New ‘Star Wars’ film awakens high expectations

by: CHESANIE BRANTLEY/Editor-in-Chief

The entire universe is searching for a small white-and-orange droid that holds the key to finding Luke Skywalker.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opened in theaters on Dec. 18 and was directed by J.J. Abrams. The movie is the seventh part of a series that started in 1980.

Having a background in the “Star Wars” series will help in understanding “The Force Awakens.” The first movies to come out were “Star Wars V, VI and VII.” Then, the prequel was released and those were “Star Wars I, II, III and IV.”

In “Star Wars I, II and III,” the audience sees how everything in the later movies unfolds. There is a Jedi Council with Yoda, Obi Wan Kanobe, Plo Koon, Mace Windu, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Saesee Tiin, Shaak Ti, Kit Fisto and Depa Billaba. The Council would meet and vote on issues. Padme (or Queen Amadala) and Anakin Skywalker are also introduced. Later, the audience finds out that Padme and Anakin’s love is forbidden, and Padme becomes pregnant.

In the later three movies, there is no longer a Jedi Council. Yoda also trains Luke Skywalker, even though at first he says he is too old. Princess Leia is involved in the government on Naboo. Luke gets dropped off with relatives on the planet Tatooine.

Later in the movies, the audience finds out that Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker) is Luke and Princess Leia’s father. This was one of the biggest plot twists in cinematic history. This is also the beginning of the romantic relationship between Princess Leia and Han Solo.

The Rebel Alliance, lead by Princess Leia, defeats the Empire, and then “The Force Awakens” comes out.

After the Resistance goes head on with the First Order, BB-8, the small white-and-orange droid, is given the map to finding Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill. BB-8’s master is a Resistance pilot, Poe, played by Oscar Isaac, who gets captured by the First Order.

The First Order is run by Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, who is the new Darth Vader, and takes orders from Supreme Leader Snope. But the audience is not told who that is yet. There are many stormtroopers, and it is unveiled that they are people taken from a young age and trained to fight for the First Order.

Kylo Ren Cut Out

Finn, played by John Boyega, is a stormtrooper whose plan is to escape the First Order. He only needs a pilot. Finn helps Poe steal a Tie Fighter for their big escape, but they crash on the planet Jakku.

Once on the planet, Finn finds Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, with BB-8. Then, the First Order finds them, and they are forced to run.

In “The Force Awakens,” Finn provided more comic relief than what was in the previous movies. Throughout “The Force Awakens,” references are made to the other “Star Wars” movies. When Finn and Rey are trying to escape, Rey also makes a joke about the Millennium Falcon being a piece of junk.

While they are flying the Millennium Falcon, Chewbacca, played by Peter Mayhew, and Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, make their appearance and take back their ship. Between the four, BB-8 gets to the Resistance base with the map. Princess Leia, played by Carrie Fisher, is no longer called “Princess” but is now General Leia Solo. C3p0, played by Anthony Daniels, and R2D2, played by Kenny Baker, also are at the Resistance base. R2D2 had powered down whenever Luke left and had not turned back on since.

There were a few parts that did not quite add up in the film. Kylo Ren and Rey have their battle, and Rey seems to be just as comfortable with a lightsaber as Kylo Ren. She had never fought with one before then, and had never had any Jedi training. So I thought she should have been clumsier with it than what she was. Finn was also remarkably good with a lightsaber, and he had also never had the opportunity to fight with one, since he had been training to be a stormtrooper since he was young.

Luke does not appear until the end of the movie. He and Rey stare at each other intensely while she holds out his lightsaber to him. At this point, the audience is on the edge of their seat, waiting for Luke to say something, but the movie ends without a word.

There are many questions that “The Force Awakens” leaves the audience with. For example, Rey is a Jedi, but the audience does not know who her parents are. What happens with General Leia? Why is C3p0’s arm red? Could Captain Phasma be the new Boba Fett? I had these, along with many other questions that will arise once the movie is watched.

When I first walked into the theater, I had high expectations for the film, and it surpassed them all. The actors who really stood out for their exceptional performances were Ford, Driver, Fisher, Ridley and Boyega.

“Star Wars VIII” is already in the making and has been announced to come out Dec. 15, 2017. The movie has already set many box office records, including the fastest film to gross $1 billion, the biggest worldwide opening weekend and single weekend gross.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is full of surprises and sends the audience on a roller coaster of emotions. I give the film five out of five stars.

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