1. Film review star wars
Star wars the force awakens general overview:
Star wars the force awakens was directed by J.J Abram a 52 year old, American film director, producer,
screenwriter, actor, and composer. He is best known for his work in the genres of action, drama, and
science fiction, hence why directing, writing and producing star wars was second nature to him as it
included all his specialities. The force awakens took about 2-3 years to make with the process started in
October 2013, when the script was being written and six weeks later the script was finished. During this
time actors were being cast, and by April 2014 the official cast was released with the first table reading of
the script. The film was filmed in multiple places (including: Pinewood studios uk, Rub’ al khlai united
arab emirates, Derwentwater cumbria uk, Puzzlewood forest of dean uk, Eyjafjallajokull Iceland, Skellig
Michael Ireland) but based in the United States as was under Walt Disney studios, it included a mixed
American, English cast with the leading roles from daisy Ridley and John Boyega, English actors and
Harrison ford Adam driver American actors. They had a budget of $306 million (gross) $258.6 million
Purpose of the film:
You could say that stars wars has a wide variety of purposes and target audiences. The force awakens
is part of a sequel trilogy as its part of the last 3 movies from star wars this is one of the main reasons
the film is made to carry on the sequel. The other overall main meaning of the film is to make money and
big profits, hence why they created new characters and brings back old, creating new merchandise,
which creates more ways of making money and a bigger profit. This leads me onto the main point of why
the film was created, because of MONEY!!! Every campaign wants to make big profits and by making the
film appeal to all fans from all eras, creating the film that’s aimed for all ages, with child friendly content
but enough action, features and content to satisfy the older fans, is the way to go. Star wars creators
made sure old fans were satisfied with the new style of movie by adding in characters and conventions
to keep them excited and wondering why there back and what their part is. This is demonstrated when
we see the millennium falcon for the first time and when Hans solo and Chewbacca make their dramatic
entrance. This is a good example as they haven’t been seen throughout the films for a long time and by
them making their appearance will draw in the old fans.
This film follows a linear narrative with an obvious beginning, middle and end. The plot is fairly simple
with several homages to the original film from 1977. There are many genres within star wars including;
science fiction, action, adventure, fantasy these codes and conventions are definitely recognisable in the
film and as being Star Wars related, for example all the robots and light savers, and space scenes show
science fiction; when we see Rey, bb8 and Hans Solo in outer space traveling between galaxies. Scenes
will be coded and include music which is by John Williams an example being classic Star Wars Main
theme, as well as sound effects that can be heard throughout the film that are exclusive to this film for
example bb8’s beeps, hard breathing of Darth Vader. Other conventions include scenes in space and on
other planets which relate to the genre of the film being a sci-fi, fighting and fast moving scenes with
dramatic and fast pace music for parts of the action genre, scenes to relate to adventure is right at the
beginning when we first see Rey and she’s trying to get metal to swap for food, fantasy genre is shown
throughout the film as majority of conventions are make-belief for example: bb8, traveling between
planets at speed of light, and light savers… this suggests that there is many types of audiences as there
is many genres to suit everyone’s preferences. Non-verbal communication is also used in this film,
especially during a small vision/flashback that the main character Rey has explaining her origin story.
The film was shot on a 35mm film stock with one scene filmed on a 65mm IMAX (action sequence set on
the desert planet of Jakku.), this is so the audience can have an even more exciting experience. It would
especially excite a younger audience, as the film has also been released in 3D, therefore it gives
children an experience that makes them feel as if they are in the futuristic scenes.
J.J. Abrams has achieved a nostalgic 80s style for the film, by including retro scenes within the film,
which the fans that watched the new film would be able to look back and think of the original movies.
This can be seen with the use of special effects and the use of the millennium falcon which is hugely
familiar to everybody, even those who haven’t seen the films would recognise these conventions.
Content and meaning of the trailer:
Star Wars the force awakens is full of great visuals, spectacle and a hair-raising soundtrack, it perfectly
set up the future success of the space opera’s seventh chapter. The trailer has many features that will
appeal to all audiences; old and young to encourage them to go watch the movie.
The trailer beings with a direct image of what we think of as a
‘btec stormtrooper’ wearing cloths and rags wrapped round
them from head to toe. They are looking directly at the camera,
giving a close up shot including a lense flare (shown behind the
ear of the figure), telling us this is from JJ Abrams. We don't
know anything about this character except they look similar to
the jarwars and the sand people in the earlier films, indicating that might have the possibility of linking
somehow. Another thing we don't know about is the location of the shot, it's been kept hidden due to the
depth of field being really tight and the focus only directed on the figure and only showing us that its a
very dusty dark place. This leads to a high pitched piano chord to introduce us to the scene, it's really
simplistic and fits well with the scene.
The next shot cuts straight into the clip with no preparation or
waring (piano key), so it was a shock to see a change of
scene, which is now a wide shot, still in a dark place and with
what looks like the same character (we think this from the
same ourch behind the ear and the similar clothing.) from the
first clip, but upon what looks like the engine and mechanical
area of a spaceship,but we don't know that for certain. It could be millenium falcon and foreshadowing a
possible later appearance of the ship. As the same character has made an appearance again we start to
think that they are going to be a main character within the upcoming movie, we also know this due to the
low lighting of the scenery but with a rey of light forecasting onto the character showing their importance.
In the frontal foreground of the clip there is hanging wires in the top left corner giving us a sense of
space giving the impression as if we’re there watching them.
Now we're on to the third shot, cut into with the piano again but
captured at a high angle. It shows the same character jumping
(abseiling) down this vertical hole in the ship with a rope. This
portrays the courage and bravery of the character, completing
risky tasks for the greater of their own good so they can survive.
We can see this as the end of the hole isn't visible indicating that
something has/went wrong. Although there is a light at the end of the tunnel situation adding to the
aesthetic and giving us hope.
3. This now takes us on to the fourth clip, where the piano
chord don't appear again indicating a start to a pattern. It's
an extreme long shot showing the size of the character
compared to the ship and their inconnificients compared to
the surroundings. The scene is once again in the dark but
with light seeping in. we can see sand on the floor of the
ship, giving us a better idea of the location that were in. in terms of voice overs we get the voice of an
unknown character saying; “who are you?”, with the imaging slowly fading to black.
This is all quite secretive and dramatic and we don't really know what's going on or whos took part in the
first ten seconds of the trailer.
Were now on to the fifth shot, looking like the iconic star wars
shot, character walking with BB8 across the sand into horisan.
With the use of film logic we can assume that the character is
the same character we've been seeing throughout the trailer so
far, we can also tell by the clothes they’re wearing and the starf.
It also reveals to us for the first time that this character is a girl.
The dessert looks similar to luke's home in the previous films and her clothes also look like lukes
clothing. This will engage the older generation as they could see some connections between the original
Star Wars films and I think they will appreciate and like the shoot for its location. While the younger
audience will enjoy the appearance of a new robot as its a possible new toy to have and it's something
more in there interest range. However this shot could also make the audience question what has
happened to R2D2 as we know that R2D2 was the main companion robot from the previous films. This
happens under the voice over of a different voice answering the question stated in the earlier clip; ‘im no
one’ leading us to believe that its the voice of the women we’ve seen in the trailer so far.
The piano is once again playing in the sixth shot. This scene
shows us a different genre conventions, sci-fi! As a spaceship is
flying up into space, but were still in the desert. This just confirms
that the film is a sci-fi film. It's also gives the sound of the
spaceship flying in the distance (starting to use diegetic sounds).
We now have the first shoot of the heroween, who seems to be tired
and bored, sat just looking off into the distance. Her motions are
motions refer back to her portrayed emotions via how slow she's
moving to compared to the people in the background, irs kind of like
she's moving in slow motion. We therefore wonder what sees
looking at as she's staring past the camera into the distance. Some may think and assume that she's
going to become the damsel in distress and get into trouble, but we later find out that's not the case. We
can also tell that she's quite poor due to her ragged clothes and dirty, sweaty face and appearance. The
audio waveform of this shot is interesting as there's a lot more weight to it compared to the previous clips
what just have the piano chord while those clip seems to have a bit more base to it.
The audio links with a subtle base, boom to the piano key with more weight, to the Lucas film logo
clarifying it is a star wars film and there the main films made by Lucusfilm.
Following the logo theres a dolly shot of the stormtroopers
having a gathering which looks like a mirror image of the iconic
historic event when an army of people were hailing hitler and
saluting to his orders for extermination against the jews. The
stormtroopers are shown to have a new outfit style making the
older generation excited due to there updates. further into the background you can see a superior of
some sort but were unaware of who it is. Another thing to excite the older generation maybe the tie
fighters, as it suggests that the iconic, classic space ships are still in the movies. There's also colour
4. connotation that happens within the scene, so the giant red flag just screams out evil, its a real contrast
the rest of the image as its so bright it just pulls your attention towards it. The sounds of the wind and
speech present evil and even if someone has never seen Star Wars before you can tell these are the
Straight after we see the colour red carrying on from the flag in the
form of a bloody hand print across the helmet of a stormtrooper,
giving more evil vibes. Then suddenly you get a very controversial
shot as the stormtrooper takes off his helmet. This is because 1. A
stormtrooper took off their helmets and that we never see happen
and 2. He's black, the first black character in the series which many
people were not happy about. The helmet was taken off very
quickly showing that it wasn't to be dramatic but to state that there
might actually be a reason for him taking it off. There's also some
colour connotation going on between the two blue and yellow lights
either side of the unknown character, which could be showing some conflict that he may be facing. Yet a
voice over of this shot says; ‘I was raised to do one thing?’. This only sparks of a million questions in a
viewers head e.g what was he raised to do? Who is this controversial character? We just assume that
the voice is the voice of the character portrayed in front of us.
Theres a gineric ation shot of a space ship getting blown up and crashing to earth, what we assume links
to the next clip.
This is an interesting shot of another desert, where we immediately think
back to the original dessert short we had and automatically link them
together and get the idea that the two people we've seen so far will end
up meeting. The camera angle then swings round and shows the face of
our character whos looking quite sweaty and confused about the situation he's been put in.
So thats the first 40 seconds of the trailers, where there was a lot of new and quite confusing
information to take in by the audience. But the pacing was quite slow and went along with the piano with
the shots all being similar in lengths. But now just by the music you can tell that the trailers really picking
up and becoming more action related and tense.
Were now presented with a dolly shot of an evil looking person, but
the screen is flooded with red lights giving the impression of pure
evil. The helmet the characters wearing also kind of looks like
Vader's helmet. Which will once again spark questions, especially
to the older generation whether it is or isn't vader. The camera then
zooms in on this character emphasising on is importance and power in the movie. Yet his voice is quite
robotic and distorted, just like vaders was bring back the resemblance of vader from just his one shot.
This camera movement and the motion of the dolly isn't particularly smooth either, it kind of gives the
effect that we’re being forced to see this guy up close like it is a bad thing, giving a bit of meaning behind
the camera movement.
Here we have the typical evil music playing while we get shown the
front of the villain. And yet again he's unknown but resembles Darth
vader quite a lot. With a lot of dents on the facial structure of the
helmet (suggesting he fights a lot) and the colour connotation of balck,
silver and red is just foreshadowing the true evil of this character.
5. Your questions get answered about if the character was Darth
Vader as the next shot shows the skull and recked helmet of
vader, this will get all the original viewers and fans of the films
an insight to what might have happened to Darth vader and
how this new guy has gotten his helmet/skull. This will make the
older fans excited but is likely just to go over the younger
generations heads. There's also some dark speech saying; ‘ill finish… what you started.’ 100% confirms
that he's evil as that's one of the most cleshay, evil things you could have said.
Once again you have the evil person conflicting another unknown
character that you can clearly see their in pain. And there's more red
around the evil guy to define his evilness oto the victim we see him
torturing by using the force (which the older audiences will recognize)
and clearly shows that this guy is very powerful. Although another
interesting thing is that the unknown victim seems to be resisting the force to a certain extent. This then
turns into a transition, using the rage of the victim into an even bigger rage as a forest of trees are
getting blown up by something. But the fact it's coming from the
victim screaming, maybe in pain, makes the audience wonder
what's going on?, and why is he in this situation and the trees being
blown up? But we once again assume is to do with the evil guy as
its red and red means evil in this film.
A contrast then happens and instead of a dingy dark or red
background were brought a bright blue light as the first frame,
which is in fact the millennium falcon but it's hard to distinguish
so not many people would have noticed. This leads directly into
one one the longest clips in the trailer, of a ship chase involving
the millennium falcon. This will excite many fans as the falcon is
back and might even spark more questions e.g. whos flying the ship? Where did it go for all this time?
While the younger generation will just be excited that there's some action beginning to happen and ships
are firing at each other. The music takes a turn as well, concluding that these are the goodies dues to
the inspirational music, a contrast to the evil music we recently heard seconds before. The chase scene
brings back the acton everyones wants hence why it's the same sequence that was filmed in 65mm
instead of the 35mm that the rest of the film was shot in. the clip also includes a voice over of the women
asking a question; ‘there were stories about what happened’ then we get a response from an old man;
‘its true!’. Many people will recognise this voice straight away making them very energised just knowing
there's a high chance of Hans Solo emerging back although we haven't even seen him yet.
But surprise… on the next shot we see Hans Solo along side the rebellion
stormtrooper and the female character from the beginning. They are
presented with a blue tinge that emphasize the cool and relax feel they
have straightening they’re the good guys, rather than the harsh red for the
baddies. We obviously see that they're altogether so somehow they must
have all meet up but it doesn't indicate in anyway how they meet up, so it
encourages less enthusiastic viewers to go watch it to find out how they all
meet and become a team. Seeing the ex-stormtrooper here on the good
side rather then how we originally saw him within a stormtrooper uniform gives us the impression that
he's a traitor and has moved to the good side.
We now see the iconic shot of the stars going into hyper speed that
looks quite old fashioned in a way, its like they stuck to the original
creation of the stars.
So we go from the stars that we can associate with the opening and
closing titles that were in the early movies but then it zooms into the hyper speed just like in the other
6. films, with the 80’s effect the Abram brought in contrast to the hyper speed continuing with more
advanced CGI to show how the films are changing and what we can do now. The millenium falcon flies
out of this and transitions into the release date. For the release date they said
christmas rather than december as it usually would be, this could be to make it
more exciting as the word ‘christmas’ automatically sounds more exciting than the
Onces again were shown another baddie along with a group
of his followers. We know its star wars from the use of the
lightsaber. But this specific lightsaber is interesting as it's a
three way, something we haven't seen before on star wars,
so it's likely to get the audience very excited as they are
witnessing a new type of lightsaber to add to the collection as
we've had a lightsaber, a double sided lightsaber and now a threeway. The red of the saber really stands
out from the dark blue, black gradient of the background around it. And the fact that the villain is
standing in the rain with lightning flashes, just shows how stereotypical they’re making this villain look as
every villain ever stands in the rain at some point.
The next shot is of some ex-wings flying across a lake in a pack
formation which entitles that they are on a mission of some sort.
This will particularly appeal to the older generation as the ex-wings
are from the older movies and very iconic ships. Which leaves us
once again with a bunch of questions as to were the fleet of ships
are lying to and what they're about to do?...
But the next clip answers these questions to a certain extent. As we can
see what looks like a battlefield with us looking in from the stormtroopers
(baddies) side, seeing them firing weapons at what looks like the ‘light
side’. We can assume this as we know the film is based on the dark side
and light side, also at this point in the trailer it keeps switching between
the two sides so it's easy to assume that they must be fighting against one enougher. Especially at this
point in the trailer it's starting to pick up and the pass is getting faster, due to more action shots coming in
trying to appeal to the younger generation and keep them hooked in. and it finishing on hans saying ‘the
dark side’ to state to new audience that they are the bad guys.
There's more sci-fi conventions and explosion of a ship chance to really draw the
younger generation in and to clarify that there is a large amount of action within
Now we have a nice swooping shot of our characters, as the
camera is really smooth and has a nice transition from one
character onto the next. The characters we see here is the ex-
stormtrooper carrying a big gun, showing that he has somehow
gained the trust of the jedi’s and the fact that he's in an air field
surrounded by jedi’s does show that he has been accepted. It
then shows him getting tapped on the shoulder by another character we have not yet been introduced to,
but he seems to be getting congratulated for something by him, showing one of many bonds we assume
this character has made. It's hard to tell but you could say that the guy patting him on the shoulder is the
same guy we saw getting fought with the force right at the beginning of the trailer. And that can spark a
load of questions and make you think if that's another new main character we may be introduced to in
the film. During this clip we have hans introduce these characters as the ‘jedi’ to once again clarify to
new watchers or just to make the tension against the two side strong and divided.
7. The next shot is of an explosion transitioning into another explosion with
lost of good editing to help the viewers eyes stay in one place. This is due
to the fat that we see one explosion in the centre of the screen then the
next shot is a completely different location yet it does have an explosion in
the centre of the screen too. With the second explosion it was done live
without CGI and practical effects giving the film some more realism which
the older fans will appreciate due to majority being in CGI. And we know
that this will once again appeal to the younger generation due to the
explosions and action as well as the older generations.
Were now given another new location that hasn't been seen
before, and consists of a droid casually walking past yet with no
significance, which is the sci-fi genre making the extraordinary
seem ordinary. Walking past the droid we have Hans Solo
along with the other two main characters and BB8 rolling next
to them into some unknown castle. Creating more teasers for
the film, encouraging the audience to watch the main film. And the shot ends on a man's voice saying
‘they’re real’, which we guess there on about the robots and how they are a big part of the Star Wars
world, it might also be clarifying the new characters we have seen that there is such species.
The next shot lets us see R2D2 and reassure us that he's safe and alive.
Although there's some red foreshadowing in the backgrounding referring
to the bad again and there's the edge of someone's cloak that does
suggest he might not be completely safe.
Some people may notice the robotic hand touching his head and relate
that back to when luke lost his hand as there could be some sort of connection, once again exciting the
The next shot seems to be contrasting one of the previous shots of where the rebellion appeared to be
winning, but now we have this territory that seems to be stormed by stormtroopers. We know it's bad due
to the lighting being orangy/red, reflecting back to the colour contrats throughout the trailer.
We once again have a light flair from Abram within one of the
stormtroopers helmets as one of the main focus points of the next
shot. It's also the first time we see a chrome shiny stormtrooper, telling
us that it's a new character which will excite everyone and suggests
that this stormtrooper has a promotion of sorts. This will excite the
audience as it shows the progression of the stormtroopers as they
have had an ‘update’ and now can get roles within there army.
Yet again we see the bad guy holding up the three-way lightsaber
which kind of looks like an upside down cross. This could be seen as
ironic due to the symbolic meaning of a cross being peace and mercy,
whereas this character is definitely not showing any signs of mercy as
his slamming it down with no hesitation. This just gives us the
impression that he’s a bit of a war lord with no mercy and isn't scared to go ahead and hit someone with
There's a really brief quick shot of the heroine crying, something you'd expect
from a heroin in any film is something has gone wrong, what we assume has.
8. The next shot is quite important for the older fans as it shows chewie is
back in his original form, played in the same costume as the early sequels
and not moved to CGI, you can tell this by the feer. This is a good thing as
we have the old classic Star Wars effects back due to it all being practical
with no CGI. the scene shows the main characters surrendering with could be thought of as something
funny due to hans and chewbacca being known for always getting into trouble. There's a voice over at
the end of this clip and start of next clip of a woman saying ‘the force it’s calling to you!’ creating a
question to the audience of who is it calling and why is it calling them?
We’re now back into the quick pass action scenes of fights in the sky
with more modern detailed effects making the images look better. I
think this would once again appeal to the younger generation due to
large amounts of azers being used and the fighting also the better
quality of the scene will attract more to the younger viewers.
The next shot comes as a surprise to the audience as we see are
heroin fighting and firing a laser which contrasts to the last scene
we saw of her crying and looking hopeless. This will get the female
fans imore excited and engaged with the trailer because we can
confirm that she's not just a damsel in distress anymore and that
she actually has more of a major part which will help with making
girls more confident. This is although adding the controversial aspect of the film, as we don't just have a
black stormtrooper we have a female lead which is seen as controversial in star wars as princess leia
was the only other main female in the originals.
The next clip is one of the shortest clips there is, only being 14 frames
long which is less than a second. It uses five frames for the baddies to
turn around and project his hand our towards us indicating that he is
using the force against us (the viewers) to engage us a bit more. But it
also shows that this guy doesn't mess around and that he's quick and
unpredictable, making him a tough enemy to have.
More explosions… this time of what looks like the inside of a ship.
Both new and old audiences would be excited to see that leia’s back as
she's an iconic well known character in the Star Wars world. It shows that
she doesn't look very happy entailing that something has gone wrong.
This gives us the viewer lots of mixed feelings; as were happy lays back
but concerned about what might of happened. Sparking more questions.
The next clip really brings back how star wars used to be with the one
on one lightsaber fights, this will let the fans have the best of both
worlds, as they are expecting to have lots of new updates in his new
film but now they can also expect to see some more traditional scenes.
We’re presented with the ex-stormtrooper with a blue lightsaber
having a fight with the bad guy from earlier, in the middle of the forest.
This just builds suspense as he's gone from a stormtrooper with blood across his head to possibly a new
jedi. As so the bad guy has taken his helmet off which never happens and raises suspici ons if there's a
new reveal about a character that were going to find out in the new movie.
The screen now fades to black with the music suddenly stopping and going to silence to create further
tension, to then hear the words ‘just let it in’, we assume this is following the last lot of speech about the
force calling someone and she reasoring them that it's okay to let the force in. the voice also sounds a
9. bit like the first person we heard in the trailer and we haven't yet seen this woman so we start to wonder
who she is.
It then goes silent again and gradually the star wars music starts playing with their logo and the name of
the film appearing over the very iconic starry background. Keeping with the starry background the logo
noe changes to the release date ‘december 18th’. And finally it changes to ‘tickets now available’, this
would be to encourage everyone to go get their ticket and pre-book them before they run out.