I’ll start off slowly, but with matters of import nevertheless. It was weird, the lack of 20th Century Fox fanfare. 38 years and six movies worth, you know? Plus, for ages upon ages, these were the only movies to play the extended fanfare. I could be in a Blockbuster any time in the ’90s and know to at worst a coin toss not only that it was in the trilogy but which specific movie was coming on, by halfway through the trumpets. So, definitely weird to feel the lack. That said, Disney had enough respect for the ceremony of the thing not to replace it with their own studio logo and jingle. I hope that carries through, but even if it’s only this once: good on you, $Disney_Exec.
For the rest… man, it’s hard to say what I want to say without spoilers. Maybe impossible. I’ll minimize the damage as much as I can until the comments, but if you want to leave now and see the movie (the 30% of America that hasn’t already by now, I mean) without reading the rest, all I’ll say is, damn. Yes. Go see it, and see it with no fear. The Force Awakens is a Star Wars movie, and if you like those, you’ll like this.
Okay, now that it’s just folk who aren’t worried about the broad strokes of spoilers, I definitely have things to say. This was not a perfect movie. It relied a little too heavily on familiar tropes and nostalgia. There was a scene that, even by the very loose standards of Star Wars physics, left me rolling my eyes in annoyance. The plot token does not make a lick of sense unless you squint at it sideways while listening to John Williams’ score. (I have not yet formed a full opinion of the score; it’s acceptable at the minimum, but it’ll be a while before I know if it surpasses that.)
The thing is, though, I don’t really care about any of that. It’s still a lived-in galaxy with twists you can see coming a mile away and twists that catch you completely by surprise, with stories yet to be told and stories that will never be more than guessed at, at least until a new generation of writers comes in to start filling in those gaps, just like happened last time. The Wheel of Time turns, y’know?
My very favorite thing about this movie? (Aside from the fact that I got to see another Star Wars movie, as an adult? And it was one where I don’t know how it turns out?) That’s easy. I get to watch it as many more times as I want to, and I’m pretty sure those things I had to have my critical mind on about this time will fade into insignificance.