STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS Review — It's Celestial!

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Star Wars the Force Awakens ReviewI couldn’t be more excited to tell you that Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens is everything you hoped it would be…and more. Righting what very little was wrong with the original three films, bringing back beloved characters and introducing new ones that are truly obsession worthy, J.J. Abrams has ingeniously and flawlessly revived what is sure to become the most successful franchise of all time.

I’ve never said this about a film before, but I seriously envy those of you who have not seen it yet, because the thrill of experiencing it for the first time still awaits you. For this reason, I’m not going to tell you much about The Force Awakens — every new character you meet, and every old character you become reacquainted with, is a sheer delight. Sure, many of the plot points feel familiar, but that’s not out of a lack of creativity — it’s an homage and acknowledgement of what isn’t broken and doesn’t need to be fixed. It’s more like finding your favorite, most comfy slippers, newly mended and renewed so you can enjoy them like never before.

But I do need to gush about a few of the new characters. Daisy Ridley as Rey is a revelation, fresh, beautiful, talented, perfect! She’s a hero for the ages — move over Katniss Everdeen! And the heretofore unknown John Bodega as Finn is sublime. The casting, which includes Harry Potter’s Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) and Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), is masterful. Some are better known than others, but none are so big they overshadow their characters or the film, as so many super stars have a tendency to do. Star Wars doesn’t need stunt casting.

Nothing gets in the way of sheer, unadulterated, experiential entertainment and delight. See it in 3D if you can, because the medium is used cleverly, rather than obtrusively, and emerges you in the fun even more.

It goes without saying that this film is going to break intergalactic box office and merchandising records, and deservedly so. I plan on spending my own money to see it again (as critics seldom do), and trying to incorporate Rey’s fashion sense into my own wardrobe. Love those arm wraps and draped genie pants! Which just goes to show that there’s something for everyone in this film. No matter who you are, you should let yourself catch this wave and enjoy one of the most pleasurable cinematic rides you’ll ever experience.

2 Hours 16 Minutes

Rated PG-13

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STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS Review — It’s Celestial!


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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.


  1. Jill sullivan on December 16, 2015 at 9:06 am

    I loved the trailer and can’t wait to see this! I actually won 4 movie tickets for the 22 nd, looking forward!!

  2. Peggy on December 16, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Seriously can’t wait to see this movie. So excited!!

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