Star Wars The Force Awakens
Walt Disney Studios
Reason for the Rating: Sci-fi action violence.
Plot Summary: Han Solo and Princess Leia reunite in an effort to find Luke Skywalker and defeat The First Order, the newest regime attempting to take over the galaxy
PopFam Recommends: A must see (even if you're not a huge Star Wars fan).
If you haven't seen the newest Star Wars movie, you might not know anything about it. Because, if you're like me, you don't want to know anything about it. The surprise is just too big (and if you've waited this long, why not wait a few more days?). So, if you don't want to know details, stop reading after this paragraph. All you need to know is that it's amazing and certainly worth seeing, especially with any Star Wars fans you might know.
If you're still reading, here are some details. The Force Awakens takes place about 30 years after Return of the Jedi. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the last Jedi, has journeyed deep into the galaxy, leaving General Leia (Carrie Fisher) to lead the Resistance in defeating the newest galactic threat, The First Order. Learning of someone who has information about Luke's whereabouts, Leia sends her best pilot, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), to the planet Jakku. While there, Poe is attacked and taken prisoner by the First Order, leading him to place the newly discovered map in the "hands" of his droid, BB-8. Reminiscent to Leia giving sensitive information to R2-D2 in the original Star Wars.
While Poe is having his own adventures, BB-8 is found by a scavenger, Rey (Daisy Ridley), who makes a living off parts of old warships while she waits for her family to return to Jakku. Her wait is interrupted when Poe's new friend, Finn (John Boyega), is sent to find BB-8. The three end up with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) on the Millennium Falcon fighting the First Order and it's upcoming leader, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
I won't give away all the surprises, but will say this movie is so much better than the prequels made in the late 1990's and into the early 2000's. Those were horrible and an embarrassment to the name of Star Wars (my opinion only), but The Force Awakens harkens back to the glory days of Episode IV-A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, with Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, and Carrie Fisher returning to bring depth to the characters and believable acting to the screen. The supporting actors are equally believable, lending to a movie with characters that are a compliment, not a distraction, to the movie as a whole.
In addition to superb acting, director J.J. Abrams and his team chose to use a "green screen" and CGI imagery as little as possible in the shooting of The Force Awakens, which gives it a larger-than-life feel, and believable viewing quality. Meaning, it looks real on that huge screen! Which is amazing, considering the settings range from Sahara-like deserts to dense green forests and deep inner-space.
Parents, there isn't much that's offensive in this sequel, other than sci-fi violence, so you can safely take your kids to see a movie that the entire family will enjoy. It's a good opportunity to discuss themes of good and evil, the choices we make, and the friends with whom we surround ourselves. Which are relevant at any age, really.
My bet is, this is a movie your family won't see just once.
Let’s Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:
• What caused Kylo Ren to choose the Dark Side when he came from "good" parents?
• How is "the Force" like and unlike the Holy Spirit?
• Can Kylo Ren be redeemed from the Dark Side, even after all he has done? How is this like our own redemption?
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