Dec 172015

The American epic space opera Star Wars began again with its seventh instalment, The Force Awakens. Aberdeen Voice’s Andrew Watson was there the day of its general release.

vuepicsqThere were maybe just over a dozen people at Vue on Shiprow during the Thursday midmorning showing; which would be about right, given there were midnight and crack of dawn showings preceding it.
Generally speaking, with films of this nature, and magnitude, it can go one of two ways. This being faithful to the originals; or overcompensating lack of good storytelling with supreme focus upon special effects, fight sequences and otherworldly landscapes.

This however, seems to straddle the two. It’s not mind blowing; yet not too bad, either.

Basically, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has gone missing, and the Resistance (what used to be the Rebel Alliance) are seeking him out for help against the odious First Order (what used to be the Galactic Empire). The latter has all but one of the fragments of data detailing his location, and the good guys have that one last piece of vital information.

So far, so good. This is the kind of solid underdog tale that the series has so successfully relied upon since its debut in 1977.

Though the best of the original characters are reprised with the same actors and actresses as before; the two or three main protagonists of the film aren’t so long in the tooth.

You’ve got Daisy Ridley as Rey, who’s basically this generation’s Luke Skywalker in the female form. She’s a scavenger and quite self-sufficient. There’s also rogue Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) who’s integral to the Resistance standing a chance of defeating the First Order.

On top of all that, Oscar Isaac plays ace pilot Poe Dameron with all the attributes of a non-greying Han Solo. Everyone else in the film more or less plays a supporting role to these three, including Harrison Ford (the aforementioned Han Solo) and Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa).

Antagonist wise, there’s the triumvirate of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). This could also be read as the Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and Governor Tarkin equivalent of the film.

Come the end of the film, there are a couple of surprises. There’s yet another father and son divide, and someone of stellar importance to the series dies. The former might anger people. The latter, however, could definitely be very contentious among Star Wars fans.

All in all, it manages to come to a reasonable enough conclusion to stand by itself without the remaining two sequels. On the other hand, enough happens and enough is left unresolved to urge the viewer to watch the next instalment.