Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Issac, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Domnhall Gleeson, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Max Von sydow, Peter Mayhew, Gwendolyn Christie, Simon Pegg, and Mark Hamill.
Directed By: JJ Abrams
Where i Watched it: Disney Plus
English Audio Description Available?: Yes
Description Provided By: Deluxe
Narration By: Martin Bellamy
The Plot: Set many years after Return of The Jedi, the original gang is older, and a new generation awakens the force. The New Order is trying to take over the galaxy, a mysterious figure named Kyle Ren (Adam Driver) is looking a lot like a new Darth Vader, but he faces a resistance led by Leia (Fisher), Poe Dameron (Issac) a strong pilot carrying a droid with the location of Luke Skywalker (Hamill), which ends up in the hands of a girl, Rey (Ridley), on a remote planet. It’s not quite “Help me Obi wan”, but Rey might just be the only hope. She’ll get assistance from a former storm trooper whose mind seems to be freed (Boyega), as well as a familiar figure (Ford) and his familiar walking carpet (Mayhew).
This is, based on my best guess, my third viewing of the film. How big of a fan was I? I played this play set on Disney infinity back in the day. I know somewhere around here I have Kyle Ren and Rey. I also think it came with some random Clone Wars character. So, even though the internet rages on about whether or not the new trilogy is any good, I thought the Force Awakens did exactly what is needed to do. It blended the old and the new, it connected the stories, the way the prequel trilogy did, so all nine episodes end up feeling interconnected and one grand story.
Rey immediately becomes one of my favorite Star Wars characters across any of the films. I love her Ratatouille approach to The Force. “Anyone can force. Not just Skywalker.” Because, the franchise likes to gloss over all the other potential jedi by having them always get murdered. All the kids Anakin wiped out, plus the ones that Kylo kills.Those are a lot of potential Jedi, not related to our main bloodline, and they never get featured. So to see Rey mastering the force, it’s a nice change of pace.
Oscar Issac’s Poe Dameron is exactly the kind of character whose entrance is so cool you understand why they changed course and kept him around. Boyega plays Finn almost a little too clueless, it starts veering into idiot territory. I was less of a fan of his this time around, when all I really had to go off was his ability to read dialogue. He’s not great at that. Not in this film anyway.
Kylo isn’t supposed to be Vader. He’s young, inexperienced, and looking to prove himself. in some ways, he’s more dangerous, because of his unpredictability and determination to prove himself. His tantrums, where he lightsabers the shit out of a room, remind you how NOT Vader he is, even though that’s all he seems to want. He’s so frustrated, and unhinged, he can be more dangerous than the predictable Vader.
The returns of Ford, Fisher, and Hamill all work. They even found something for Chewbacca to do. But as far as C-3PO and R2D2, sadly the film is letting them just stand around. It’s BB8’s time to shine. Not theirs.
Is it perfect? Probably not, but I enjoy the hell out of this film every time. And even on my first run through without sight, I still loved every beat of the franchise.
The Blind Perspective: It’s still Star Wars description, so the action elements are perfect, the alien descriptions are fantastic, but you get no real updates to faces you’ve seen before. Pre-existing characters have little to no new description, and instead are named immediately on reveal. There might be a comment on some gray hair, but that’s about it. I’m fairly certain that Moz (Nyong’o) had no character description. There was a reference to her goggles, but nothing about what she looks like, and she doesn’t look like Lupita Nyong’o, that’s for sure.
Final Thoughts: Rewatching this, as well as a few other Star Wars entries has made this venture of mine worthwhile. It took me back. Now I really wish I could play Disney infinity again. I think Kylo’s lightsaber actually lit up when he was placed on the Infinity platform thing. I might be disappointing some Star Wars fans with this grade, but it was my original grade, and I’m sticking to it. It holds up for me.
Final Grade: A