Jesse Valencia

Film Review: The Force Awakens is a Tour de Force! (Spoiler-Free Review)

Jesse Valencia expresses his unbridled (and spoiler-free) excitement after seeing the latest installment of the Star Wars franchise, The Force Awakens.


Wow. Just wow.

It’s difficult for me to describe exactly what happened to my mind as the words “Star Wars” exploded onto the screen, accompanied by John Williams’s all too familiar film score.

Three hours later, I’m convinced that Episode VII: The Force Awakens is going to be the biggest movie of all time.

The film warrants multiple viewings, and thank God I’ve avoided the internet for the past two days. Do yourself a favor and do everything in your power to do the same until you see it for yourself. It is that important.

And it’s that good. The acting is superb. The story is insane. The battles are epic. The plot twists are riveting. It is everything Star Wars fans could ever want it to be and more. J.J. Abrams’ contribution to the greatest story in American popular culture will stand the test of time as the series’ finest moment. It does what it does so well that even the prequels are redeemed. Yes, it captures the spirit of the originals perfectly, but this is now, truly, a saga.

I have so many questions. Every Star Wars fan will. But they’re the right kinds of questions. The kind that will have you talking with your friends, family, and fellow fans for hours, debating the meaning of this or that subtle detail. So many more stories can and will be told spanning the saga’s timeline, and holy moly is there so much more to come. So many avenues to explore.

Damn good filmmaking. Damn good storytelling.

When you leave that theater, after the lightsabers and blasters and X-wings flashing across your frontal lobes settle, you’re going to want to take this ride again and again. There is so much more I want to say but I refuse to ruin it for anyone. Just trust me that it’s awesome and that you need to go see it at least three times.

The Force has truly awakened.



Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in movie theaters now.


Jesse Valencia

Jesse Valencia is an actor, musician, writer, and filmmaker from Northern Arizona whose writing has appeared in Phoenix New Times, Flagstaff Live!, and The Big Smoke. He first appeared onscreen opposite Tom Sizemore in the indie crime drama Durant’s Never Closes, and is currently studying screenwriting at the David Lynch Graduate School for Cinematic Arts at the Maharishi University of Management. He plays music with the band, Gorky, who've put out the records The Gork…And How To Get It!, More Electric Music, and Mathemagician. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in Literature from Northern Arizona University, is a veteran of the U.S. Army, and is currently at work on his first feature film.

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