Here are the notes I took when I stepped out of the cinema after seeing Star Wars TFA.
People saying it’s more of the same: yes, it is. It’s plot is largely similar to Ep 4 but there’s plenty new too. The new star destroyer planet, a trooper with a heart, brilliant vfx and in camera effects, props, costumes, etc all with big budgets. Creates an exhilrating ride that feels believable. I’m a skeptic with franchise films, see my review for Guardians, but TFA had just enough throwback, great new characters. the 3 new cool characters poe fin and rey were all likeable and not too stupid: fin and rey running away etc; the oldboys coming back weren’t distracting: imagine if old Luke was trundling around with the gang too?
the tone was there, like how I think Ep iv captured the tone of The Hidden fortress, this captured the tone of Ep iv, it is a soft re-boot but that’s what the franchise needed after the massively negative overwhelming opinion of the prequels, which in themselves had SOME cool bits.
Yes, there is plenty of fan-service… planets looking similar Jakka Tatooine etc, parent-less jedi young’uns, part selling, rey can pilot a ship after being a scrapper, Troopers actually hit people, Chewie and Han, The opening rolling text, the circle in and out transitions, the establishing an enemy silent shot when being chased in the falcon by black trooper in tie fighter, the bridge scene, rey climbing around inside base, THE DOG FROM THE RAID IS A SPACE PIRATE GUY… a cantina scene. ]
People will argue the validity of the back story, how rey can kick kylo ren’s ass etc… but who cares? the film looked amazing, it was engrossing, it set’s up the next one well, it was a solid film.. Much better than say The Hobbit as a film that’s the first of a new-ish franchise. 35mm and 65mm film.