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2015

Daisy Ridley as Rey
John Boyega as Finn
Oscar Isaac as Poe
Adam Driver as Kylo Ren
Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams

The First Order has risen from the ashes of the Empire, and has developed a new weapon to destroy entire planetary systems. Meanwhile, a new disciple of the Dark Side is searching the galaxy for Luke Skywalker in order to destroy the Jedi forever. Once the Resistance is located, that system is next to be obliterated. Only a small group of rebels can keep this from happening.

Can I just interject right here and say how ironic it is that, in a galaxy where space travel is not only possible, but the NORM, the bad guys want to blow up planets? People can totally space travel to another one! But I digress…

Three viewings later, Episode Seven is just as amazing as it was the first time. I’m a child of parents who saw the original trilogy in the theaters, so I got to see that same trilogy numerous times growing up. I’m a purist, though, so I didn’t see Episodes 1, 2, and 3 (or maybe I blocked those memories?) OR the re-release of Episodes 4, 5, and 6.

Episode Seven was the perfect continuation of the originals. J.J. did NOT drop the ball on this one. There’s a lot of hating going on- “he just remade Episode Four”- “it’s exactly the same story”- “blah blah blah”. Star Wars 32 years later is not the situation in which to create an alternate universe, like it was for Star Trek. It’s the same universe, the same characters, but with a different set of struggles. It’s still the hero’s journey. You can’t reinvent the wheel for every film to make it unique. So the haters can back off. And WHO CARES what Adam Driver looks like?! Can we focus on the performance, please? Enjoy the frickin’ movie!

The only thing I struggle with in this film is C-3PO’s cheese. I know it’s his character. He’s always been super awkward. But still. “It would take a miracle!”? No shit. Beyond that, everything else is basically my favorite. Specific examples, you ask? Well, let me oblige you!
• The cast. Thank you, J.J., for sticking with the original game plan and hiring relative unknowns for the lead roles. Kudos to Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Adam Driver—talk about a horrifically intimidating major role. Crushed it. And how about all those cameos? Nothing against Thomas Brodie-Sangster (or whatever combination of names he’s using nowadays), but Daniel Craig as Storm Trooper JB-freaking-007 is the best. “Aaaand I’ll drop my weapon.” Absolute perfection.
• The effects. They were ridiculously detailed. From the abandoned AT-AT walker to the fuel trails of the different ships to the new creatures, the galaxy has never felt so real.
• The tributes to the original trilogy and Lucas’s magic. Finn turning on the chess game, then finding the Jedi training tool, both in the Millennium Falcon. The scene change wipes and fades. The original score and themes combining seamlessly with the new. Han and Chewy arguing. It all made me grin idiotically through the majority of the movie. Every time.

Weepy Meter: 7/10 Again, you KNOW me. But surprisingly, I cried less at the sad parts and more just remembering the originals. It’s so freaking good. And, of course, John Williams.

Man Meter: 10/10 I’d just like to go ahead and say that if he doesn’t like Star Wars, you can’t be friends. There’s just no way it’ll ever work. So if you go together, you’ve got a good shot. Plus, he saw it opening night and dressed up for the costume contest and won a raffle prize. He’s the nerd you’re looking for.

Overall Rating: 10/10 A bit too much cheese, but it’s necessary, and everything else MORE than makes up for it. It’s absolutely perfect.

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