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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Abrams fails to awaken the Force, viewers

Starships, droids, Jedi and epic battles in space. All these things and more make up one of last year’s most anticipated movies.

“Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” is the seventh installment in the Star Wars saga originally started by George Lucas in 1977. The new addition, set 30 years after “Return of the Jedi” (1983), seems to have drawn plenty of fans.

“I liked the film,” said Professor of Education Studies David Hildreth. “I liked the acting, special effects and I believe it sets the stage for future films to come.”

Even though there was a lot of excitement about the new film, I was not sure about whether or not to actually go see it.

I am a big Star Wars fan, and I love to see the saga continue as much as the next guy, so long as it is in conjunction with the original set of films created by George Lucas.

But in 2013, Lucas sold the rights to Disney instead of continuing the saga himself after “Return of the Jedi.” Instead J.J. Abrams took the helm of the series and according to many, did quite well.

“(I) liked the movie, liked the special effects,” said Greensboro filmgoer Kelsey Adams. “Out of the original six, my favorite is ‘Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.’”

There was only one thing for me to do: see the film for myself and see if the Force was strong with this one.

First of all, Abrams got the music score right. It keeps in line with the original scores while still showing us something new and exciting.

Like the film’s music, Kylo Ren, the film’s antagonist, is inspired by events in the past as he attempts to be the new Darth Vader. In comparison to Vader, Ren seemed easily contradicted and, at times could not keep his cool. This made him seem weak and less effective.

Alongside Kylo Ren, the return of the original characters as a whole was kind of mixed.

Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, maintained his reputation of being the scruffy-looking pirate he was known to be, only older. He still seems familiar, but his old age made him less cocky and more grounded.

Leia, on the other hand, was much more disappointing. In “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi,” it is implied that she was supposed to be a Jedi heroine, but in this film, she takes a backseat role as an aging general.

Then again, Carrie Fisher is getting up in age, so I do not believe she wanted to be doing crazy acrobatics.

Leia was not the only disappointment in the film. Many felt the movie was retelling the same story as its earlier counterparts.

“They barely even pretend to advance the story of the initial trilogy,” wrote writer Andrew O’Hehir. “They rewind it and repeat it.”

Sentiment on campus also seemed to indicate the film was more of a retelling. After seeing the film, I have to agree.

Unlike the original movies, the climactic light-saber fight looked poorly coordinated. The duel looked sloppy compared to the flashy, precise battles of the past.

Speaking of light saber, one of the famous weapons creates an interesting plot hole. At some point in the movie, Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber becomes important. The question has to be asked, how did Luke’s old blue lightsaber turn up after 30 years when it was lost in Episode V?

Star Wars is always a good space opera. However, after seeing this addition there are way too many problems that need to be addressed. J.J. Abrams, I am sorry, but this one is a swing and a miss. The Force seems to be still asleep.

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Patrick Cassidy, Staff Writer

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