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Star Wars: The Force Awakens review

JJ Abrams' series reboot finally gives fans a new hope

They did it, folks. You’ll see this movie regardless of what any review says, but rest assured – you won’t be wasting your time, and this won’t lead to any prequel-style critical backtracking once the excitement’s dust has settled.

Where to begin with a film whose opening titles can reduce grumpy old farts to tears? Perhaps with the fact that if you grew up with the original trilogy, then were disappointed by the debaculous prequel trilogy, then those tears may well be justified – JJ Abrams may have not reinvented the wheel here, but he’s remixed the wheel with enough storytelling pep and emotional heft to remind you why that wheel turned right through your childhood.

That remixing is paradoxically Episode VII‘s greatest strength and weakness: it feels like a Star Wars film, but is so clearly the work of an awe-struck fan rather than an innovator that you find yourself totting up the references and parallels likes a franchise scorekeeper.

The weird neo-feudal idea that a single bloodline determines the fate of the galaxy persists, as do countless riffs off familiar lines, from trench runs to bad feelings to Admiral Ackbar.

Summarising the plot risks either spoilers or clearly indicating what can be spoiled, so let’s keep it brief: Luke Skywalker is missing, and both the Empire’s successor, the even more Nazi-ish First Order, and its successor adversary, the Resistance, want to find him.

Profile image of Andrew Lowry Andrew Lowry Contributor
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