Abrams creates a tour de Force
Published 16/12/2015 | 08:06
Star Wars is back after a 10-year break but fans will be pleased to know: the Force is definitely strong in its return.
It is fair to say Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is the most anticipated movie of 2015 and it lives up to the hype that has been surrounding it.
Since the film began shooting early in 2014, any specks of detail regarding the plot have been under lock and key.
And days ahead of its official release, reviews - from tweets to column inches - have also been strictly forbidden.
Even after the American premiere in Los Angeles at the beginning of the week, only tiny morsels were tweeted or leaked online.
For months, director JJ Abrams has cleverly teased with tiny snippets that have given away just enough to get fans frothing at the mouth in anticipation.
Finally, reviewers and fans alike were treated to the first screening of the movie ahead of its UK premiere - and if the whoops, claps and laughs in the cinema are any indication - Star Wars fans are in for a treat.
Abrams breathed new life into the Star Trek franchise and with Star Wars he has managed to keep the authenticity of George Lucas' characters, while adding his own dose of magic.
With the old guard of actors - Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill - coming back to reprise roles and the new generation being introduced, there was always the danger the balance between old and new would not work.
But Abrams has created a form of on-screen alchemy, finding the perfect recipe, and the film is more a coming together of generations than the "kids" taking over from the oldies.
The plot is perfect, in fact, the rest of the film is so good even if the plot did not stand up, no one would probably notice.
He has retained those special moments between Han Solo (Ford) and Chewbacca, and great one-liners delivered by Ford do not go amiss. Yet newcomers - John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver - are all equally impressive.
Ridley, who plays Rey, is astonishingly talented and her on-screen presence, for such a newcomer, dominates the big screen in a way few other big stars are even able to do after years in front of the camera. Boyega as Finn is casting gold, and Driver, who plays Kylo Ren, is a force unto himself.
A definitely scene-stealer is also the newest droid, BB-8, but fans will not be disappointed to see C-3PO and R2-D2 have not been retired to the scrap pile just yet.
:: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens opens in the UK tomorrow.