TOP PERFORMANCE: Peter Mayhew (as Chewbacca) and Harrison Ford in a scene from the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
TOP PERFORMANCE: Peter Mayhew (as Chewbacca) and Harrison Ford in a scene from the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Lucas Films

Star Wars: The Force Awakens — a spoiler-free review

ALMOST everyone can recall the first time they sat down to watch Star Wars.

I, unfortunately, am of the first generation to be introduced to George Lucas; epic space opera through the bland and much despised prequel, The Phantom Menace.

Of course, it didn't take long for me to discover the true magic of Star Wars and the sheer master class in storytelling the original trilogy has to offer.

So the strange mix of excitement and cautious scepticism was just as alive in me as any lifelong fan, when the lights went all the way down and the Lucasfilm logo emerged on screen.

But as soon as John Williams' universally recognised fanfare blasted through the cinema, any doubt, any worry, any notion that I could remain unbiased and critical completely disappeared.

While nostalgia is certainly something director J.J. Abrams proudly embraces (you can count the identical beats it shares with previous films) it's the new characters that make this chapter worthwhile.

The solitary scavenger Rey and reformed storm trooper Finn, make the perfect pair of unlikely heroes, caught in galactic civil war between the First Order, built from the remains of the old Empire, and the new Republic's resistance.

This mix of old and new ensures the story remains fresh and relevant while still keeping the same themes and simple but hugely effective storytelling that made Star Wars such a worldwide phenomenon.

The Force Awakens may not be a perfect movie but it is a perfect experience.

We all share the action, the humour and tragedy.

Don't just believe the hype - embrace it - and you'll get everything that a Star Wars movie is meant to be.

Fast Facts:

  • Release date: December 17, 2015
  • Genre: Science fiction
  • Running time: 135 mins
  • Director: J.J. Abrams
  • Stars: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford
  • Showing at:
  • Limelight, Riverlink
  • Birch Carroll and Coyle, Ipswich
  • Reading Cinemas, Redbank
  • Star rating: 4.5/5

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