Tag Archives: Star Wars The Force Awakens

Episode Four: The Best Things In Life Comes In Threes

Doctor Who is over, but it is now time to explain my three favourite episodes of 2015. Also, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice got a new trailer, but did it give away too much? Also, a few thoughts about Star Wars: The Force Awakens before I saw the movie, and what does it mean to you? Hear the latest podcast now! Remember, this Sunday I will give a full review on the podcast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and what I thought of it all…

http://thesingingwhovian.podomatic.com/entry/2015-12-13T16_06_54-08_00

P.S. I want to give massive thanks to singer/songwriter/beatboxer and friend Dana McKeon for creating a fantastic new theme tune for the show!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “You don’t know a thing about me, what I’ve seen… we all need to run.”

**BE WARNED, MINIMAL SPOILERS AHEAD**

 

So, how can I describe this film without giving any of the spoilers? First off, the film is a huge achievement in what can be created in the world from George Lucas. Taking place around 30 years after Return Of The Jedi, we begin the story on the planet of Jakku. Jakku was where a huge battle had taken place many years before, and looks set to see more action from its earliest moments. We learn the FIRST ORDER has come to take over from the Empire and looks to defeat the Resistance, and the FIRST ORDER are tough. We are steadily introduced to our new lead stars, as they burst onto the screen in a fantastic way. From X-Wing pilot Poe, Scavenger Rey and Stormtrooper Finn, we get to see them introduced gradually over the first ten minutes. The amount of practical effects is evident greatly in the opening moments, and sets a great tone for the rest of the movie. Of course, we also get to meet new droid BB-8 (the best practical invention I have seen on screen for a long time). Also from the opening few minutes, we meet the main villain, Kylo Ren! From the very beginning, we know how powerful Kylo is (and there is a good reason he follows the path originally for Darth Vader). This is a character who controls the FIRST ORDER (the new Stormtroopers, who can actually aim well and mean business), very powerful with the force and owns a cool lightsaber. He has one main ambition, to hunt down a certain Jedi.

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From the very beginning, we know we don’t need to rely on the old cast to make this film entertaining. The laughs are constant, especially during the first hour of the movie. The action makes a perfect blend of CGI and props really explode on the screen. Nothing beats the thrill of when you see Han Solo and Chewbacca first appear on the screen (I kid you not; there was an applause in that screen!). To have the millennium Falcon flying through the danger is always exciting, and the arm rests on my seat in the cinema definitely had plenty of wear from my grip (not force grip). To see the interactions of characters old and new is superb, whether it is BB-8 making friends with a familiar looking protocol droid or even Finn and Rey getting help with a smuggler and his hairy companion. Also, the number of villains in this movie may seem rather huge, but they all link back to the one cause. Kylo Ren may be the one we follow, but he is not the one in charge. Supreme Leader Snoke is a villain who looks to be the new emperor, but be sure to see more learnt about him as the film series go on.  Also, we see you can get bigger and better with the construction of Starkiller Base, a planet which is turned into a weapon (sound familiar? It seems like the Dark Side like to keep their plans huge!).

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Remember, this is only the first of three new films in the main series. There is a certain amount of set-up in this movie, there is just so much going on and that last scene will be both slightly irritating and breath-taking. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega steal the show as Rey and Finn, both injecting a new blood to the system. Their combination works well on many levels and hopefully shall continue to grow in Episode VIII. Adam Driver portrays a convincing villain in Kylo Ren, his actions will have you both feeling bad (there are some issues) for him and hating him (when you see what he does, you will hate him!). Peter Mayhew and Harrison Ford lead the pack and provide central roles to The Force Awakens. Han Solo and Chewbacca do the same as they did in Episode IV and win fans over within seconds of appearing on screen, and Han is still a smuggler with a heart for adventure (wait till you see what he has recently acquired). There isn’t much to go on, but Andy Serkis brings a strong menace with Supreme Leader Snoke. When we next see him, it should be a chance to see the extent of his powers.  Carrie Fisher gets back into the Leia role nicely, and joined by Anthony Daniels as the popular C3PO definitely will please lifelong fans. There are too many characters to single out, but all play their parts well. Though I was hoping to hear “It’s A Trap” from one returning character, but it never pans out that way (but still very cool to see him).

Chewbacca and Han Solo in a still from the Star Wars: The Force

I must say, this has become my favourite film made by JJ Abrams (and only two lens flares that really stood out), and his writing partnership with Lawrence Kasdan (using Michael Arndt’s original and expanding on it) shows that they had the job down to a tee and Lawrence can still do top notch work like he did for The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. George Lucas has passed this onto the safest of hands, and the future looks great. Having the opening text crawl is still the chill that sets you in for a great ride. The effects make the original trilogy not look out of place, making a good blend of what we saw and keeping the same look that we had back then. The film is not perfect, but it is superior to many films you will see this year. A few quarrels in regards to screen time for some characters are questionable and pacing is at times a bit off, but overall I loved this film. The excitement of two lightsabers striking each other is what we build up to in any Star Wars film, and this fight really does impress. It is a long wait now to May 2017 to see what comes next, but that last scene definitely shows you why you will want to watch the next one. Also, you know that Mark Hamill hasn’t been shown much in promotion, you will soon find out why! Also, look out for what happens when Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac, definitely will be the cool guy from this point onwards) shoot’s at a certain character, and soon regrets it.

A superb film, a pleasure throughout and the nostalgic trip which is easy to absorb. A great start to the follow-up trilogy we wanted. Best of luck to Rian Johnson, May The Force Be With You!

Final Rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Episode Three: To Galaxies Far Far Away

Episode three of the podcast is now available. Reviewing the series finale of Doctor Who, ‘Hell Bent’ presents a story of two halves. Also, details on that christmas special and what me and Tara B are hoping to see in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Listen in now…

http://thesingingwhovian.podomatic.com/entry/2015-12-06T08_06_15-08_00

Star Wars: Battlefront. PS4 Review

Also available on PC and XBOX ONE

Star Wars fever is in overdrive now, and with the impending release of The Force Awakens, we are set to get the first taster of the sequel trilogy with this new game. Being more a natural progression of the old games rather than a sequel or remake, Battlefront establishes itself as a seriously fun and tough shooter game. Though there is not any real storyline or “campaign” mode to play, the game is packed with many different aspects of gameplay to dive into. Being set within the original trilogy, we see the breath-taking battle scenes played out in front of us. Gameplay is very much the same as remembered, two teams (the Rebels and the Empire) facing against each other in combat. (At least you are better aiming as a Stormtrooper in the game than they are in the films, though the ones in The Force Awakens look like they will be dangerous!).

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Blast is effectively Team Deathmatch, and is the best chance to really get to see painstaking work which has been done to recreate the worlds we love and battle through them while admiring the work that has been done in the graphics department. Hero Hunt is very much given in the title, you hunt the hero (Luke, Leia or Han) and if you defeat them, you then become the hero and the whole team then comes after you. Fighter Squadron then really takes the game to a different level as you get to pilot a ship (Tie Fighters are available) and it is fun to do an all-out assault in the air and manoeuvre like a true pilot. Many of the other levels are of a Deathmatch style with objectives such as dominating the zones, collecting supplies that are dropped and also there are droids (and they are the ones you are looking for). My favourite though is Heroes VS Villains; the best opportunity to see the best of good and evil go up against each other and the result is rather spectacular. Seeing Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader fighting in a spectacular lightsabre battle in the middle of a battlefield is beyond explanation.

There is a sad feeling that a campaign mode was dropped because maybe they couldn’t get it to work. I feel there is a missed opportunity not getting to progress through the saga in a linear fashion. That being said, this is truly one of the most fun and detailed games ever from the Star Wars universe. The action is spot on throughout, the controls are really easy to pick up and exploring the various game modes will certainly keep you occupied for a great amount of time. Electronic Arts is indeed the perfect partner for bringing Star Wars back to your home console, and DICE definitely make good use of their history with the Battlefront series. The only thing I haven’t tried is the Battle Of Jakku maps (as they won’t be out till December) which will be almost a prequel to the new movie, but I can honestly say this game is exceptional and fun. The gameplay stays solid throughout and no visible bugs have cropped up in the time I have been playing it. Well worth having one of the top consoles for this game alone, fans will be delighted and Call Of Duty and Battlefield fans now have something fresh to sink their teeth into.

Final rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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The Final Trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

Finally, it is here for us to watch in its glory! The last trailer before The Force Awakens makes it way to cinemas this December. Watch the trailer now, prepare for the biggest film of 2015!

Due in cinemas in the UK on Thursday 17th December and worldwide from Friday 18th December. Are you excited for the new film? Do you think it will be as good or better than the originals? Will J.J. Abrams be able to tackle one of the biggest ever film series? We will know soon.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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