When Harrison Ford arrives some forty minutes into the
film, he gets such a warm ovation from the audience that it’s like meeting a
favourite uncle after ages.
The welcome for Hans Solo sums up the audience
reaction to the 7th edition of Star
Wars. Fans of the franchise have hugely missed George Lucas’ characters and
The Force Awakens gives them a
lavish helping of nostalgia to revel in.
In the plot too, familiar emotions are recycled and
the audience laps it up. Luke Skywalker has disappeared. Dystopia is now ruled
by a new ruthless force called the First Order with Kylo Ren as the latest
masked devil. Droid BB-8 has lost his
master Poe in a battle with Kylo Ren and finds a kind companion in scavenger
The cutely rolling droid, hairy Chewbacca, even
Millennium Falcon, are all received like old friends. The unveiling of R2D2
which has deactivated itself ever since Luke’s disappearance, also brings on so
much collective cheer that nobody stops to wonder how the droid suddenly
springs to life towards the end. Ah, the
explanation will be fodder for the next episode, I guess.
When it’s time to take on the First Order in the final
battle, a defector called Finn, Rey who has natural piloting skills and BB-8
join forces with Hans Solo and Chewbacca. Droid’s master Poe isn’t dead after
all and he’s back too. So is Hans Solo’s ladylove Carrie Fisher as Princess
Leia or the General operating the battle from the ground.
The resemblance and references to past episodes
continue to be heavy. The Darth
Vader-Skywalker relationship gets reversed here but the sentiment is a repeat
when Hans Solo has a father moment with son Kylo Ren from the Dark Forces.
Death and sentimentality are familiar feelings.
There’s also an ominously unexplained connection
between evil Kylo Ren and good Rey, an obvious hook for the next
instalment. Especially since Luke’s
lightsaber goes to Rey like it’s her birthright to hold it. So for sure
there’ll be more of Adam Driver as Kylo and Daisy Ridley
as Rey the next time around which will bring youthfulness to the franchise.
With Luke Skywalker away all through, The Force Awakens belongs to the
charismatic Harrison Ford who has the best one-liners and moments of emotion.
He makes room for the return of Mark Hamill as Luke in the next Star Wars.
Director JJ Abrams’ 7th edition is great
stuff as it rides high on nostalgia and of course stunning special effects. But
with Star Wars scheduled to roll out
year after year for the next five years, there has to be much more in the
writing than the rebooting of familiar stirrings.
For now it works big-time fetching Star Wars: The Force Awakens a healthy
Reviewed byJournalist & Author
Bharathi S Pradhan