There’s a million Star Wars: The Force Awakens reviews out there, so I’m not going to rehash common ground, or analyze the fine details of the film. I generally have a low tolerance for movies and tv shows; given the choice I will almost always play a video/board game, read a book, etc over watching an episode. After the prequel Star Wars trilogy of the early 2000s I had given up on Star Wars movies, that the original magic couldn’t be repeated (for an in-depth analysis and biting satire of the prequels see the Mr Plinkett reviews at Red Letter Media). I met the announcement of the new trilogy with indifference and hadn’t planned on watching them. After hearing family and friends give quite different reactions to SW:TFA my interest was piqued. On rather short notice we found a babysitter, and Kim & I went to see it. We were mostly just glad to have time together without children hovering nearby. You’ll hear criticism that TFA goes beyond paying homage and pulls plot points from A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. However, what matters is we got characters we care about. I found myself interested in and rooting for all the characters, light and dark side. The pacing is even between dialogue and action scenes, and the plot never drifts into pointless subplots. With that being said there are a few weak points in the plot that border on parody, and some “Oh, that’s convenient” moments. I’m hoping that the latter two movies will be stronger script-wise now that they have established the updated universe. One particular thing I enjoyed was despite the in-movie time progression of three decades we got a transition between the original trilogy cast to the new cast. The final thing I wanted to talk about was this movie continues the standard of previous Star Wars films being family friendly. Only two/three instances of swearing, no sex, and the violence was clean (No Indiana Jones heart ripping or face melting). There are three parts in the movie that is questionable for younger children and parents will have to decide: the village massacre, the Rathtar monsters, and the end of the movie has a shocking murder. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised and look forward to the Star Wars movies to come.
I give it 4 out of 5 Milliwheatons