Banishing memories of George Lucas’s woeful Star Wars prequels while honouring the legacy of the original trilogy, JJ Abrams’ sci-fi reboot is a triumph.
In Star Wars: The Force Awkens, he barely puts a foot wrong, successfully introducing new characters – including Daisy Ridley’s desert scavenger Ree, John Boyega’s conscience-stricken Stormtrooper Finn, and Adam Driver as their menacing adversary Kylo Ren – and allowing such familiar faces as Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and Carrie Fisher’s Leia to make fan-pleasing returns.
And with the tools of 21st-century Hollywood on hand, the dogfights between X-wings and Tie Fighters have a new zip, while the lightsabers’ spark, swoosh and fuzzy hum sound better than ever.
The film isn’t perfect. Some of the characters don’t feel fully fleshed out yet, with Boyega’s rather earnest Finn lacking the swashbuckling dash and irreverence of Ford’s Han, though with the original on hand and as adept with quips as ever this isn’t a serious flaw. Indeed, it’s Ridley’s resilient, resourceful and agile warrior Ree, very much the film’s protagonist, who proves to be the film’s most striking new presence.
Certificate 12. Runtime 138 mins. Director JJ Abrams
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Download
Bonus features include:
•Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey – For the first time, discover the complete story behind the making of The Force Awakens, revealed through in-depth footage and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers in this feature documentary.
•The Story Awakens: The Table Read – Cast members familiar and new reflect on the memorable day they all first came together to read the movie’s script.
•Building BB-8 – See how the filmmakers brought the newest droid to the screen, creating an instant fan favorite in the Star Wars universe.
•Crafting Creatures – Watch movie magic as the filmmakers bring a cast of new creatures to life.
•Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight – Go deeper into the epic, climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren.
•John Williams: The Seventh Symphony – The legendary composer shares personal insights of his work on Star Wars and The Force Awakens.
•ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force – An insider’s look into the remarkable digital artistry of the movie’s visual effects.
•Force For Change – Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. See how the Star Wars: Force for Change initiative has united Star Wars fans all over the globe to help others.
•Plus Deleted Scenes