Movie of the Month: “Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens” exceeds expectations

Each month a member of the Patriot Staff picks a movie to review. Read and decide whether or not it is worth seeing for yourself.


While breaking all sorts of movie records and making more than a billion dollars in its first two weeks in the theaters, the latest installation of the epic Star Wars saga, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens has hit the movie theaters with the same impact as a Death Star.

As I walked out of the theater after seeing “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens,” I knew that all I wanted to do was see it again.

After eagerly waiting in line for an hour to be one of the first in the theater, I entered with the same child-like wonder of a kid experiencing snow for the first time. To prepare myself for the seventh episode of the Star Wars saga, I watched episodes five and six the night before, and I was in the zone to watch the next edition to one of the most incredible movie series ever produced.

The movie turned out to be better than I expected. This episode was similar to the first movie, “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope,” in the sense that you didn’t need to know anything about the galaxy the movie took place in to enjoy and understand it. However, if you have seen the previous Star Wars movies, your experience won’t be dulled by the introductions of characters you might already know and love.

The movie, as all the episodes of Star Wars do, inserts comic relief in the midst of incredibly tense and emotional situations, giving you a well-needed break from the intensity of the events unfolding on the screen. With minor characters inserting witty one-liners and major characters making snide comments about previous events from other movies, small doses of humor came in all forms throughout the movie.

“The Force Awakens” references the other Star Wars movies both directly and indirectly. While some comments, usually the aforementioned comic relief, do reference previous episodes, they do so in a way that won’t fly over your head if you haven’t seen the other Star Wars.

Characters even inadvertently reference previous movies and ‘force’ you to laugh at repetitive plot lines instead of condemning them. While movie franchises often repeat similar plot points while ignoring the unoriginality of their own struggles, Star Wars acknowledges that their plots might be similar throughout the series and leaves you laughing at the fact instead of scoffing at it.

However, for those of us who have seen the other episodes, these wisecracks and references leave you with a feeling of continued solidarity with the past and make you smile at the lengths which J.J. Abrams and George Lucas have gone to eradicate any potential plot holes.

The movie’s plot moves quickly, with little time for the audience to decompress, and no time for your mind to wander. This movie is not a Nicholas Sparks movie where you can zone out for long periods of time and miss absolutely nothing. Each second of the movie is pertinent, fascinating and captivating.

The introduction of relatable new characters who seem to, for the most part, face real struggles, and a variety of plot twists wreaks a range of emotional havoc – from cheering to sobbing. The fast-moving plot, relatable characters and comic relief makes “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” the best movie of the year by far and one of the top three episodes of Star Wars.

But never fear, this episode of Star Wars is perfect for hardcore Star Wars fans and newbies alike. Since a new plotline and most of the major characters are introduced in the episode, it’s a perfect place for newcomers to jump into the phenomenon that is Star Wars.

Whether you’ve seen every episode seven times or you’ve never even heard of Star Wars, I’d highly recommend seeing it. The movie is a cinematic masterpiece, and I don’t believe there are enough words in the English language to explain how incredible this movie was. I’d recommend this movie to everyone, and I hope that everyone gets to experience “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” for themselves.

Grace Mottley is a News Editor for the Patriot and