The Force is strong with this one

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' transports fans back to the original trilogy

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Illustraion by Rebecca Savinski

By Chris Mudd, Staff Writer

Arguably the biggest film event of the year has finally arrived. The newest episode in the “Star Wars” saga, “The Force Awakens,” has crushed box office numbers and for good reason.

The franchise has transcended beyond just being a film and become a part of culture as a whole. Yet that doesn’t mean the movie isn’t immune to criticism as there are certainly problems with it. That being said, it was a complete thrill.

J.J. Abrams took on a colossal task in directing Episode VII, yet his previous experience with the “Star Trek” franchise really prepared him for the job. He seems to have been able to tap into the soul of the original “Star Wars” series and effectively reinvigorate it for this new generation of fans.

It has been argued that Abrams essentially copied and pasted the script for Episode IV and hasn’t really brought anything new to the series, and perhaps that’s true. “The Force Awakens” is definitely a movie that I have seen before, but that doesn’t make it any less stellar.

It’s easy to give in to the nostalgia factor and praise the film for simply being “Star Wars.” But even with the problems the film has, I sat in the seats for over two hours feeling eight years old. It was a joy to be transported to that world again, to see the Falcon, to hear the lightsaber ignition. We get so bogged down in maturity that we often forget what those moments feel like. Script problems aside, “Force Awakens” stands up.

The acting was compelling, particularly in the case of the two lead characters Rey and Finn, played brilliantly by Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. They bring a youthfulness and depth that has been missing from “Star Wars” since the first film’s release in 1977. Suddenly, we have characters that are naive and inexperienced, giving the audience a fresh perspective on what could have easily been something stale. They now have the immense task of carrying the story forward for the next two movies, and they seem more than capable.

John Williams again scored a fantastic soundtrack for the film, incorporating classic themes with new and beautiful tracks. The soundtrack feels somehow less showy than the prequel trilogy, with less grandiose climactic battle themes and more intimate and emotionally driven tunes. It’s a welcome return to form for the franchise, and does more than enough to really set the audience back in the world of a post-Luke Skywalker era.

It’s difficult to express how fun the movie was to watch, especially while avoiding as many spoilers as possible. Going in blind is the best way to see the movie for fanatics like myself and newcomers alike. If you’ve never seen a “Star Wars” film in your life, there has never been a better time to jump in.