'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
Director: J J Abrams
Cast: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis
Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Pic/Santa Banta
The epic space opera that has acquired cult status across generations gets a classical reboot in this 7th episode of the Star Wars franchise titled 'The Force Awakens.' And it’s quite a spectacular awakening too.
J J Abrams directs this busy sci-fi entertainer, from a script co-written with Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt- in which ex-stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega), desert scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley), and droid companion BB-8 find themselves caught-up in a galactic war. The bone of contention is a map detailing the whereabouts of resistance warrior, Jedi Luke Skywalker(Mark Hamill). With a storyline like that, the return of legends like Hans Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess-turned-General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and C-3PO(Anthony Daniels) was to be expected.
Aged and battered over time they may be but the connection with an audience well-fed on Star Wars legend, is pulsating, fresh and reverberating. The thriller-action segments are all the purview of the younger lot but the ageing inter-galactic superheroes play on their past exploits to get the audience on their side. To lend some freshness to the dramatic conflicts , new villains like Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First order, a fascist regime that has emerged from the ashes of the old Empire, have been enlisted, just so that the old ones can crop up conveniently in any of the down-the-line installments being proposed.
J J Abrams and team set this story some 30 years after the events of 'Return of the Jedi' , so that legend-progenies have ample gap years to grow up and be a force to reckon with. This installment features Hans Solo's and Leia's son who gets turned over to the dark powers and becomes part of the force against which Solo and the resistance fighters are fighting.
The assay thereof is emotionally fulfilling, allowing for some touching reunions, scrappy and hi-tech action and fleet-footed chases. The familiar elements including family mythology, death star type weapons and references to Darth Vader are there to trigger your nostalgia of indelible memories from the past. So the newer bits are few and far between. Many of the elements on display here are revisits -in a new setting of course. While that familiarity does not breed contempt it certainly leans close to tiresome.
J J Abrams' biggest strength here is the way he has structured the narrative. It's fast paced and breathlessly busy with the familiar running close on the heels of the new. There are fan boy moments aplenty too and the confrontation sequence on a bridge overhanging a deep valley is treated with spaced-out deliberation that allows for the back stories to sink in while upping the resentment quotient in the confrontation between Solo and his son. Music composer John Williams and sound designer Ben Burtt return with familiar and new sounds to make the overall experience immensely gratifying (for it’s derivative ideology). The characters are also quite plausibly defined and their emotional arch’s have validity. This one is strongly written, well-structured and sets a strong basis for more to come. It’s an exhilarating ride certain to get the fans in a tizzy!
Watch the trailer of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'