STAR Wars: The Force Awakens has so much work to do as a film, satisfying old fans, setting up new storylines, introducing new characters and banishing the demons left by the prequels.
That it achieves all of this while still being a highly-entertaining film is an incredible feat.
It is perfectly pitched between serving up enough nostalgia and kick-starting a new generation of the behemoth that is the Star Wars universe.
Following a lot of the same beats as the 1977 original, the storyline is refreshingly simple and is in stark contrast to the trade embargoes, senate votes and awkward romance of the Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.
The series’ familiar faces are a heartwarming sight and the source of a lot of the film’s charm, while the new cast members are exciting prospects for the franchise and simply gripping to watch.
Oscar Isaac is charismatic and likeable as Resistance pilot Poe Dameron, in a way reminiscent of Harrison Ford’s original outing as Han Solo.
John Boyega is as likeable as they come and is clearly having the time of his life on screen, with a character arc as endearing as it is fresh.
Adam Driver’s intimidating Kylo Ren is fascinating to watch and as multi-dimensional as the best Star Wars villains.
But the real star of the show is Daisy Ridley.
Relatable, fun and tough as old boots, her character Rey is one of the best additions to the Star Wars universe in a long time.
The Force Awakens is a success worthy of the excitement and anticipation it has generated, with genuine humour, strong storytelling and breathless action sequences.
Star Wars fans: get yourselves to the cinema.
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