Star Wars: The Force Awakens The IMAX Experience | Indy Week

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Rated PG-13 · 136 min. · 2015

SciFi/Fantasy



Director J.J. Abrams has delivered a triumph by flouting the usual reboot expectations and essentially making a disco remix of franchise mythology. Three decades have passed since the events of Return of the Jedi, and the galaxy is still in turmoil. The collapse of the Empire has created a power vacuum, and the fascist First Order has stepped in. Most worrisome—Luke Skywalker, the last of the Jedi, has disappeared. On the desert planet of Jakku we meet our new heroes. Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), a hotshot Resistance pilot, finds an unlikely ally in the morally conflicted Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega). We also meet the resourceful scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley), who plucks bits of high-tech debris from derelict space cruisers half-buried in the sand. The early scenes of wrecked Star Destroyers and Imperial Walkers are like ruin porn from a galaxy far, far away. Over on the Dark Side, the mysterious Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) wears a mask and cape that evoke Darth Vader. Details on his actual identity are among the first of the script’s many unsettling surprises. Ren’s master is a menacing alien with the unfortunate title of Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis in a motion-capture performance). As the story progresses and more characters are put into play, it becomes clear that Abrams isn’t creating a new Star Wars so much as he is retelling the original saga, but with all the components mixed up. Rey is a little bit Luke and little bit Leia. Poe is a little bit Han and a little bit Luke. Snoke is part Vader and part Palpatine. Rey’s companion droid, BB-8, is R2-D2 with a new form of locomotion. The narrative shape of the movie is familiar, too, set in motion by a droid with coveted information. Harrison Ford is one of the very best parts of a very good movie. For the first time in a long while, he looks like he’s having fun. Not everything clicks into place: As Leia, Carrie Fisher isn’t given much to do; the political state of affairs between the First Order and the Republic isn’t clear; the pace is a twinge too speedy. But it builds to satisfying crescendo—watch how Abrams updates the series’ signature cross-cut editing in the final battles. And the quiet coda is just about perfect. The last image is a gorgeous visual metaphor for what the filmmakers have accomplished. It’s helpful to keep in mind the notion that myths are stories we tell ourselves over and over again, in different guises and different eras. Star Wars is one of the great tales of our modern mythology, and The Force Awakens successfully re-imagines the legend for a new generation.

Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan
Cast: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels and Peter Mayhew

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens The IMAX Experience

Star Wars: The Force Awakens The IMAX Experience

Star Wars: The Force Awakens The IMAX Experience

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