Rey (Daisy Ridley) discovers the BB8 droid in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Reel Reviews: Merry Christmas Star Wars fans

Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Taylor and Howe say, "It’s nice to have you back, Star Wars.”

  • Dec. 24, 2015 11:00 a.m.

Thirty years after the death of the Empire, a new evil force is born from its ashes, The First Order.

Led by the mysterious supreme leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), a new champion of the dark side of the force Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) searches the galaxy for the legendary Jedi knight Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).

A young scavenger named Rey (Daisy Ridley) comes across a droid, BB8, that claims to be carrying information critical to the rebellion. With the help of a Stormtrooper named Finn (John Boyega), who has turned against The First Order, as well as a few more new and familiar faces, Rey will have to deliver BB8 to the rebel forces.

We say, “It’s nice to have you back, Star Wars.”

TAYLOR: I had high hopes for this film, based on the abilities of director J.J. Abrams. I was in no way disappointed. This film is every bit as exciting and amazing as the first, with the added bonus of being made with technology and philosophies having matured 40 years.

HOWE: What? The Phantom Menace, because that is the first one, or do you mean the original Star Wars IV: A New Hope? Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

At any rate, this film is FANTASTIC. Yes, it’s so good I had to print that in all capital letters. There are lots of reasons why I enjoyed it so very much, but most of all it felt old, even familiar. J.J. Abrams must have cloned himself into a young George Lucas to make it feel like that.

TAYLOR: The film is very much like the original Star Wars. It has essentially the same story, a young, would-be warrior is thrust into a galaxy threatened by evil. More importantly, the film feels the same. It has similar pacing and style, but these things have been updated for modern audiences, so it’s a bit more frantic and dynamic.

There’s also more female characters, including heroes, villains, aliens and Stormtroopers. It’s a modern film, an homage and a reboot. It’s probably better in every way to every other Star Wars movie, except for in inventiveness with the original.

HOWE: I was thinking along the same lines you were. Standing in line for more than an hour and spending $12.99 to get in seems like a steal to be treated to more than two hours of high quality entertainment for a change. I really don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil the story, but you should go and watch it. You will not be disappointed and if you are, you must be from the Dark side.

TAYLOR: George Lucas handing over the reigns to more talented people might have produced the best Star Wars movie to date. I’ll need to see it again to be sure. I’ll get back to you. In the meantime, Star Wars: The Force Awakens makes a great gift.

Merry Christmas everyone!

–Taylor gives it 5 Marksman-H combat remotes out of 5.

– Howe gives it “Do you really have to ask?”out of 5. OK, 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe review the latest films for the Vernon Morning Star in Reel Reviews.

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