I won’t give any plot details here as you can probably guess the kind of things that happen and I don’t want to give too much away, but all I need to say is that this is the Star Wars film fans have been hoping for since Return of the Jedi.
The Force Awakens is so much more effective at capturing the look and feel of the original films I began to wonder if George Lucas had any memories of making them when he came to do the prequels. Just like any good sequel it ups the ante and explores new aspects of the universe while keeping what people liked about the original.
If it has a problem it’s just how familiar it all is – with the plot essentially a slightly re-jigged A New Hope. It’s debatable whether playing it so safely is the best way to set things up for a new trilogy, but it’s certainly a way of rebuilding trust with fans after the widely hated prequels.
It’s great to see the return of some old favourites too, with Harrison Ford proving that at 73 he certainly still has it. He and Carrie Fisher actually make a very believable old couple, even if she now looks more Princess Margaret than Princess Leia.
The new characters are very likeable too. Jumpy ex-Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) and young scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) should even win over the racists and sexists (respectively) that objected so strongly to their casting. Chewbacca even has a role beyond standing next to Han Solo yawning.
Also, in a Star Wars first, it has well-written dialogue with plenty of Star Warsy humour (not just awful puns) and a more tongue in cheek feel than the original films. This is a sign that it’s moved with the times and also shows the positive impact of JJ Abrams on the franchise. Finally a Star Wars movie that’s worth the deaths of all those Bothans. It really is the return of the Jedi.