The newest Star Wars film is the ultimate Star Wars fandom experience. In its own style, The Force Awakens makes obvious nods toward the Expanded Universe— or what it is now known as Star Wars Legends—but takes no substance from it. Rather, this new film creates a story that is totally new. Without giving too much away, much of the story honors plot devices inspired by the other first films of the prequel and original trilogies—Episode I and Episode IV. And fans can still find the familiar plot guidelines that make a Star Wars film, such as the ominous presence of something evil lurking about and the good guys who face seemingly impossible odds but always manage to get the upper hand. In a valent attempt, The Force Awakens tries desperately to hold onto the magic that made the originally trilogy through the use of simple and quick scenes to nudge the story along. Unfortunately, there is a lot of ground to cover for our heroes, a lot of catching up to do and not a lot of time to do it smoothly. It also doesn’t help that some of the dialogue seems ridiculous and somewhat forced. That said and some quirkiness aside, The Force Awakens opens up the Star Wars universe again for those with big hearts and open minds to experience a universe full of wonder and intrigue. It’s not the expanded universe and nothing will replace the stories that made that universe up, In all honesty, though, The Force Awakens is a Star Wars movie, it just has a slightly altered taste— but it’s pretty damn good. — Nick Kuzmack
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