I want to begin by saying that I was never a big fan of Star Wars growing up. I knew of it obviously and my brother and friends were very much into it, but it was one of those big pop culture phenomena that I managed to avoid getting into for the most part. Even with renewed interest in the franchise in the early Aughts with the prequels, I remained largely unfazed by it all (the mixed reception of these didn't help). But I had to see Star Wars: Force Awakens on opening weekend, because it was the event movie of the year and I was intrigued to see what a fresh perspective J.J. Abrams and company would bring to this beloved franchise. And what they delivered was an enjoyable blockbuster with a lot of heart in no small part to the handful of new actors and characters that really made the film for me.
Of course I'm alluding to the great trio of John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac. Upon my re-watch of the Force Awakens, the only real thing I was able to articulate was how happy I was whenever one of their faces were on screen. The joy and wonder they brought to the film and their characters isn't something that one can really manufacture. Not to mention Adam Driver who had to delve into a whole different set of emotions, trickier in a lot of respects than the other three. His *important* scene with Harrison Ford's Han Solo is probably the best acted scene in the whole film.
So I had plenty of shots to choose from where the camera just lingers on the great faces of these characters like so...
But I ended up with this relatively simple shot as my Best Shot:
I picked this shot because of Boyega and Ridley's faces, but mostly for the moment. This is when Han Solo tells them both that the Force and the Jedi, all of it, is true. And then just this look of hope, wonderment, perhaps even a little fear fill their faces. It's the turning point of both of their lives which has already been severely upended very recently. It's the moment that they actually realize that they're finally a part of something bigger. Because sure they already had a mission for the Resistance, but this is something mythical becoming reality right in front of them. In a way maybe I had the same look when I saw Force Awakens, this pop-culture force made real in front of me. I finally got it.
Bonus: My roommate picked her favorite shot as well! It's a damn beauty.