Saturday, January 2, 2016

5 Things I Loved About Star Wars: The Force Awakens


The new Star Wars movie was dazzling—there was a lot to love about it. So, I thought I'd share five of the things that really stood out to me as I left the theater last night. And if you've got any favorite scenes/lines/images you'd like to share, I'd love to hear about them J

**Warning! I've tried to stay away from major spoilers, but this post may contain minor ones. So proceed with caution if you haven't seen the movie yet.**

5 Things I Loved About Star Wars: The Force Awakens

(all images copyright Walt Disney Studios)

1. The acting is marvelous. Daisy Ridley as Rey and John Boyega as Finn really shine. Both actors bring real power and emotion to their dramatic moments and to the more action-oriented scenes. And, of course, Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew slip comfortably back into their roles as Han Solo and Chewbacca, respectively. The rest of the cast was uniformly excellent, and I particularly enjoyed Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma.

2. It's full of surprises. I promised I wouldn't include any major spoilers, so I'll just list one minor one here—this surprise was one of my favorites: We see Rey sitting outside her home on Jakku, and as the camera pulls back, we see she's actually been living in the wreckage of an AT-AT.

3. It's got a sense of humor. Again, trying not to be spoiler-y, so I'll list some of my favorite lines without the context.

Han Solo: Escape now. Hug later.

Finn: What about that ship?
Rey: That one's garbage.
[Huge explosion]
Rey: The garbage will do.

Han Solo: Listen, "big deal." You got another problem. Women always figure out the truth. Always.

4. The air/space battles are spectacular. Director J.J. Abrams brings a giddy, visceral feel to all of the chases and fight scenes that occur in the air (or the vacuum of space). When Finn and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) "appropriate" a TIE fighter and zoom off, I felt like I was on board the TIE fighter myself. I swear I could even feel the floor of the ship rumbling beneath my feet.

5. It has some very cool mystical moments. That vision/dream/nightmare Rey has at Maz Kanata's (Lupita Nyong'o) castle when she is drawn to that—ahem—object that is locked in a chest was genuinely surreal and chill-inducing. Scenes like that reminded me of mystical feel that The Empire Strikes Back had at times.

So, those were five things I loved about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What were some of your favorite things?
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