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Director J. J. Abrams was able to bring to life the visual aspects of the movie that simply wasn’t possible in the late 70s or 80s. Everything about the film brought about a sense of nostalgia from the original films. The cast especially was a delight to watch on screen.
Harrison Ford remained the iconic “Han Solo” that we’ve all come to know, and his performance will probably meet expectations. John Boyega (“Finn”) and Daisy Ridley (“Rey”) both possessed great onscreen chemistry, and will do well in being the new lead characters. I also appreciated Adam Driver bringing to life a more complex and layered villain in the character of "Kylo-Ren". His use of the force was simply amazing! It may be safe to say that the little droid, BB-8, almost stole the show.
Overall, the actions scenes were visually great. The 3D aspect really made many of the battle scenes that much better in my opinion. The plot was also effective in continuing the ongoing saga of good vs evil. It was refreshing to see a nice blend of bits of humor, suspenseful action, and even some sentimental/emotional moments.
You can take this with a HUGE grain of salt (and maybe this is because I re-watched the original trilogy two days before watching Force Awakens) but this movie came off as very predictable. There was rarely a moment, or scene, or a revel that you didn’t have some sense was going to happen. The film borrowed a lot of themes from the previous movies, so in a sense, it almost feels like history repeating itself.
Beyond that one of the characters, whom I will not name, came off a little unbelievable. Certain things happened with this character that simply felt rushed and underdeveloped. You'll know it when you see it.
Another issue is that while this film does a great job of paying homage to the older Star Wars films, I think that it may have spent a little too much time being nostalgic. I’m afraid that a newcomer to the series will simply miss out on maybe 60% of the references and fail to make a connection with the characters. The connection to the characters is probably the biggest source of success for this film.
J. J. Abrams just gets it. He clearly knows how to remaster and remix an old franchise to successfully transition a film into a more modern rendition. If you enjoyed how he remade Star Trek, then it may be safe to say that he outdid himself this time around with Star Wars.
The story is filled with funny, sad, and breath-taking moments that make this a great movie watching experience. I’ll be the first to admit that every movie doesn’t have to be seen in 3D. However, I highly recommend watching this in 3D or even IMAX 3D. I think you’ll be robbed of the visual experience if you see it any other way.
For those of you who were wondering if it’s necessary to re-watch the older movies, I’d probably say that re-watching them will give you a deeper appreciation for what the movie was trying to do. It’s bridging a generational gap while also creating a path into a new story for a new generation. If you’ve seen all of the Star Wars films, then just re-watching episodes 4-6 will be suffice if you haven’t seen them in the last 10 years. If you’re completely new to this, then it may be best to watch in the “Machete order” which is Episodes 4-5, 2-3, and then 6. Either way, I think you’ll have a great time watching this movie, and hopefully you don’t run into any spoilers on the internet. May the Force be with you! :)