On the cards for a while and with an extremely high level of expectation for director JJ Abrams to deliver on such a long-awaited sequel, we finally got to see the next edition of the franchise. Only having seen the original trilogy recently (I know this is a sin as a movie buff!) I was in somewhat of a good position to judge how well-presented following on from these. I came out with shivers running down my spine and frustrated that it had to come to an end.
Taking place three decades after the Galactic Empire and the events of Episode VI it follows young heroine Rey (played by brilliant newcomer Daisy Ridley) who comes across a BB-8 droid that knows where the long lost Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is. Rey then meets a rogue Stormtrooper by the name of Finn (a stellar performance from John Boyega) and together alongside some familiar faces – the legends that are Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) – they are thrown in the centre of a battle between the First Order and the resistance.
From then on we are treated with lashings of breath-taking cinematography and special effects, superb acting and a story that excited, emotes and simply entertains from start to finish. Taking the best of the originals but also putting his own fresh stamp on the franchise, JJ Abrams has delivered on all accounts and proven to us again that he is capable of producing something truly special whether you give him a classic series – Star Trek or something new – Lost (yes I was one of the few who stuck with it until the end!) to make. The cast are brilliant both old faces and new. Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are as charismatic as they were back in the first film and their onscreen chemistry hasn’t got lost after all these years.
Out of the new cast John Boyega really stands out as Finn; quirky but sincere he gives a brilliant performance which bodes well for future ventures – both Star Wars and otherwise. Adam Driver is also superb as Kylo Ren, one of the more fierce presences onscreen. However it is fresh newcomer Daisy Ridley who really steals the show as Rey. A strong heroine from the moment she appears, this is one character that you instantly take a liking too because of Ridley’s honest and realistic performance. This being her first film role, she is certain to go onto bigger – if it’s possible to get any bigger than this – features in years to come. All in all the film deserves every bit of hype surrounding it because it shines in every which way and will be enjoyed over the coming months as it should be.