Dash Reviews…Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens(Special Spoiler-Free Edition)

Hey kids, it’s Dash Jordan. Today, I wanna do more than wish you guys a Merry Christmas. I know a lot of people have already talked about this film and I do apologize for not having the chance to do this earlier. I was gonna wait until Christmas Day, but I know some of you can’t wait. I certainly can’t. Twas the day before the night before Christmas, the Dash man would then say…a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

He He He, I feel like I can take on Hollywood all by myself!

‘Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens’ is the newest film in the iconic ‘Star Wars’ franchise and the first entry of the ‘Star Wars’ Sequel Trilogy, taking place 30 years after the events of ‘Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi’. In this film, we see some of our most cherished characters basically passing the torch to a new cast of characters as the Rebel Alliance becomes the new Resistance, while a new evil known as the First Order rises from the ashes of the Galactic Empire. Now, I wish I could do this movie justice by reviewing it without spoiling it. I’ve thought about it, and I really don’t want to be that guy that everyone gets mad at for explaining the rest of the plot. I mean, have you seen what I did to that kid from King’s Landing who tried to spoil it for me?!?

However, I want to at least try to remain as professional as possible…Now I have a choice. The Light Side, or the Dark side. Well, in the immortal words of Tony Stark…

So, I will in fact be writing two articles on this movie. As the title would suggest, this first article will be Spoiler Free and I will do my best not to ruin this new installment for anyone who hasn’t had the chance to watch it yet. Soon, I will make a separate article that goes deeper into the film’s plot and certain character developments. I urge my readers who have seen this movie to please show some respect and not spoil the film in the comments. Until then, I guess you can say that I will not be falling to the Dark Side today. I am a critic, like my hero before me.

  You’re welcome, Doug! Right off the bat, I will admit that this installment is definitely one of, if not the darkest of all of the ‘Star Wars’ movies. However, this movie is also one of the funniest at the same time. Prime examples being almost every scene with Han Solo & Chewbacca.

Of course, we also have some pretty fun banter between the two main leads, Finn and Rey; played by John Boyega and Daisy Ridley respectively. In case you’re wondering…yes, I actually love these characters.

Another character I enjoyed in this movie was Resistance ace-pilot, Poe Dameron; played by Oscar Isaac. My only gripe with this character is that there isn’t anymore of him in this movie. Not to say that he didn’t have enough screen time, he was just that fun of a character.

Now, on to the Dark Side of things…The First Order may not be as subtle of a Nazi allegory as the Sith Empire, but a powerful and menacing force to be reckoned with, nonetheless. Forget the symbolism, the First Order is essentially the Third Reich. There’s a lot more to this new threat than just a few new touches to the ships, weapons and armor, you get the feeling that this is a different kind of evil. Speaking of which, may I introduce you to the film’s primary villain…Kylo Ren.

Relax, this is not much of a spoiler. Everyone knows about Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. Or as I like to call it, the “Greatsaber” due to the fact that this particular lightsaber is obviously modeled after a Greatsword or a Claymore. Which I am happy to see this thing actually be used the way a weapon like this should be used. To those complaining about the new weapon, I have this to say. You guys seem to have no problem with Darth Maul’s double-bladed lightsaber from ‘The Phantom Menace’ and that was a terrible movie! So what’s the problem with having an awesome new weapon being featured in a good ‘Star Wars’ movie? I know one thing…I would LOVE to see someone do a YouTube video like ‘Death Battle’ or something with these two Siths. Kylo Ren’s strength and ruthlessness against Darth Maul’s speed and finesse.

  Seriously…tell me you DON’T want to see that! Anyway, Adam Driver truly surprised me in this film. As the trailers would suggests, Kylo Ren obviously has admiration for Darth Vader and looks to become just as powerful or more powerful as the former Sith Lord. From the inspired look from Vader, to his uncontrollable fits of rage, Kylo Ren has already proven himself worthy as a great villain of this franchise. Seriously, who would’ve thought that the guy from ‘Girls’ would make a threatening Star Wars villain?

   Now, as great as this movie was, it’s not without its flaws. Very minor flaws, though. Obviously, it’s great to hear that amazing John Williams music. However, this time around, it was a little different. Not much really, as it was still great music. But it wasn’t quite as memorable this time around. I’m not talking about the iconic music that was featured in the other movies. I’m talking about the original music that was made for this movie. Say what you will about the Prequel Trilogy(believe me, I Have!), but you have to admit that the music in the prequels was amazing and memorable. Think about the music that was playing when Obi-Wan Kenobi & Qui-Gon Jinn fought Darth Maul in ‘Episode I’, Anakin & Padme’s love theme from ‘Episode II’, or when Obi-Wan & Anakin fought on Mustafar in ‘Episode III’. You’re humming that music right now, aren’t you? See what I mean? The Prequel Trilogy was crap, but at least they had an identity thanks to John Williams’ score. Still fantastic work on ‘The Force Awakens’, but you’ve done better and you can do better. Sorry, Mr. Williams…you’re still the man, though.

   Another nitpick I have, unfortunately, is the action. J.J. Abrams also did an amazing job revitalizing ‘Star Trek’. However, I can understand why some people may not like the new movies because it relies more on action. The ‘Star Wars’ franchise on the other hand, has a lot more action than its long-time sci-fi rival. So while it was still great to see some good action, I was already aware of what a ‘Star Wars’ movie directed by J.J. Abrams would be like because of his previous work on the ‘Star Trek’ reboot from 2009 and his 2013 sequel. Not really a bad thing, I just wasn’t as surprised as most people. Nothing new, but satisfying, nonetheless.

Okay, let’s go back to the positives. Like all of the fanboy moments, for examples. Seeing such beloved movie icons on the big screen for the first time can turn grown men into little girls. Everyone and their mothers know about ‘Star Wars’, so it was a treat to see some familiar faces. Much like ‘The Phantom Menace’, it was a chance for older and newer fans to join together and see their heroes. Unlike ‘The Phantom Menace’, however, there was no migraines to be had here. I’ve already mentioned Han Solo and Chewie, they’re still as awesome as I’ve remembered. By the way, I tip my hat off to Peter Mayhew; the actor who plays Chewbacca. Standing over 7 feet tall at 71 years old, and can still play Chewie despite his age and knee problems. Obviously, they had a stunt double and some CGI for some of Chewie’s action scenes, but the man is all kinds of awesome.

   We also have Mark Hamill returning as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher returning as Leia Organa, R2-D2, & C-3PO! I think it’s safe to say that the gang is back with a vengeance, and I am happy to have a chance to see these guys together again.

When you do finally see this movie, do not try to compare it to the Original Trilogy. Nothing can touch ‘A New Hope’, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ or ‘Return Of The Jedi’, let’s just get that squared away right now. As a standalone film and as the introduction to a new trilogy, ‘The Force Awakens’ is one hell of a film. The effects, music, acting and story is near-perfect. It’s no wonder why they called this installment, ‘The Force Awakens’. J.J. breaths new life into the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, continuing the adventures of this beautiful saga, even a few elements from the franchise’s massive Expanded Universe, an amazing passing of the torch to a new cast; who I hope will all become just as memorable and iconic. There’s no need to even recommend this movie. It’s friggin’ ‘Star Wars’! The first real ‘Star Wars’ film in over 10 long years! 32 YEARS if you don’t include the prequels! This is not a return of ‘Star Wars’, because the franchise has never left our hearts and it never will. But, ‘Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ certainly is the shot of adrenaline that our hearts needed.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot about BB-8!

   Yes, he is cute. There, I did it! I think I did a pretty good job at reviewing the movie without one spoiler. But, of course…this is only the beginning. Consider this Part I of my review. Next time…there will be no more warnings, no going back. I shall embrace the power of the Dark Side…and let the spoilers flow through me.

…Yes, my Master. Until, Gotta Dash! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

To Be Continued…

Written by Shane Moose

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens(owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Lucasfilm Ltd. & Bad Robot Productions)

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope(owned by 20th Century Fox & Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi(owned by 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm Ltd. & Walt Disney Studios)

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace(owned by 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm Ltd. & Walt Disney Studios)

Game Of Thrones(owned by HBO, Television 360, Grok! Television, Generator Entertainment & Bighead Littlehead)

Iron Man(owned by Paramount Pictures, Marvel Studios & Fairview Entertainment)

Nostalgia Critic(owned by Doug Walker & Channel Awesome, Inc.)

Girls(owned by HBO Entertainment, Apatow Productions & I Am Jenni Konner Productions)

 

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