(PLEASE NOTE: This review contains minor spoilers, so avoid reading if you haven’t seen the film).

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

The wait is over, the hype is strong, and the seventh entry in the ‘Star Wars’ saga has been released, ten years after the previously released film ‘Revenge of the Sith’. Is it more like the originals or is it disappointing like the prequels? Thankfully, it is much like the former, and even stands above most of the films in the original trilogy.

The film is set thirty years where ‘Return of the Jedi’ concludes, this time the dark side has grown incredibly strong, under new leadership of Kylo Ren. With no hope in sight, BB-8 sets out to deliver a message. However, the message gets delivered towards a scavenger named Rey, a strong independent woman who has lived her days on the planet of Jakku, which looks alike Tatooine because it is a desert planet as well. I could say more about this film, but this is enough to give you the setup of the film.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ is a welcomed return to the world of ‘Star Wars’ and the continuing adventures of our favourite heroes from the original trilogy, and if that wasn’t enough, the screening I saw this film, the audience were cheering and clapping when the titles or an original cast member appeared.

The film is directed very well, with some beautiful and inventive shots, an example is the first shot of the film, being a unique way to show the enemy ship. Although there was one shot that felt out of place with the rest of the film and falls into the generic side, as it’s the final shot of the film. When you see the film, you’ll know what I mean.

The writing is nearly perfect, delivering mostly on laughs and dialogue, being closer to ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ in terms of writing and like the original ‘Star Wars’ film; a.k.a. ‘A New Hope’, in terms of plot arcs, reminiscing to that first film like a robot delivering a message, and another aspect which will tread onto spoiler territory. The film pays homages and references to the original trilogy, being a delight for any ‘Star Wars’ fan that will make you cheer or cry in joy.

The acting performances are quite spectacular, with the stand-out being Daisy Ridley as Rey, as she provides such a strong presence and provides emotion and fun, finding a balance of the two. While she was the stand out amongst the film’s cast, I also liked Oscar Isaac’s performance as Poe bringing some great laughs, but a character you root for and is extremely likeable. I should also give praises towards John Boyega as Finn, providing a strong performance, and really liked that his character grows throughout the film.

Although, there are problems to be found, after a great opening, I didn’t found the scenes with the weird octopus alien creatures that enjoyable, and was an odd choice in the rest of the film, and a character Captain Phasma gets lost in the shuffle with lack of depth to character and lacking significant screen time, despite being heavily marketed on posters and even on my ‘Star Wars’ shirt that I took to see the film. I could write more, but I rather not spoil the surprise install for the fans and film-goers when they see ‘The Force Awakens’.

Concluding, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ is a force to be wrecken with, being an entertaining and high-stakes thrill ride that fans and non-fans to enjoy, and while it isn’t the home-run I was expecting from all the hype, it does however stand as one of the greatest episodes of the entire ‘Star Wars’ saga, behind ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. The Force is strong with this one.

Daniel’s Grade: A-

Average Grade: A