When Star Wars: A New Hope premiered, it brought a sense of adventure, fun, and amazing special effects to the world of science fiction. Several decades (and franchise movies of varying quality) later, a new writer-director (J.J. Abrams) brings back that original sense of wonder -- and several plot and thematic elements from the original movies -- with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The Force Awakens recaptures what make us love the Star Wars movies in the first place. Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley are talented young blood to the movies, proving enjoyable heroes who will have a large part in this trilogy. There are plenty of references to and items from the earlier movies, but they don't feel forced or out of place. The action is exciting, there are several surprises along the way, and J.J. Abrams more than makes up for the flaws of the prequels. The Force Awakens is an absolutely terrific adventure in space; and I look forward to the next two movies.
Overall grade: A
Reviewed by James Lynch