Tag Archives: John Boyega

Star Wars VII The Force Awakens

Star Wars Force

The hype has been building ever since it was announced a further Trilogy would be added to the Star Wars franchise. Then at the end of last year The Force Awakens was released. I’m probably one of the last people to see this movie, but will it reboost the franchise or become a franchise killer?

30 years after the fall of the Empire and a new villianous group called the First Order is trying to take off where the Empire left off. As the Resistence, led by General Leila (Carrie Fisher), tries to fight the First Order a new batch of young heroes Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) get drawn into the fight and begin to discover their destinies.

I like the original Star Wars movies but I’ve never been a huge Star Wars fan. I guess I was more into Star Trek. Having said that The Force Awakens had me enthralled throughout. The film manages to find the right balance between using the original and new cast as well as appealing to die-hard fans and those who have no idea what a jedi is before watching this film.

JJ Abrahams deserves a lot of credit for successfully bringing such a beloved series back. He manages to mix special effects and practical stunts together to bring us many stunning set pieces and action scenes. But he doesn’t neglect the emotional aspects of the film, which may see a few tears come to the eye of many a seasoned film-goer.

It was great seeing Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher back together again. Ford in particular provides so many great moments and work well with the younger cast. Speaking of the newest memebers of the Star Wars family Boyega and Ridley are both fantastic in their new roles. Finn and Rey were both sympathetic and likeable characters. And who doens’t want to have their own BB8 now after seeing the film! The new baddies also made an impression with Adam Driver in particular making his mark as the villianous Kylo Ren. It was a shame we didn’t get to see more of Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma. I also felt Oscar Isaac’s Poe Domeron wasn’t as developed as well as Finn or Rey. All I knew about him is that he’s a great pilot. But considering how good Issac is I’m sure he’ll get more to do in further films.

The success of The Force Awakens almost banishes away the bad memories of the prequels  (well almost).

Rating 4/5 – a brilliant sequel, Rian Johnson has a high standard to fill for Episode VIII.

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Should There Be More Women in Star Wars?

I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on Star Wars. I like The Empire Strikes Back, and of course I think Han Solo is cool. But I’ve never been hugely interested in the Star Wars franchise. However you would have to be stuck in a cave not to hear all the latest rumblings about the new Star Wars trilogy.

I have to say that I was happily surprised when I  heard the new cast announcement. I always like seeing Brits do well in Hollywood so was pleased to hear that Donhall Gleeson (About Time) and John Boyega (Attack The Block) had been cast alongside Indie stars Adam Driver (Girls, Frances Ha) and Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) . Then I heard there were one controversial member of the cast-Daisy Ridley. She’s not controversial in herself but her casting has lead some critics to cry out-why is there only one new female cast member added to the franchise?

As I mentioned I’m not any kind of expert on Star Wars so I can’t say whether their representation of women is great or not, but I remember liking the character of Leila (although I’ve never watched Return of The Jedi where she’s reportedly reduced to a bikini wearing slave). Does it matter if there is only one woman cast in the film as long as the characters is a good addition? After all people remember and love Leila.  Then I saw an article which asked people to state Leila’s full name. I racked my brain for the answer. After all everyone knows Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kanobi, Darth Vader etc, but I could not think of what Leila’s was (and I’m guessing “Princess Leila” doesn’t count).

Apparently it’s  Organa. Catchy.

Does it really matter if no one can remember her last name? Maybe not, but it’s interesting that everyone always calls her Princess Leila as though that is the only title of interest. Is that because we are obsessed with Princesses?

I think Leila is a strong enough character even without a memorable surname but it does leave you thinking about women in the Star Wars world. The only really notable woman in the last trilogy was Natalie Portman’s Padme Amidala. Now I think Portman is great but Padme was so dull. It didn’t help that she seemed to have no chemistry with Anakin Skywalker.

So the world will be looking at Daisy Ridley to see where her character will stand in this debate. There are also rumours that another substantial female role is yet to be announced so maybe the critics are being a bit hasty with their criticism?

So what do you think? Is the lack of females in Star Wars a big deal? Is JJ Abrams the right man to bring us another Leila rather than a Padma? Is it significant that no one can remember Leila’s last name? Or are you just fed up of people talking about women in Star Wars? Leave your comments below.

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