens” had a lot to live up to and it did a pretty good job.

The film focuses on the next generation of alien adventurers as they fight to help the Resistance overcome the First Order. Not much is revealed about the new villainous force but in the style of “Star Wars” it’s not hard to have giant empires of evil just popping up out of nowhere.

Action, comedy, and drama are mixed in so well as we join our new heroes on their quest and be ready for a heavy dose of nostalgia as old characters are thrown in. The return of several favorite characters was exciting and the score, composed by John Williams, took just enough from the original score to make “The Force Awakens” seem just as grand.

The movie is pretty lengthy at 135 minutes, but it makes every minute feel important. There wasn’t much time that wasn’t used for character development, awesome fight sequences, or just great visual scenes. The quality of all the visual effects (including new planets, aliens, weapons, droids, and spacecrafts) really elevate the movie and establish its place as a successor to the “Star Wars” franchise.

The acting was great and it was difficult to pick one favorite character. My choice would have to go to BB-8, the droid that acts as a cuter and more pivotal character than R2-D2 and will surely make “Star Wars” tons of money this holiday season.

I have seen all the previous “Star Wars” movies, so of course knowing how iconic those movies were “The Force Awakens” hasn’t yet lived up to its predecessors, but it opened up the space for it to do so. This is the first movie of what has been announced a trilogy and more than anything “The Force Awakens” is a movie made to set the scene for the next movies.

The constant references to the original trilogy are fun of course, but it makes it harder for this film to stand out as a new story. “The Force Awakens” does a good job of making an intriguing storyline that has heavy ties to the past, but if it ever wants to be known as a great standalone trilogy, the coming movies need to really start separating themselves from the old and move to the new.  

“The Force Awakens” is already setting box office records, but that is only because it has a fan base desperate for new content. As the nostalgia factor decreases, the upcoming movies will need to make sure fans are returning for the characters introduced now, not the characters that have been a huge part of pop culture for several years.