Friday, December 18, 2015
THIS REVIEW HAS MAJOR SPOILERS.
See if this sounds familiar to you.
The movie opens with a pitched battle between rebels and the 'Empire'. One of the rebels, knowing they are going to be captured, hides data that the rebellion desperately needs in a droid unit (that communicates by beeps and whistles). The rebel is caught and interrogated by the evil dark-clad, helmeted, leader who wields the dark side of the Force.
Meanwhile the droid with the data escapes into the wilderness of a desert world, only to be found by a young person who does not know they have untapped power in the Force, who goes off on a mission to return the droid to the rebellion and who is helped by a scruffy Corellian and his Wookie sidekick.
Oh, and there's a Death Star that has to be destroyed before it can destroy the world on which the rebels are located. But only after a small ground force disables the shield.
You could be forgiven if you think this sounds an awful lot like the first Star Wars (A New Hope), with elements of Return of the Jedi. It is only after I got home and thought about it that I recognized the similarities. It is basically a remake of the older Star Wars insofar as the basic plot goes. Sure there are new characters and situations, but it seems an awful lot like Stars Wars: Rebooted, or revisited.
Did I enjoy it? Sure, for the most part. It was great to see the old characters. Han, Chewie, Leia and (for a small moment), Luke. The new characters, Finn and Rey are also enjoyable to watch, although I felt like Rey's force abilities seemed to mature way too fast to be realistic (even for a Star Wars movie). Luke had to be trained up heavily in Empire Strikes Back before he could even face Darth Vader, yet Rey seems to be able to hold her own in a light sabre duel with Kylo Ren (who, when he is unmasked, seems more like a petulant brat that an evil lord. When things don't go his way he pulls out his lightsabre and has temper tantrums).
Speaking of which, the light sabre duels were not very satisfying, and were on level with the Obi-Wan vs Vader duel of the first Star Wars. And the light sabres somehow looked - weird. The glow is different or something. The 'Emperor' figure also looked a bit too CGI for my taste, as did the lady with the glasses.
I'd give it a 3 out of 5 stars. It was good seeing the old crowd, but we've seen the movie before. Hopefully the story will pick up and be a bit more original in the next instalment.