Yes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is finally here. The movie, over thirty years in the making, is selling out theaters and online outlets, and can be seen everywhere you look, from toys to video games, to hats and t-shirts and purses and socks and soup cans and even freaking bags of oranges for Jabba’s sake.
But how about the movie itself? Well, if you read our spoiler-free review, you know that we absolutely loved it. From the new characters to the old, the relationships and action, there’s a lot to love about this movie.
SPOILER ALERT ON from here on forward though, as we countdown our five favorite moments of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You have been warned! It's hard to pick just five, but here we go.
Look, there’s something special about hearing that brass fanfare and seeing the opening crawl. Moving down the screen, there’s not a line in it that wasn’t immensely exciting. Whether it’s the tease about Luke Skywalker, the idea of the new Republic; every word meant something, and was carefully chosen.
Then, it moved from the crawl directly into the shot of an imposing, terrifying ship in space, continuing a grand tradition for the films. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you were probably grinning ear-to-ear when this movie started.
Rey and Finn’s Daring Escape
As Rey and Finn try to get out of the small village on Jakku, they run toward the quad jumper, a vehicle you can play with in Disney Infinity 3.0. They, however, had no such luck, as the ship was promptly blown up, forcing them to take a “garbage” replacement.
Which of course, was the Millennium Falcon. What followed was as exciting a flight in the fabled vessel as has ever been had, equaling even Han Solo’s escape through the asteroid fields (and maybe even surpassing it). It also gave us our first real hint that Rey may be more than she seemed, as even she couldn’t explain how she got them out of the mess they were in.
Note: This narrowly beats out Poe Dameron’s amazing pilot skills getting shown off as he leads the X-wing squadron in a rescue mission.
A Fight in the Force
Kylo Ren is an interesting villain not because of his unwavering faith in the dark side of the Force, it’s because he does waver that makes him so fascinating. When he came face to face with Rey, who sure seems like is his cousin, and started to explore her mind with the Force, we had what was perhaps the most pivotal scene of the entire film. Kylo Ren seemed to unlock Rey’s memories – and her latent Force abilities right along with them. The two battled inside her mind, and in the Force itself. We also get one of the best lines in the movie here, when Kylo tells Rey “In Han Solo you think you found the father you never had. I promise, he’d be a disappointment.” That really stings, especially later in the film.
A Lightsaber Duel for the Ages
We all knew to expect a lightsaber duel between Finn and Kylo Ren. The fight went surprisingly well for the young former stormtrooper, despite his apparent lack of Force abilities and probably minimum training with a sword or sword-like weapon. Of course, Kylo Ren’s power in the dark side prevailed, striking Finn down.
And that’s when things got really interesting. Rey, being able to pull the lightsaber that belonged to Anakin and Luke Skywalker to her, despite Kylo trying at the same time, seemed to indicate that she, too, is of Skywalker blood – and maybe even more directly an heir to Luke. Her fight, too, stalled, until she truly trusted in the Force, allowing her to get the upper hand. It was one heckuva way to introduce our newest Jedi, with a flash and a flare that showed she’s here to stay.
After an entire film spent talking about and searching for him, it finally happens. Rey climbs a treacherous path and there he stands, Luke Skywalker. As he turns, pulling his robe from his head, Rey extends the lightsaber he once trained with to him. He cries, and we’re left to wonder: what will happen in Episode VIII?