I went and saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens today with my two sons. Coincidentally, I was 8 in 1978 when I saw the original Star Wars in a theater; today, my 8-year-old saw his first (new) SW movie in a theater. It was also his 15-year-old brother’s first. Having avoided spoilers (which I thought would be impossible these days), I loved almost every minute of it, knowing after the opening act that we were seeing a highly nostalgic and derivative story. It was worth the ride. Many faces were fresh, the acting was enjoyable, and the effects looked great. I’m hopeful that we experienced the long-overdue bridge to new stories in the SW universe, and that we’ll get a steady trickle of new tent-pole movies and short-form, long-arc series.
I love the new characters Rey, Finn, Poe, and BB-8. I was disappointed that R2-D2 had a small cameo. I was grateful that Han was a main character, although I felt cheated that we got very few details from his last 30 years. Perhaps there are more details in the novelization. There were enough plot holes to frustrate me after taking it all in; I’ll consider them meat for the writers to chew on. The climactic scene between Han and Ren could have been much better; Han’s fate wasn’t surprising. Chewie’s action scenes were. BB-8 provided great comic relief.
I really enjoyed watching Rey and Finn, although Rey seemed entirely too familiar with The Force and Finn too familiar with a lightsaber. Ren alternated between god-like powerful and inept; perhaps that was JJ Abrams’ way of exposing his supposed inner conflict. Poe was just cool.
Will I go see this in the theater again? Probably not. But I will buy the Blu-Ray on the first day of release. Consider me tuned back in to the Star Wars saga.