REVIEW: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” seamlessly blends old and new

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The next installment in the “Star Wars” saga, “The Force Awakens” came out Thursday, bringing fans back to a galaxy far, far away. (Courtesy photo:

By Brendan Deas, Webmaster–

The familiar yellow script fading into the stars. The bombastic, grand music. Yes, “Star Wars” is back.

The first “Star Wars” movie in 10 years, “The Force Awakens” makes a dramatic next step in the epic saga.

The movie features a blend of new characters as well as actors reprising their roles from the original movies–Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Princess (now General) Leia and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, to name a few. John Boyega and Daisy Ridley add new characters to the mix with brilliant acting reminiscent of the original trilogy.

Fans of the popular television series “Game of Thrones” will be delighted to see Gwendolyn Christie as the chrome-plated Stormtrooper Captain Phasma. Additionally, Andy Serkis (Gollum from “The Lord of the Rings”) stars as the mysterious villain Supreme Leader Snoke.

The movie takes place approximately 30 years after the events in “Return of the Jedi.” Rey (Daisy Ridley) finds a unique droid, BB-8, wandering the desert, and embarks on an adventure across the galaxy.

The new characters act at home in the “Star Wars” universe, and provide a lighthearted and fitting next generation of heroes. Harrison Ford plays an inimitable Han Solo, and Peter Mayhew, although suffering from advanced arthritis in his knees, returns as Chewbacca. Both the old and new cast work seamlessly together, and the result is an amazing film jam-packed with classic banter, references to previous movies and suspenseful action.

While the prequel trilogy received criticism for its excessive use of CGI, “The Force Awakens” returned to its roots, using models and miniatures to enact scenes whenever possible. John Williams provides yet another great soundtrack that fits both action-packed space battles and touching personal scenes. The pacing of the movie was almost perfect.

The movie has few faults, and serves as a perfect introduction to the next trilogy. Viewers will be surprised by several shocking reveals throughout, and will quickly grow to love the addictive mix of new and old characters. The wrap-up leaves many questions unanswered, pointing towards later movies for an explanation to come.

All in all, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is a wonderful addition to the classic tales of a galaxy far, far away.

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