I was able to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens last on base last night thanks to a partnership between AAFES and Disney, and I couldn’t have been more excited. Many of us stayed up hours after a long day of work to see Episode VII, and it was absolutely amazing!
Leading up to the release of The Force Awakens I deliberately avoided most Star Wars news and reviews so that it could be as fresh an experience as possible. I knew nothing about the film other than the tidbits of information that could be gleaned from the trailers. I fully expected the appearances of Han Solo and Chewbacca to be nothing more than a cameo, so I was delightfully surprised to find they play a major role in the film. I was also glad to find that many other iconic Star Wars characters make appearances throughout the film, and it seems as if they’ll be important players throughout the trilogy.
The Force Awakens is not all about old favorites, however. The new characters Rey, Finn, Poe and BB-8 are all incredibly interesting, and yet very little is revealed about them which makes me even more excited for what comes next. It seems clear that Rey will play a central role as the trilogy unfolds, but I’m curious to see how Finn will fit into the future of the Resistance. I really enjoyed watching his transformation from an uncertain Storm Trooper, to a self serving character who helps the Resistance only to achieve his personal goals (echoing Han Solo).
Overall the story and action of The Force Awakens is very much akin to that of the original trilogy. Everything looks and sounds like it did in the older films, and the story is so similar to that of A New Hope that some fans have come away from Episode VII mildly disappointed. It is undeniable that The Force Awakens plot points echoe A New Hope’s from beginning to end, however I feel like this both adds a sense of nostalgia and acts as a tribute to first film. Vox has a pretty good breakdown of the ways in which VII mirrors / copies I (with some MAJOR spoilers), but the similarities are probably already apparent to anyone who’s been a fan of the series.
I enjoyed everything about The Force Awakens. In some ways it may be A New Hope with a fresh coat of paint, but it left this Star Wars fan with a huge smile on his face.