Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Michael Bakshandeh, Technology Editor

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The Star Wars franchise has once again outdone itself, producing a seventh member to its story, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, around 10 years after the production of the 6th member of the saga. Critics everywhere have acclaimed the movie, finding few issues with it. I agree with the critics: the movie was indeed superb.

The movie begins with a scene in which Resistance pilot Poe Dameron meets a village elder on Jakku to obtain a map that shows Luke Skywalker’s location. Luke Skywalker has been missing for some time and both the Resistance and dark First Order are searching for him. Stormtroopers of the dark First Order destroy the village and capture Poe, but the map escapes with his droid BB-8. BB-8 wanders aimlessly on Jakku until he finds a scavenger named Rey. Meanwhile, Poe is able to escape with the help of a storm trooper named Finn that wants to escape the First Order. Their ship crashes on Jakku and Finn appeared to be the sole survivor. He encounters Rey and the BB-8, but the First Order also finds them. The First Order subsequently launched an aerial raid on the threesome to attempt to steal the droid. The three escape successfully on the old Millennium Falcon.

Han Solo and Chewbacca, who have been searching for this stolen vessel for years, then capture the Millenium Falcon. Upon hearing that the threesome is searching for Luke Skywalker, Han Solo agrees to accompany them on their adventures. The adventurers ruefully realize that BB-8’s map is incomplete and won’t be able to help them. They decide to travel to a planet called Takodana to gain further insight. A cantina owner named Maz Katana can help BB-8 reach the Resistance and provides some sagely advice to the travelers. Finn realizes that he needs to get to the outer edge of the galaxy and has to abandon the travelers. Rey meanwhile ventures into uncharted areas in the cantina and accidentally encounters the old lightsaber of Luke Skywalker. Maz tells Rey that the lightsaber is calling her, but Rey was horrified by the visions it made her see and fled to the forest.

Back at the First Order, the planet is being converted into a superweapon capable of destroying star systems. Snoke orders one of the generals to fire the weapon at the Republic capital, and the First Order declares the end of the Republic. The First Order also proceeds to attack Takodana, and a Resistance pilot saves Han, Chewbacca, and Finn. Rey is captured by Ren and is taken back to the First Order base. Both Ren and Rey realized that Rey is extremely powerful with the Force and a big danger to the First Order as Ren tries to extract information from Rey. Rey escapes using her new-found powers.

Leia arrives at Takodana with C-3PO and reunites with Han and Chewbacca. At the resistance base, BB-8 finds R2-D2, whom 3-CPO explains has been inactive since Luke’s disappearance. The Resistance devises a quick plan to destroy the Starkiller Base, and Leia urges Han to make their son return to the Good Side. Unfortunately for Han, Ren kills Han and completes his transformation to the Dark Side. Chewbacca shoots Ren in his fury and the Resistance leaders are ultimately able to destroy the base.

Ren pursues Finn and Rey to the surface. While he is able to quickly defeat Finn, Ren encounters much more difficulty facing Rey. Rey is able to overpower Ren with the Force before they are separated with a fissure. The First Order evacuates the base and take Ren with them.

Back on the Resistance Base, R2-D2 awakens and reveals that he has the rest of the map that leads to Luke Skywalker. Delighted, the Resistance sends Rey to find Luke Skywalker. The movie ends with a dramatic scene in which Rey hands Luke his lightsaber.

Ultimately, this movie was extremely well crafted and shows promising signs for the future of the Star Wars saga. Disney has actually released a statement that they are already working on the eighth and ninth members of the saga. Sources state that the eighth member of the saga will likely be released on May 26, 2017, assuming that all goes well in producing the movie. The movie also set several records in the movie industry. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has the highest-grossing worldwide opening of all time and was the fastest film to reach $1 billion. From here, it appears that Disney can only be looking up as they work on the next two members of this truly timeless saga.

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