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Star Wars- Is It Different Under Disney?

Has Star Wars changed in anyway, especially it’s storyline and characters since Disney Pictures took over?. These were the exact thoughts I had in my mind in anticipation towards watching this much anticipated blockbuster.

List of Star Wars characters
  • Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Ford said Han “does not aspire to the position of Obi-Wan, nor do I aspire to be some New Age Alec Guinness. His development is consistent with the character, and there are emotional elements which have occasioned his growth … There’s a lot of the rogue still left in Solo. Some things don’t change…”
  • Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. Regarding Luke, Han and Leia, Abrams stated: “They’d be as old and as mythic as the tale of King Arthur. They would be characters who [the new characters] may have heard of, but maybe not. They’d be characters who they might believe existed, or just sounded like a fairy tale…”
  • Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. She is referred to as General Organa, rather than Princess Leia – and is shown to still be Force-sensitive. After the events of Return of the Jedi, she is described as “a little more battle weary, a little more broken hearted.” Fisher described Leia as “solitary. Under a lot of pressure. Committed as ever to her cause, but I would imagine feeling somewhat defeated, tired, and pissed.” Abrams said: “The stakes are pretty high in the story for her, so there’s not much goofing around where Leia’s concerned.”
  • Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, a dark warrior strong with the Force, originally a member of the Knights of Ren, and commander of the First Order. Driver said the team tried “not to think of him as being bad, or evil, or a villain. Something that was more three-dimensional. He’s more dangerous and unpredictable, and morally justified in doing what he thinks is right.”
  • Daisy Ridley as Rey, a scavenger on the desert planet Jakku, who discovers that she is very Force-sensitive. Ridley said: “She’s completely self-sufficient and does everything for herself, until she meets [Finn] and an adventure begins.”
  • John Boyega as Finn, a redeemed First Order stormtrooper. Boyega said that he learned he obtained the part “over a nice breakfast in Mayfair” where Abrams told him: “John, you’re the new star of Star Wars.”Boyega said: “When we find Finn, he’s in incredible danger. And the way he reacts to this danger changes his life, and launches him into the Star Wars universe in a very unique way.”He said in another interview: “He’s been taught about [Luke], he knows about his history. For him it’s like joining the army and then learning about one of the great enemies of your country.”
  • Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, a Resistance X-wing fighter pilot. Isaac said: “He’s the best freaking pilot in the galaxy… He’s been sent on a mission by a certain princess, and he ends up coming up across [Finn], and their fates are forever intertwined.”
  • Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, a pirate. Nyong’o said Kanata has “lived over a thousand years. She’s had this watering hole for about a century, and it’s like another bar that you’d find in a corner of the Star Wars universe.”
  • Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke, the political leader of the First Order. He is Kylo Ren’s master and is very powerful in the dark side.Serkis described Snoke as “quite an enigmatic character, and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful… He is large. He appears tall. And also just the facial design – you couldn’t have gotten there with prosthetics… Without giving too much away at this point, he has a very distinctive, idiosyncratic bone and facial structure.”
  • Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, leader of the primary First Order base, Starkiller Base. Gleeson described him as “pretty ruthless. A strong disciplinarian would be a mild way of putting it… He’s kind of opposite Kylo Ren. They have their own relationship, which is individual and unusual. One of them is strong in different ways than the other. They’re both vying for power.”
  • Anthony Daniels as C-3PO. Daniels said the actors were allowed to experiment with their performances, and that Abrams “made a field, a playpen where you were allowed to take your time and suggest things.”
  • Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
  • Max von Sydow as Lor San Tekka
  • Tim Rose and Mike Quinn reprise their roles as Admiral Ackbar and Nien Nunb, respectively from Return of the Jedi; Quinn previously performed Nunb with Richard Bonehill before his passing, while Kipsang Rotich provided the character’s voice. Kenny Baker served as “consultant” for R2-D2. Gwendoline Christie plays Captain Phasma, an officer in the First Order. Dave Chapman and Brian Herring served as puppeteers for BB-8, with Bill Hader and Ben Schwartz credited as “Vocal Consultants”.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rey (Daisy Ridley) Ph: Film Frame © 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Right Reserved..
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Rey (Daisy Ridley)
Ph: Film Frame
© 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Right Reserved

Ken Leung appears as Statura, an admiral in the Resistance. Simon Pegg appears as Unkar Plutt, the Junkyard dealer on Jakku. Greg Grunberg plays Snap Wexley, an X-wing pilot. Kiran Shah plays Teedo, a scavenger on Jakku who rides a semi-mechanical Luggabeast. Jessica Henwick appears as Jessika “Jess Testor” Pava, an X-wing pilot. Yayan Ruhian, Iko Uwais and Cecep Arif Rahman appear as Tasu Leech, Razoo Qin-Fee and Crokind Shand, members of Kanjiklub Gang, a criminal organization. Warwick Davis appears as Wollivan, a tavern-dweller in Maz Kanata’s castle.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster plays Thanisson, a First Order Petty Officer. Billie Lourd appears as Connix, a lieutenant in the Resistance. Ewan McGregor does a voice cameo as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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Daniel Craig, Michael Giacchino and Nigel Godrich cameo as stormtroopers. Abrams’ assistant, Morgan Dameron, appears as a Resistance officer, while his father, Gary Abrams, appears as Captain Cypress. Additionally, Emun Elliott, Crystal Clarke, Mark Stanley, Pip Andersen, Christina Chong, Miltos Yerolemou, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Amybeth Hargreaves, Leanne Best, Harriet Walter, Judah Friedlander, and Kevin Smith were cast in minor roles. Abrams has a vocal cameo. 

Other voice appearances from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels cast members Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter, Tom Kane, Meredith Salenger and show runnerDave Filoni are listed among the additional voices used in the film.

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Approximately thirty years after the destruction of the second Death Star, Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi, has disappeared. The First Order, a military group, has arisen from the remains of the fallen Galactic Empire and seeks to eliminate the Republic and Luke.

The Resistance, a military force backed by the Republic and led by Luke’s sister Leia Organa, opposes them while searching for Luke to enlist his aid.

Resistance pilot Poe Dameron meets with village elder Lor San Tekka on the planet Jakku to obtain a map of Luke’s location.Stormtroopers under the command of Kylo Ren infiltrate and destroy the village before capturing Poe. His droid BB-8 escapes with a copy of the map, and comes across a scavenger named Rey at a junkyard settlement.

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Ren uses the Force to torture Poe, forcing him to reveal information about BB-8. Stormtrooper FN-2187, repulsed by First Order cruelty, frees Poe and they escape in a stolenTIE fighter; Poe dubs FN-2187 “Finn.” They crash on Jakku and Finn appears to be the only survivor. He encounters Rey and BB-8, but the Order tracks them and launches an airstrike, forcing the three to flee the planet in a stolen run-down ship, the Millennium Falcon.

The Falcon breaks down in space, leaving them stranded. They are found by Han Solo and Chewbacca, who reclaim their former ship, taking it aboard their freighter. Han explains that Luke tried to rebuild the Jedi Order, but disappeared after his apprentice Kylo Ren turned to the Dark Side, destroying all that Luke had built. They are attacked by pirates and escape, but the pirates inform the Order of Han’s involvement.

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Do you recognize any of these actors/actress from the original Star Wars?

At the Order’s “Starkiller Base”, Supreme Leader Snoke tells Ren that to overcome the call of the light, Ren must kill his father, Han Solo. The base holds a super-weapon capable of destroying star systems which is now ready to use and Snoke orders General Hux to use it for the first time. It destroys the Hosnian star system, seat of the Galactic Senate[c] and Hux declares it the end of the Republic.

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The Falcon crew arrive at the planet Takodana and meet Maz Kanata, who can help BB-8 reach the Resistance, but Finn wants to flee on his own. Rey is drawn to a vault and finds the lightsaber that once belonged to Luke and his father before him. She receives a mysterious vision and recoils in horror, fleeing into the woods. The First Order attacks and Han, Chewbacca, and Finn, who takes the lightsaber for safekeeping, are saved by a squadron of Resistance X-wing fighters led by Poe, but Rey is captured and taken to Starkiller Base. Rey resists Ren’s attempts to extract the map from her mind and later escapes her cell with a Jedi mind trick.

Han, Chewbacca, Finn and BB-8 arrive at the Resistance base on D’Qar where they meet Leia and the droids C-3PO and R2-D2, which has gone dormant after Luke’s disappearance. As Starkiller Base prepares to fire on D’Qar, the Resistance devises a plan to lower the planetary shields so their fighters can attack. Using the Falcon, Han, Chewbacca and Finn infiltrate the base.

They find Rey, and set explosives when they encounter Ren. Han confronts Ren, imploring him to abandon the Dark Side. Ren kills Han, whose body falls into the reactor shaft below. Chewbacca sets off the explosives and Resistance X-wings attack the weapon, starting a chain reaction that will destroy Starkiller Base.

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An injured Ren chases Finn and Rey onto the surface, where Finn tries to fight him using Luke’s lightsaber. When Finn is wounded, Rey takes the lightsaber and fights Ren, eventually overpowering him with the Force and severely wounding him before they are separated by a fissure. Snoke orders General Hux to evacuate the base and bring Ren to him.

The heroes escape in the Falcon. On D’Qar, the Resistance celebrates their victory while Leia, Chewbacca, and Rey mourn Han’s death. R2-D2 awakens and reveals the rest of the map. With R2-D2 and Chewbacca, Rey follows the map to an island in the ocean of a distant planet, where she finds Luke and presents him with his lightsaber.

Commercial analysis

With an estimated budget of $200 million ($423 million including marketing, printing and advertising costs, and making and distribution of home videos, along with an additonal $22.3 million spent on TV trailers and a further $51.4 million spent on ancillary products such as video games, action figures and costumes), The Force Awakens is predicted to be a major box office success.

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Reports in April 2015 from The Hollywood Reporter and Amboee Brand Intelligence predicted the film would earn up to $540 million worldwide for its opening, breaking the record for the biggest worldwide opening, as well as breaking the record for the biggest U.S. opening. They also believed that The Force Awakens would have the widest release ever, across 4,500 theaters in North America.

But it ended receiving a total of 4,134 theaters, and nevertheless had the widest December opening. Box office analyst, Phil Contrino likened the film to Avatar (2009), which opened to $77 million in North America and went on to earn $2.8 billion worldwide, saying The Force Awakens would earn $1 billion “without blinking” and could cross $2 billion. In August 2015, Deadline.com predicted an opening weekend of $615 million worldwide could be possible, including a $300 million opening in North America. In November, box office analysts reported opening weekend projections were at $175–250 million.

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In December, capital analyst Barton Crockett suggested that the film will be the first to gross over $3 billion worldwide at the box office.

Analysts have noted, however, that the box office receipts of the film, when compared to predecessors, must be adjusted for inflation, and that the first Star Wars film made more when this adjustment is made. 

It has further been observed that each of the first three films in the series was more profitable in calculating revenue against production costs. 

Paul Dergarabedian, one of Hollywood’s best-known box office analysts pointed out that while Avatar and The Force Awakens were both released on the same date of December 18th, higher ticket prices in 2015 and IMAX screenings could push Star Wars “into the box office stratosphere”.

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Accolades

Year Award / Film Festival Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
2015 AFI Awards Top Ten Films Star Wars: The Force Awakens Won

My Personal Critique

This is the first I am watching this much anticipated movie and I was extremely impressed on how the storyline went. Knowing full well that George Lucas had sold his entire franchise to Disney Pictures, I was a little apprehensive on what to expect but was not in the least disappointed with the end result. My son felt the same way fortunately.

I wont tell you all the details of the movie lest I spoil your own anticipationt  of the movie but one thing I will say.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Ph: Film Frame © 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Right Reserved

It was so good, that I can’t wait for the next episode to find out what happens to Kylo Ren and the emergence of this younger generation of Jedi knights what with Rey and especially how Finn moves on if he does makes a return in Episode 8?.

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The saddest part of this movie is that one of the main characters does end up dying but I wont tell, not now k? That would spoil the whole fun wouldnt it?. Its certainly a “must-see” and dont forget that Sunday around midday is probably the best time to go and watch this movie especially during these school holidays and what with Christmas and the New Year fast approaching!.

Have fun always and Merry Christmas & Happy New 2016!!!

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