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Yes, its better than the prequels.
For simplicity’s sake, I’m dividing the review into non-spoilers on this page, and spoiler on the next. This review will also be structured in a Q&A style format to cover all the major characters.
No, for reals, is it better than the Prequels?
Yes. Yes it is.
What happened after Return of the Jedi?
The Force Awakens takes place roughly 30 years after the events of the original trilogy. The Empire has been split in two. On the “Dark” side you have the First Order, who are the remnants of the Empire. Very evil, vaguely Nazis. On the “Light” side you have the Resistance, backed by the New Republic. These two faction are doing the “War” part in Star Wars.
Where are my favorites!?
Han, Chewie, and Leah do appear in The Force Awakens. As to what they are doing, well, that’s spoilers.
Who is Rey?
Rey is the Luke Skywalker of the story. She’s a scavenger living on a desert planet when she meets BB8, the new droid mascot. She’s been living by herself for most of her life, so she knows how to take care of herself. In fact, my one complaint was that she was a little too good at everything she tried. But that’s spoilers. She’s a great character, giving off tremendous Princess Leah vibes. Like Luke before her, her story arc involves taking her first steps into a larger world.
Who is Fin?
Fin is a storm trooper. Fin is pretty unique in the Star Wars cannon, since we’ve never actually followed the story of a solider before. Well, the cartoons do, but clones don’t count. That’s another thing. Finn’s not a clone. He’s a conscript, raised from a very early age to be a nameless trooper. In the movie, Fin decides to defect, and a lot of the movie is him trying to get as far away as he can from the First Order. This lead to some pretty funny moments. I think that out of all the new characters, Fin’s mix of fear, humor, and bravery makes him the most relatable.
Who is Po?
Po is the Han Solo. Sort of. He’s described as the most daring pilot in the Resistance. He’s actually the one that sets the series of events in motion. BB8 is his droid. But, and this is a big BUT, he doesn’t show up in the movie all that much. He’s in the start, and somewhere in the latter half, but that’s it. This is not his movie. It’s Rey and Fin’s. That being said, he is a pretty rougish soldier. Shades of Flash Gordon almost.
Who is Kylo Ren?
Kylo Ren is the main antagonist of the film. The New Vader. Or so he wishes. Like the Sith Lord before him, Ren is also hunting for a droid, which makes him come across Fin and Rey. Now, the movie doesn’t even try to hide his real identity, and most everyone on the internet as guessed it by now. But I’ll adhere to Empire Strikes Back rules and keep mum about it. I’ll just say that Ren is way more emotional than Vader ever way. Think Episode 3 Anikin Skywalker, but done good.
Oh yeah, what’s the plot anyway?
In a nutshell, Fin and Rey have to return BB8 to the Resistance while being chased by Kylo Ren across the galaxy. It loosely parallels the story structure of A New Hope, but without being an outright copy. It’s awesome and you should watch it.
Any more, and we’re in spoiler country.
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