Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens has finally landed in UK cinemas and our Lead Film Critic Jordan Samuel brings us the official ComiConverse review.
I grew up with the Star Wars franchise. The emphasis on good and evil helped my imagination throughout my childhood by teleporting me into an intergalactic space war. 2015 is a special year for fans of the series, because, after 30 years The Force has awoken with this full-length feature film, starring a new generation of characters guided by the original cast.
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher all return to battle the Dark Side!
Yes, Star Wars has returned, but does it pack the proper punch? Find out as ComiConverse looks into the newest episode in the Star Wars saga.
Thirty years after defeating the Galactic Empire, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his allies face a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) of the First Order and his army of Stormtroopers.
Director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) helms the revival of this beloved franchise, which features his signature directing style and immense scale. He not only delivers in bringing back Star Wars to the big screen but starts a great new chapter for a new generation.
The days of the prequel trilogy can be forgotten with The Force Awakens. Bad CGI and bad acting are all things of the past. The story is told with proper actors this time around.
Harrison Ford returns to the Millennium Falcon as former smuggler Han Solo – he has aged but still kicks some serious ass – all down to Ford’s elegance and wit. Times have changed for Han, some for the worst and others for the better.
Ford is amazing in this role, and he still gets his character right even after 30 long years. Emotionally and physically tested, Harrison really does remind all of us what made him a Hollywood icon in this genre.
Carrie Fisher is also back with General Leia (Princess was so overrated), and has not changed one bit. She is still fierce.
Leia doesn’t get that much screen time, but she steals every scene that she is given, due to the brilliance of Fisher. I love the sequences between Han and Leia, which feel like a proper aged relationship – helped out by Leia’s hilarious lines.
To the excitement of many, Mark Hamill has also returned to his iconic Luke Skywalker role, but I won’t risk talking too much about him much here, as potential spoilers would be hard to avoid.
Tune in for more on his role this weekend, as ComiConverse will be holding a special Nerdcast episode.
Daisy Ridley plays the scavenger Rey, who helps with this generation’s entrance into this intergalactic saga. In Rey, Disney and JJ Abrams have created a character who many young girls will love. She’s brave, cunning and intelligent. Ridley is amazing in this role, as she provides a breakout performance – stealing every scene. Hopefully, she will be headlining the next two movies, because her energy is very refreshing for the franchise; especially after some of the energy-sapping moments in the prequels.
John Boyega (Attack the Block) joins the cast as Finn – the Stormtrooper without cause, who leaves the First Order after a terrifying experience. He turns to the alliance after meeting Rey on Jakku and forms a special connection with the her.
I love Finn, because he offers hope in the bleak opening world of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving the audience a moral compass to show us how awful the Dark Side truly is. My fellow Londoner John Boyega will be a major force in the future because his performance here is awe inspiring.
Oscar Isaac is Poe, the best X-Wing pilot in the galaxy who provides the Han Solo successor vibe, with his character traits being very similar. Poe doesn’t have much screen time here but Oscar Isaac does really well with his role – and should be praised for that.
These new characters are amazing additions to Star Wars lore, with Rey providing a fresh new take on heroism in the franchise. Finn gives us some hope that Stormtroopers have a soul after all, with Poe providing some humour. JJ has done well in creating a new trio for this new trilogy.
Lupita Nyong’o plays Maz Kanata, a pirate who has been alive for many generations – she succeed in fitting her character seamlessly into Star Wars lore. Hopefully, she will appear in all the future installments.
Droid BB-8 also plays a major role in Star Wars the Force Awakens and will be loved by the younger generation. He also plays testament to the amazing practical effects and models used in this film separating itself from the CGI heavy prequels.
Now for the Dark Side…
Adam Driver plays Kylo Ren, a villain who, one feels, could actually take on Darth Vader. He is the new leader of what is passing for the Empire these days, and uses the Dark Side of The Force. Adam does so well in this role, mainly due to his scary on-screen presence. Ren has interesting reasoning for his actions, which really does make my skin crawl, and hopefully will go down as a treat with fans. The days of Darth Maul are done.
Domhnall Gleeson is Hux, a faithful servant for Kylo Ren, and is also quite menacing in his own right. Both Kylo Ren and Hux want to please their master Snoke (Andy Serkis) which gives the characters some tension between each other.
Fighting constantly for approval, Hux’s story is only getting started in The Force Awakens, and will hopefully transition into a larger one as the trilogy plays out.
Andy Serkis plays Supreme Leader Snoke, the dark and mysterious being behind The First Order – whom I won’t discuss, but he has a meaty role in this outing, and will be discussed more on the Podcast.
Motion capture is heavily used with his character and it will surely be freighting to younger fans.
JJ Abrams makes these performances come across as authentic in this instalment, mainly due to his astonishing direction with the camera. Everything that happens here has a reason, right down to the last detail – something that was forgotten in the prequels.
The cinematography in The Force Awakens is something else, helped by the awesome Daniel Mindel who worked with JJ before with Star Trek. His scope allows the film to look outstanding in IMAX 3D.
The John Williams score is also mind-blowing and should be applauded in the cinema when it starts blaring out. His individual character themes feel atmospheric and truly epic. making nostalgic fans know in their hearts that Star Wars has returned.
Abrams delivers Star Wars fans the best film in the series since A New Hope, with his epic revival feeling new and old at the same time.
The Force Awakens is the sci-fi adventure perfected.
Cue the John Williams Theme! And get your tickets now!
Jordan Samuel is the Lead Film Critic for ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @JordanESamuel
The Force Has Awoken
The Force Awakens is the sci-fi adventure perfected, and is a landmark return to form