Star Wars episode 7: The Force Awakens

My take on it, from my SFF blog: Science Fiction & Fantasy

I am not really a Star Wars fan. I enjoyed the original film enough to see it a couple of times. I also saw the next five films (although only once each) and was deeply underwhelmed by the final three in particular. However, the seventh film in the series was much better received so I decided to give it a look.

The start clearly signals the intention of the film to tick all of those nostalgia boxes so beloved of fans. The text scrolling into a star-filled sky introduces the film, filling in the background so that viewers understand the setting of the story. This is by no means a bad thing, much better than leaving the audience wondering what is going on for the first part of the film until enough clues have been provided by the dialogue.

What follows, as far as my hazy memories are concerned, is more or less a repeat of the first Star Wars film with the changes being mostly in some details of the plot. The old-fashioned feel is reinforced by the background music which continually and obtrusively saws away. I was reminded of that spoof western in which, at a highly dramatic moment, the camera pans away from the action to focus on an orchestra furiously playing. The old favourite characters are all there too, plus a cute new robot and couple of new young leads; Daisy Ridley's performance is particularly good and the best reason for non-fans to watch the film. So if you are a fan of the original film, you will probably love this one. If not – well, it's a passable way to spend a couple of hours or so if you have nothing better to do and a large box of popcorn to work through.