Be ye fairly warned, fanboys: SPOILERS AHEAD. What follows is a largely disconnected and rambling stream-of-consciousness thing.
So first, the stuff I didn’t like, or at least, had some second thoughts about.
I was kind of hoping the Starkiller Base wouldn’t look SO much like the Death Star. I know it was intentional, but they could have changed it up…a bit…more? I dunno. Of course, the similarities between this film and ANH are obvious and intentional, but the basic shape of the thing was so similar, I was thinking it should have been a bit different. Ya know. Whatevs, not a huge deal. We’re intro-ing a new generation to the wonders of the SW universe here, so, awesome.
Maybe I’m just getting good at seeing plot twists before they happen, but it was incredibly obvious that Ren was going to kill Solo in that scene. It was also obvious that Rey was Force-sensitive and was going to end up with Luke’s first lightsaber, and that Finn wasn’t.
I would have liked to know more about Captain Phasma. I hope they flesh her out more in the coming films.
BB-8 was just a little too cute. He’s just a cute little bulbous ball of love. He has a body and even a head and “eyes”. I’m not sure he needed to be SO anthropomorphized, look at all the love for R2-D2 and he looks like a rolling garbage pail. I realize this is very nitpicky.
Least favorite sequence: the Rathtars aboard Han and Chewie’s new ship. It was a little too thrashing about generic-action-sequncey for my tastes. It wasn’t really connected to the rest of the movie and just felt out of place. The accent of the Bad Mafia Guys was ridiculous.
General Hux looks like he’s twelve. Nothing against the actor, he’s just…unbelievably young for a General. Are they so short on people they need to promote a nigh-21-year old? They have the manpower to staff an entire planet, for Yoda’s sake. A General in the US Army in modern times, for comparison, is the highest rank one can be appointed to during peacetime. Perhaps the First Order uses slightly different terminology, but it still struck me as odd.
Maz. Meh. Visually, the least successful character in the film. A little too gratuitously mysterious.
Things I liked:
John Williams. There will never be another like him.
Thank the good lord that they did a combination of practical special effects and CGI visual effects. They blended together well, and the movie is visually beautiful.
The lightsabers actually cast light this time around! I believe they were using new blades on the props the actors were using, ones that were internally lit with LEDs, and they looked fantastic. I actually like Ren’s saber, I hope its imperfect nature will be explored at some future point.
It was nice to see Ford back as Solo, looking grizzled and jaded. I’m glad that they made him go back to smuggling and being a sort of intergalactic “bad boy”. It’s what he does and has always done. I’m not sure that Han would have been super into smuggling live (and apparently somewhat intelligent) creatures around the galaxy.
Rey learning to fly the Falcon was great. John Boyega has a natural exuberance that he almost can’t hide in all his scenes, and I love watching him. Likewise with Ridley, she totally pulls off the tough, experience-hardened survivor. The vision…so much to unpack there. Holy shit. I thought she had found a Holocron at first, then realized how big of a nerd I am.
Exit, stage left.