Should You See Star Wars: The Force Awakens? (NO SPOILERS)


Now that it’s out in theaters, should you see Star Wars: The Force Awakens? The answer: YES.

The answer is always “yes,” when it comes to going to see a new Star Wars movie. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you have to go see it. You need to give yourself the chance to love it or hate it or just feel meh about it. And there’s a lot to love about it.

Kylo Ren was probably my favorite part, followed by Rey, Poe, Finn, and of course, little BB-8. Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, even Mark Hamill (in his brief appearance) delivered the old characters we know and adore. Chewbacca was standout. J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan were able to meld both the old and new cast members’ performances with great success.

RELATED: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Full Cast List

For those of you who are looking for an original story… you’ll get some of one, but a lot of it is an uncomfortably exact parallel of A New Hope. I understand the logic behind this; Disney and Lucasfilm wanted to pull as many fans of the original trilogy who were put off by the prequels back into the Star Wars fandom. However, at least the prequels’ parallels to the original films were subtle, for the most part. Whereas, some of The Force Awakens‘ callbacks to A New Hope are less subtle and more redundant.

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There are a lot of new elements to the story, of course, which beg for more elaboration; but, without getting into spoilers, the movie creates more questions than it answers. There is a lack of politics, which, while some fans may rejoice, hampers the sense of realism and roundness of the worldbuilding (which George Lucas was particularly good at producing in the last six films). There is also the problem of not giving certain plot points the screen time and emotional depth they require to work.

That sounds like a lot of negativity…and it is, admittedly. In my opinion, the story of The Force Awakens had a lot of technical problems (the direct parallelism, the lack of fleshing out the world, plot holes) for which there is simply no excuse.

Fortunately, there’s a lot to love in what’s new in the movie. There are fascinating revelations about the past and epic implications for the future. Daisy Ridley’s Rey and John Boyega’s Finn are bright and fresh. Adam Driver’s performance as Kylo is nuanced and echoes the tempestuousness of Anakin Skywalker.

Next: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Celebrity Cameos

A movie can still be fun, even if there are some big things about it which don’t work in its favor. The visuals are great, the acting is great, and there are a lot of cool directions the story could go in Episode VIII (as long as it’s not crippled by trying to live up to the original trilogy). It’s essential that you watch it, as much to learn more about the Star Wars universe as to form your own opinion of the movie.