You knew this was coming: the inevitable Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens post.
I didn’t expect to be impressed by the movie, but it was highly enjoyable and faithful to its predecessors. It was more than two hours long, but it felt like it moved much more quickly; slow moments were few and far between.
The lure of the Dark Side must be strong indeed for Han Solo and Leia’s son, Kylo Ren (AKA Ben Solo), to join and commit heinous deeds in an effort to become as powerful as his grandfather, Darth Vader. Even so, he came off more like a spoiled teenager with a bad attitude problem and anger issues than a villain to be taken seriously (not unlike young Anakin Skywalker). It was hard for me to believe that Rey, one of the main protagonists, could defeat Ren with powers of the Force that she had discovered only a few scenes prior.
The movie wrapped up nicely, but I was left with many questions that will have to wait for Episodes VIII and IX before they are answered. I was wondering about exactly why Kylo Ren’s obsession with Darth Vader started and why he chose to turn to the Dark Side. This was explained a little bit in the movie, but Ren struck me as such a weak antagonist that I wanted more explanation. I got the feeling that Rey, because she is so “strong with the Force” is somehow related by blood to the Skywalker family. I wasn’t sure who Maz Kanata was, but she seemed to play the same role as Yoda had in previous Star Wars movies: the old sage with knowledge of the Force. I hope she appears in future films.
In short, J.J. Abrams kept the series faithful to the universe that George Lucas had created, and he gave us several interesting characters to watch in future movies.