Following the epic conclusion of the original series, Lucas retires from writing and making more Star Wars movies. The series takes a 10 year hiatus, but during this time, Disney decides to take over the series, planning a sequel series that takes place after the original trilogy. Hiring director J. J. Abrams and casting new characters, the Star Wars hype once again returned.
The sequel series attempts to follow the footsteps of the original series. We meet several new and intriguing characters played by new, largely unknown actors. These include the feisty and independent scavenger Rey, defecting storm trooper Finn, pilot Poe Dameron, and mysterious and powerful dark side user Kylo Ren. We soon learn that the Republic that was reestablished at the end of the original trilogy was weak and unorganized, and the remnants of the Empire, led by the powerful dark lord Supreme Leader Snoke, have reorganized into the First Order. Luke Skywalker had led a band of new Padawans in an attempt to restart the Jedi Order, but failed when one of his students, the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia, turned to the dark side and became known as the anger and hate filled Kylo Ren.
The various characters and their storylines is actually extremely intriguing. Right off the bat, Rey seems to display a strong connection to the Force, and we are therefore left to wonder who her ancestry is. The idea of Finn as a defector of the First Order is also a new idea that had never been explored. Kylo Ren, with Skywalker blood, is understandably powerful, and his raw power is shown in the opening scene when he stops a laser blast in midair with the Force.
However, the movie flops because it was riddled with huge plot holes and poor character development. John Boyega’s Finn essentially served as the ethnic diversity of the cast, as his character never flashed any real usefulness to the plot and frequently spoke cheesy and cliched lines. Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren is essentially a huge baby. It’s disappointing to see such a powerful Force user complain about everything and fail to make a real impact in the plot as well. The one new character I liked was Rey. Thankfully, as the main character, Rey drives the plot and garner’s the audience’s adoration with her bravery and humor. She reminds of us Luke in the original trilogy, resourceful, headstrong, and clearly strong with the Force. She continuously surprises Han, Leia, Finn, and Kylo with her feats, foreshadowing more and more about her true bloodline and lost parentage.
The bottom line is, however, The Force Awakens failed to come up with a creative plot. I could just see the writers sitting in a conference room trying to come up with the grand scheme of the first order that the Resistance would have to stop. At some point, a guy goes “How about instead of a Death Star, we make and even bigger Death Star?” to the applause of the entire room. I mean seriously, could they not have come up with anything more creative than a larger Death Star? Additionally, I have so much trouble racking my brain around how in the world Rey was able to defeat Kylo Ren. It took Luke 3 whole movies to train and become strong enough to take on Darth Vader, but somehow Rey picks up a lightsaber for the very first time and is able to strike down a powerful dark lord. It simple makes no sense and is very unsatisfying to see such a major plot hole in such a drawn out and clearly thought out movie.