STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (2015)
J.J. Abrams’ film based on a screenplay he co-wrote with Lawrence Kasdan which was based on an initial script by Michael Arndt. The action is based about 30 years after RETURN OF THE JEDI and seeks to continue this most profitable franchise and for the most part succeeds in it’s endeavors. Filmed in locations as varied as Abu Dhabi, Iceland, and Ireland with interiors being filmed at Pinewood Studios in England, this production certainly did not spare any expense in trying to achieve it’s goals. Though I enjoyed this picture, I still felt that it seemed to lack something, basically duplicating much of the action from the first film. Also, George Lucas really did not have much of a say in this production apart from some early consulting work done when it was in pre-production and I feel this decision may have hurt the emotional side of the story. However bringing back Lawrence Kasdan who had written THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (felt by many to be the finest of the STAR WAR films) and REVENGE OF THE JEDI was a very wise decision. I liked the two new leads, young actors Daisy Ridley as Rey, a scavenger on the desert planet Jakku, who comes to realize that she is very much in tune to the Force and John Boyega as Finn, a First Order stormtrooper for the Empire who goes AWOL when he realizes the atrocities being committed to destroy the Rebel Forces. It was nice to see Harrison Ford as Han Solo, who has a large role, Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa, a more moderate one and Mark Hamill very briefly as Luke Skywalker. He will invariably have a much larger role in the follow-up due for 2017. Though I’ve seen far better films this year, I nevertheless enjoyed this one for what it’s worth.