“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” could be subtitled “The Fandom Awakens.” From the opening blast of the title “Star Wars” on the screen to the appearance of Han, Chewbacca, Leia, and Luke in the movie, the audience was rollicking and energized with anticipation. The good news is, the movie delivers a very good story and features many elements of the original trilogy, with which so many viewers fell in love.
Without plot spoiling, new characters Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger on the planet Jakku, and Finn (John Boyega) wind up on an adventure in which they cross paths with Han Solo and Chewie. Rey has a new droid companion, BB-8, who is both funny and useful. General Leia Organa shows up, too. Many of the scenes in this film pay homage to the original trilogy, and the mixture of old and new works well. Both Ridley and Boyega are excellent in their roles. Rey is strong, yet caring, and Boyega is simply funny. The film also builds strong anticipation of when Luke Skywalker will show up on screen, and when he does, the scene is satisfying.
A new villain, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), is strong with the dark side of the force, but rest assured an “awakening” occurs, and a new hero is chosen to be his antagonist. The film has some revelations and plot twists along the way, and it obviously sets up where the story will head in the upcoming “Episode VIII.” This movie features fantasy violence with explosions and blasts with both storm troopers and good guys meeting their end. However, there is very little blood shown on screen. One of the most dramatic scenes in the film features a terrific light saber battle that takes place in the darkened woods. The story clearly defines the idea of good versus evil and loyalty to family and friends. Therefore, with a note about Sci-Fi violence, we are awarding “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages 12-plus. The force is strong with this movie, and viewers who enjoy an old-fashioned tale that features a lot of action will not be disappointed.