Along time ago (39 years ago to be exact) in a galaxy far, far, away…George Lucas decided to create his own space fantasy epic that the world would come to know and love as Star Wars. Yes, it has been over 30 years since Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher sold their likenesses to George for profit. As the seventh installment in the series, many were fearful that the film would crash and burn like its unfortunate predecessor, Star Trek. However, in a stroke of pure luck, Abrams managed to create one of the most groundbreaking franchise films I have ever seen. But now, we have a few new faces to add to that roster, thanks to the record-breaking box office winter smash hit, “The Force Awakens.”
The film focuses on events some time after Return of the Jedi. Han and Leia are dunzo, and nobody has heard from Luke Skywalker. A nomadic junk scavenger named Rey teams up with ex-stormtrooper Finn and a rebel alliance pilot, Poe, to stop the newest threat to the galaxy: the New Order.
This is the first highest-grossing sci-fi film in history to feature a woman and two men of color as the main protagonists. For the first time ever, little girls can actually look up at the screen and proclaim that they want to be just like Rey. For once, the women in a film are not over-sexualized. Series favorites such as C-3PO and R2-D2 return as well, and Glenn Michael Creamer returns to his roots portraying everyone’s favorite wookie co-pilot, Chewbacca.
Essentially, the gang’s all here, and they return in full form. Harrison Ford has aged somewhat, but with grace, something I find interesting, considering his wife looks like she’s either slowly melting or auditioning for a Joan Rivers biopic. Drug and electroshock-free Carrie Fisher is back as Leia Organa, sporting a fitting hairstyle. Newcomer Daisy Ridley portrays Rey, and John Boyega tags along as Finn. Oscar Isaac portrays Poe, and they also have a little spherical droid, BB-8, who has gone on to become the true breakout star of the film. The world’s most hideous looking hipster, Adam Driver, portrays villain Kylo Ren. If I were to talk any more about Driver I would need to vomit into a bucket between sentences. I would like to report that Star Wars has dethroned Dances With Smurfs (I mean Avatar), as well as Titanic and Jurassic World (Sarah Todd would like to issue an apology to Chris Pratt because she enjoyed Star Wars so much more) as the most popular modern day sci-fi flick.
Rey is one of the most popular characters in any media form, and the extremely positive reception caused merchandisers to issue second waves of Rey merchandise. Rey’s presence makes the hardcore fanboys weep, because she is a woman, and they do not like to see progress in today’s society. To them I say, “Ha! Suffer.” In addition to Rey, Gwendoline Christie and Lupita N’yongo also appear in the film, portraying Phasma, captain of the First Order and space pirate Maz Kanata, respectively. For a franchise with more male characters than female characters, I think it is safe to say that progress and change can indeed happen, and this film has proven that very fact. Star Wars has once again proven that it is a fantasy sci-fi first, and it continues to capture our hearts and minds.