‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ – Snapshot Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

135 minutes, Rated PG-13

Critical rating: 4 stars out of 5

The scoop: Decades after “Return of the Jedi” everyone in the “Star Wars” universe is searching for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). This includes his sister, Leia (Carrie Fisher), his friends Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and a sinister new political movement known as the First Order. A handful of new characters are also drawn into the action, and they clearly represent the future of the franchise. To say more would undoubtedly spoil things for fans, so my lips are sealed.

Although no movie could live up to the hype surrounding “The Force Awakens,” it is a solid work that recalls the original, 1977 picture at every turn. In fact, one can argue that director J.J. Abrams has gone too far with his visual and plotting homages. But there’s really no need to complain. The “Star Wars” movies are space operas, and melodrama and a dash of predictability have always been part of the formula. Bottom line: “The Force Awakens” is a good film with a good cast, and it’s a must see for anyone who loved the earlier movies.

Warning: Those who plan to see the film after opening day will do well to avoid social media and websites that reveal spoilers. There are some major plot points that you’re better off discovering on your own.

Directed by: JJ Abrams (Star Trek, Mission Impossible III, Super 8)

Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

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