Just my early thoughts of The Force Awakens (no spoilers, but you probably shouldn’t read this if you’re worried about that).
It was made clear and obvious that Rey does not need to be saved by anyone.
The story is both very familiar, but also very new. The new characters are great and fresh – in some ways the old ones got in the way.
The dialog is great. John Boyega really holds the story together for me as we learn more about Rey and gush at Han & Chewie.
I still don’t know much about The Knights of Ren or The First Order, or The Republic. Hate to say it, but there could have been a tad more political mumbo-jumbo in this.
I don’t think this film has too many references to the original trilogy. I’ve watched them all hundreds of times and know them backwards and forwards. There were clear references, but they were very consistent with the story.
The light saber fights are fantastic. They have their own feel and weight to them that is just great.
A number of general plot points from the Expanded Universe / Legends made it into this film. (I’ll note these later too).
The movie is funny and had some clear funny moments.
I found myself having to re-evaluate my thoughts of how the Rebellion operated. The Resistance feels different (it *is* different), but the same. If I look through the rebellion’s actions, they’re really familiar. But they feel new. And that’s good.
There were some great characterization moments for each of the characters. Again, the new characters are great and I think we can look forward to a lot of new things.
A particular moment – we all knew it was coming. Just be ready.
I hope Rey’s parents aren’t who I think they are (and who we kind of are led to believe). It would be more interesting if it’s someone else (I’ll fill this in later).
Kylo Ren is who I thought he was.
The film felt a bit rushed. There was a lot of plot crammed into this movie. The last part
Spies are everywhere and it’s not clear why they should be.
There’s not enough Luke in this. You’ll be disappointed by this.
Harrison Ford was right – his acting was only “ok”. But he’s definitely Han Solo.
The pacing of the last 20% seemed a tad off to me.
There’s nothing in these that emotionally connect to the Prequels. That may be ok, but it would be ok if there was.
Finn has no last name.
There’s a few new Jedi tricks in this as well – and some old ones.
Not enough Captain Phasma – AT ALL.
This film definitely feels different than the original trilogy – which I like, just as I liked how the prequels felt different (it’s the bad acting and wack scenes that did it in for me). In some cases, it has a weight and gravity in its tone that the originals lacked. In other cases, it felt a bit foreign. I liked some of it – new stuff is good. Some of it felt a bit too Lord of the Ringsy in its execution. These were few, though.
If I had to put this in my order, I think it would be:
Empire > TFA = Jedi > A New Hope > Sith > Phantom Menace > Attack of the Clones
I’ll have to watch it again to see if I think it’s better than Jedi (very different films story-wise so it’s not really a fair comparison).