While Star Wars fans anticipated the new movie “The Force Awakens,” I found myself knowing nothing about the series, having never seen the previous six movies.
Star Wars hit theaters Dec. 18, but many fans attended midnight premieres across the nation. The movie now holds the record for making $1 billion globally faster than any other film in history.
Fans lined up dressed in costumes to see the first movie in the new trilogy, and although these gestures seemed absurd to me, they made sense after watching the movie. While I don’t know much about the previous movies, this article does contain spoilers for Episode VII.
About 30 years after the fall of the Galactic Empire, Luke Skywalker has gone missing after the Jedi he was training were killed. In his absence a new organization has emerged to carry on the Galactic Empire’s legacy — the First Order. Leading the fight against the First Order is Resistance General Leia Organa. Both organizations are desperately searching for Skywalker.
Throughout the action-packed movie, new characters were introduced including Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron. Daisy Ridley plays Rey, one of the main protagonists. John Boyega plays Finn, a former First Order stormtrooper, and Oscar Isaac plays one of the Resistance's best pilots, Dameron.
Rey proved to be more than an abandoned girl from the desert planet of Jakku. She realizes she is Force sensitive during her journey, which helps the viewer connect emotionally through the movie because she goes from nothing to fight for, to having everything to fight for.
Essentially, Rey and Finn play the lead roles throughout the movie. Finn and Dameron first appear when Dameron is captured by stormtroopers. Although Finn is a stormtrooper, he finds a way to escape the First Order by helping Dameron escape in a TIE starfighter. During their escape, the TIE fighter crashes on Jakku, with Finn seeming to be the only survivor.
For most of the movie Finn poses as a member of the Resistance. At first, it seems as if as if Poe Dameron had died, but later on it becomes clear that he is one of the pilots for the Resistance. Although Dameron is not present for the majority of the movie, he still plays a large part in the movie.
Each new character was the right addition to continue the Star Wars storyline and gave it a twist. The characters made the storyline smoother and easier to follow for someone who hasn’t seen previous movies in the series.
Along with the new additions, some familiar and beloved faces came back, aged about 30 years, including Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO, with a few changes.
For example, a difference Solo pointed out in Princess Leia was her hairstyle, which was different from her iconic buns. C-3PO also sports a red left arm, which stands out from his gold plating.
For her age, Leia was portrayed accurately throughout the movie. She had wisdom to the situations, but didn’t fight any outrageous battles that would been unrealistic for her age. In addition, the storyline carried out her relationship with Solo, which correlates with the overarching story.
Solo and Leia had a son, Ben Solo, who is now the main antagonist, Kylo Ren. While Leia and Solo are members of the Resistance, fighting against the First Order, Ren is an apprentice to the First Order’s Supreme Leader Snoke, on the dark side.
While his parents are trying to bring him back to the light, Ren is trying to crush the Resistance. Ren balances out the others in the story, who are mainly on the light side of the force.
While it is known he is a villain, Ren commits a shocking act during the movie — killing his father, the beloved and infamous smuggler — who he feels is pulling him back toward the light, something he is fighting. Even though Ren is malicious, it definitely allows the viewer to learn more about his character. Also it grows his own story within the series itself.
Within the next two movies, the viewer will be able to understand Ren’s reasoning to kill his father. Also, killing off Solo was almost necessary because of the actor, Harrison Ford’s age of 73 in real life.
Overall, the movie was excellent, especially from a perspective of someone who had never had interest in the series before. The characters all had purpose, along with their own stories and reasons for their actions.
On the other hand, it was disappointing to only see Skywalker once throughout the entire movie, but I am sure there will be more appearances in the next two movies. In addition, the movie left me wondering if Rey was Skywalker’s daughter. Although her birth was briefly mentioned, it will be interesting to see if she was Force sensitive due to some kind of lineage.