A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far a way… Actually around 10:45 am Thursday morning, at a cinema in London, I took myself to see the brand new highly anticipated Star Wars The Force Awakens Movie. But before you start worrying, no I did not go to the cinema dressed up as a character from Stars Wars.

I genuinely don’t think that there is a single person in the UK, that hasn’t seen some part of the Star Wars franchise; from the original trilogy to the second generation prequels movie trilogy, from the cartoons, computer games, books and the paradoies. But quite literally The Star Wars franchise has a new hope (You see what I did there), because Disney now own the franchise, it cost $4.5 billion for Disney to acquire Lucas Films and the Stars Wars Franchise and you no Disney mean businesses with this franchise as they have literally spoon fed us the new Star Wars film, through joining forces and getting endorsements from big brands such as Subways, Tesco’s, Lego, O2, Disney itself and that’s just a few in the UK and of course their trailer promos I have known doubt in my mind Disney will make their money back and more with the first film as it’s tipped to be the highest grossing film ever.

Any way that’s enough of me rambling on let’s get on to the movie review itself…

The Plot

Set 30 years after Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca and the rest of the Rebellion defeated the Galactic Empire, peace is now disturbed by a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren and his army of storm troopers.

I’ll not give away any major spoilers, just some little ones (If you don’t wanna know skip the character breakdowns.

What I thought of it?

Firstly if you are going to see this movie in the cinema, then you should watch it in 3D. I have to say I did enjoy the movie and defiantly think that Disney/Lucas Film have opened themselves up for at least 20 years of worth of extending this franchise. We already know that Disney plan to release at least another two more films within the current story of the Force Awakens (Star Wars episode 8 due for release 26th May 2017 and Star Wars episode 9 due for release at some point in 2019), as well as Rogue One and the Han Solo movie prequel. However within the current story, there is a lot of room to do a prequel to the current trilogy so we can look more into what happened in the first few years after the fall of the empire and the true story Kylo Ren’s seduction to the dark side and his obsession with Darth Vader and also the Storm Trooper new generation origins movie (If you read this Disney/Lucas film I am available to screen write and direct).

You can defiantly tell that the movie was more focused towards a family audience as although a little dark, I think the story could have been a little more darker, but I would say that this is probably to follow. There were a lot of one liners and quick-witted come backs throughout the movie, but more about that within the character break downs. I found it very clever and interesting how the other Star Wars movies haven’t really focused on the main Siths/bad guys in great detail before, even with Anakin Skywalkers decent into the dark side it was still based around him training as a Jedi, where as this movie we get to see more of the man behind the mask of Kylo Ren and although J.J Abrams has already said that he is not a Sith he is apart of the Knights of Ren who are a new dark side of the Force forged from the ruins of the Sith Religion, so I would assume where as the Siths were always in twos the master and the apprentice, these guys will have adapted and recruit more two the dark side.

It was also nice to see more equal opportunities with more of a female presence within the new bad guy regime, aka The First Order (basically the new version of the Empire) as well as a new side story, with regards to the Storm Troopers having moved on from the clone wars sub-story from the prequels.

It was nice to see some of the old faces not just the main players of Princess/General Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca and briefly Luke Skywalker but there are other recognisable faces such as the Alien rebel fighters from the original trilogy.

The film also has a lot of cinematography references to the original film with some of the jet fighter battle scenes made famous in the original trilogy, having very similar star fights in a big scene that reminds you of Luke flying through the Death Star and also the Han Solo, Chewbacca rescue scene in Star Wars new hope.

The Original Cast and Characters:

Firstly Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess/General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) still have that on-screen connection that just makes you go aww, despite not actually having an awful lot of screen time together. The fact that they share a more dark, sinister and heart breaking tragedy, which made them fall apart but somewhat stronger as individual characters.

There are a lot of references to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who seems to be some what a Legend within the Galaxy,  but has disappeared and this leads you think his disappearance has helped the First Order and The Knights of Ren rise in the their evil dominance. As the story progresses it seems Luke Skywalker disappeared because he lost faith in himself due to quite possibly receiving an inevitable betrayal (which leads to history repeating its self from the prequels) but more will be revealed in Star Wars Episode 8. We don’t really see much of Mark Hamill for me to comment on his performance.

Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) is now a General in the Rebel Alliance and although in the original movies she was a kick ass warrior princess. She has transformed both with looks and personality into more of a no-nonsense grandmotherly figure, who seems to have hardened in her older age possibly due to her heart-break and the years of battle, but she also seems very wise, but is still a very likeable character. She clearly has the force within her and knows how to use it, but she does not appear to be the powerful Jedi Knight her twin brother Luke is, but that is probably because she hasn’t truly embraced that side of her.  Carrie Fisher although she is not as much of a lead but a key character in episode 7, she is certainly a key component to the success of this next chapter, she has slipped back into her old character very well and there simply is no one else who could play her. I do believe that she will defiantly be a main and important factor as the story develops and it will be good to see how she develops her character as an older woman.

Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is still very quick-witted, but not so cocky, although is a bit of a mischievous wheeler and dealer of the Galaxy and loveable rogue. I would say Han Solo has defiantly matured into being a hero, but because of the tragedy shared between him Leah he uses his old ways as a way of getting over it. As he has gotten older, he has become a bit of softy in his old age and has more of a fatherly way about him which you will see between him Rey (Daisey Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega). It’s also excellent to see that he still has the comedy presents with his best friend Chewbacca. Harrison Ford helps this new chapter in Star Wars to come to life, where the new meets the old as soon as he appears your like yes now we’re talking. He also easy slipped back into this character and has connected with all the other cast members he had screen time with.

Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) well same old loveable Chewbacca, not much else to really say.

C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) when I was a child I used to be convinced the C-3PO was actually based  Kenneth Williams from the Carry-on Films, next time you watch both films you’ll probably see it. You only briefly see C-3PO, but he is still the same snobby robot from the original trilogy.

The New Cast and Characters:

The Force Awakens focuses a little more focused on the new generation of characters, which leaves some very important questions to potential future plots and also allows us to get to know these new characters.

Rey (Daisey Ridley) is basically an orphan who like both Anakin and Luke Skywalk came from a humble background and learnt very quickly to survive in the desert amongst some of the most untrusting aliens in the galaxy. She is very independent like Leah, but with a bit more of a kick that reminds you of Katness from the Hunger Games, she also has the pilot skills and innocence of a young Luke Skywalker in a Star Wars a New Hope but the streetwise smarts of Hans Solo. It’s obvious that she is a new Jedi from the posters, clips and the very start of the movie so no spoiler there. But she has a repressed memory that we just need to know more about and begs the question who are her parents (my opinion I think its Luke Skywalker). Daisy Ridley is a home-grown actress hailing from London, England. The 23 year has star quality and leading lady quality about her, she reminds me of Keira Knightly meets Jennifer Lawrence she is one to watch out for.

Finn (John Boyega) is the Storm Trooper with a conscious, having been trained to be a storm trooper from childhood he is a skilled warrior, but realises that working for The First Order is wrong, which leads him to basically go AWOL and meet Resistance fighter called Poe Dameron in his escape, which would then lead to him meeting Rey. Rey brings out the hero in Fin, I don’t see the romance connections between them, I think its more of a very tight bond of friendship for each other but we will see how that relationship builds in episode 8 and 9. The suggestion in the poster of Fin holding the Light sabre and his use of it in the film leads me to wonder is Fin a potential Jedi Knight as he does a few things the may also suggest this and will we find out more about his origins as a storm trooper? John Boyega is another up and coming actor to look out for and I can tell from the type of characteristics he brings to Finn that his able to actor in many movies genres.

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is a new type of villain with a dark secret that will either destroy him or make him. He is feared because of his battle armour which resembles Darth Vader’s attire with a few changes and in the presence of First Order army show’s his ruthlessness and aggression in a Sith/Knights of Ren dark way. It’s clear his temper gets the better of him and he himself has not fully learned to harness it. Internally we see Kylo in a fight with his dark side and his secret past. Adam Driver plays Kylo with a dark edge to him and I think that the Force Awakens has only just touched base on his acting skills, as the next two films come out I think we will see how dark and tortured he can really characterise Kylo Ren.

Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is the new version of a younger Han Solo, he is cocky, very likeable, clearly heroic and has the makings of a good leader, he is supposedly the best current pilot in Alliance. We caught a brief look into him in the film but it won’t be until the next film that we will see more from his character.  Oscar Isaac has been around for a while and would say 2016 is the year to look out for him across the big screen.

Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) is basically a follower of the dark side and is a Knight of Ren but also from what it looks like the leader of First Order, we don’t know too much about him yet. But he looks an awful lot like Harry Potter’s he who can’t be named Lord Valdermort which was the only thing that disappointed me. I felt as a follower of the dark side he would look a lot more scary.

General Hux (Domhall Gleeson) Is the man you wanna hate a typical brown nose towards Supreme Leader Snoke, with the attitude of I am a General and what. He clearly has resentful feelings towards Kylo Ren which we will see develop across the next two movies, if he survives to the final movie. Domhall Gleeson plays this character well and he defiantly stands out more from any of the other Generals in the past.

Maz Kanata (Lupita Kanata) Maz Kanata is randomly the ska loving pirate bar owner, she is a likeable character in the same short of way that Yoda was. She is not a Jedi but is 1000’s of years old and very wise and seems to have met many Jedi’s in the past and is very much a friend of the Jedi’s. It will be very interesting to see if she joins the Rebel Alliance and what her role in the next two chapters will be. Lupita Kanata is the voice over for the character and although you wouldn’t expect her to be the voice of Maz Kanata when you see a picture of her and hear how Maz sounds in the film, it is clear that Lupita is a talented voice over artist.

Fight Scenes: 

Jet Fighter Scenes: As is all the Star Wars films the Jet fighter and tai fighter scenes always look amazing.

Light Sabre Fighter: The current light sabre fights were very much like the original fights in the first three films slow and calculated which was good and looked epic old school. But one of the things that looked good in the prequels was the fights that showed how skilled these Jedi’s and Siths actually were in their art, so hopefully the fights get a lot more like that.

What questions has the film left?

  1. Who is Rey’s parents?
  2. Did they really just cut a piece of my childhood out by killing someone important off and will they bring that person back?
  3. Who is Finn’s real parents?
  4. How will Supreme Leader Snoke finish the final phase of Kylo Ren’s Dark side training?
  5. Are there any more Jedi’s in the galaxy or is the reason they all keep getting killed of because like the previous dark side religion there can only ever be two Jedi’s at a time?
  6. Who was Supreme Leader Snoke in the Old Empire?


What they need to do:

  1. When there are conversations between aliens in their language it would be good to have some sub-titles so we know exactly what is said this will ad to the audience being apart of the film.
  2. Only because I grew up watching the cartoons and loved the original movie as a child bring back the Ewokes.
  3. Change Supreme Leader Snoke’s image so he does not resemble Lord Voldermort from Harry Potter.

Star Ratings: 5 Star Rating *****


About The Author

LJ is the founder of Outside the Bubble UK, she will be releasing her first novel this year called ‘The Secret Diary of a Hotel Entertainer’, which is based on some of her experience as a hotel entertainer over the years. LJ has a passion for Travel and this year is preparing for her next big adventure, whilst also training for her first Triathlon

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