I was wondering about why there was no discussion myself. Tracy and I have plans to see it tomorrow.
I posted about it at the end of this thread, but no one reacted, so I assumed there wasn't any interest.
I saw that, but I was waiting until we had seen it to read/reply.
Saw it over the Christmas weekend. I loved it. I think while it obviously evoked many elements of Episode IV, it didn't overdo it, so it was more homage than copy to me. Being reminded of one of my all time favorite films was not a bad experience. This was a fun movie. I was pleased that Han Solo got so much screen time. I had figured that Ford wouldn't do much more than a cameo, so that was a nice surprise. Rey and Finn are great additions to the mythos. I will probably go see it again this weekend, and I rarely re-watch movies while they are still in theatres.
We saw it with friends on New Year's Eve (no crowd). We liked it very much.
The Baron said (in the other thread):
Good, but not great. The plot was basically a rehash of Star Wars (1977). Ridley gave the best performance. I liked her character, it shows promise. Boyega was pretty good, too. I found his character likable, as well. I think they have the potential to carry the two future movies. Isaac's and Christie's characters were cardboard and forgettable.
Ridley's and Boyega's characters were wonderful and well-cast. I look forward to seeing them both in the future. I agree about the forgettable characters, who I have already forgotten.
The old-timers were OK. Ford had the most to do in it, and he did it reasonably well. Fisher was OK, but wasn't given much to do except wait around for the other characters to do stuff. Hamill is only in it for a moment at the the very end, and doesn't speak. I figured the old-timers were mostly in it to link back to the old pictures and that seems to be how they're going.
I told my wife they had a hard time getting Harrison Ford on board. His dying was probably a condition of participation. Fisher may appear in the future. His introduction at the end probably means Hamill will be there. A comment was made that he looks better with a beard than he does in the Flash show.
The real let-downs were the heels. Driver was the most spectacular piece of mis-casting since - well, since Hayden Christensen. He was utterly unbelievable as a villain, and utterly unbelievable as the son of Han and Leia.Voldemort Lite (Snake? Snope?) was also unimpressive as a big bad. Palpatine and Vader would have laughed at these two and stolen their lunch money.
Kind of rough to be compared to Palpatine and Vader. I didn't have a big problem with Driver. It was unclear to me if Snoke (played by Andy Serkis!) was supposed to be a giant or was this a perspective problem in depicting hologram communication?
The film's big "emotional moment" was the death of Han Solo, an occurrence which surely surprised no one much over the age of eight. Ford did the best he could, but ultimately was unable to carry Driver well enough to give the scene the amount of emotional resonance one might have expected it to have.
His death at the hands of his son was no surprise to me, once they were face to face. I don't know if it would resonate more with a viewer who didn't expect it.
I figured no one was talking about it because of the Spoiler shields that were impressively maintained throughout the holidays.
I liked it a whole bunch, and might be the only person who was actually surprised at...
---what the heck, I'll add in
Han's death. And the reason, ironically, is that it was spoiled for me.
What happened was this. I'd installed a facebook filter that would prevent me from seeing posts with certain keywords in it -- Force Awakens, Han, Luke, Leia, Kylo, etc. And one guy, on two different threads, posted a spoiled about Han's death, spelling it H@n in the hopes I'd get it.
And I figured he was joking. He'd have to be, right? One of my friends wouldn't go out of his way to be such a jerk to me.
And then the scene happened. And I figured, it must be a fakeout. Han gets stabbed, then falls to his death, and I'm looking at it, disbelieving. Then they blow up the entire planet around him. And all that time, for the last half hour of the movie, I'm only half immersed in the world. The other half of me is thinking, "Do I need to defriend this guy?" (Well, sort of, except phrased more like how Samuel L. Jackson would put it.)
So he actually preserved the surprise for me, but then wrecked the experience of the rest of the movie by throwing me out of the narrative.
And yes, after giving it some thought, I defriended that guy. What a jerk.
I enjoyed the film. Finn and Rey were instantly likeable. Finn was my favourite character. I thought with his background he wouldn't really be like that, but perhaps the First Order has been expanding quickly and not all its soldiers are well-indoctrinated and -trained. Without his mask, Kylo Ren, with his sulky look, looked ridiculous. I took him to be patterned after Christensen's Anakin. But the giant hologram villain appealed to the part of me that likes comic book imagery. (I've not watched the Harry Potter films so he didn't remind me of Voldemort.) Maz Kanata and BB-8 were charming supporting characters. Poe was a bit one-note but I liked him and can imagine him being used better in the sequels.
I wasn't expecting to see the film (I don't go to the movies much) so I hadn't avoided spoilers. I didn't find the big death scene moving at all, but I did the bit with Rey and Luke at the very end. Musically, the film didn't have a new theme that caught my attention.
Nit-picks: I doubt there would be room to dog-fight in the Millennium Falcon inside a Star Destroyer. I'll grant they're enormous, but they must have internal decks. The characters got from one planet to another too quickly and all the events took place in a rush, so I doubt they had time to bond as they were supposed to have done. I think Han's return to smuggling out of character. What's the point of building a giant gun into a planet if it can be blown up so easily? In Star Wars the Rebels need the plans of the Death Star to analyse it and plan an attack. Here the planning was silly ("How do we blow it up? There's always a way to do that.") Han, Chewbacca and Finn were an unlikely hand-picked team of commandoes. I don't buy Captain Phasma's caving into Han's and Finn's threats. (If she'd said "No" the Rebel attack would have failed and she might have lived.) In Star Wars planet destroying doomsday devices had better internal security. My sister pointed out that destroying the sun to charge the cannon would make the planet uninhabitable, and that the Rebels got over the destruction of an inhabited world really quickly. And wouldn't the weapon be a white elephant after the destruction of its sun?
I'll say more later but I liked it. I thought it was pretty good but I'm not genuflecting to it like I think Disney wants us to. Maybe I'm just jaded.
Saw it over the holidays with my wife, two daughters and son-in-law with thumbs up from all. I think Abrams may have felt the need to evoke as much of the original trilogy as possible to win back fans who were disenchanted with the prequels. I never felt engaged by the prequels due to the flatness of the characters, that has been corrected this time around, helped of course by the presence of Han, Leia and Luke. The character of Rey is strong and should do well carrying the next two films.
I like that Han and Leia didn't have the fairy tale ending that would have been expected, but that their relationship was still very sweet.
Yeah, unlike in the first prequel (never saw the other two), I was immediately fond of Finn, Rey, and Dameron Poe (whom I'm hoping to see more of next time). I liked Maz as well, even though she looked a bit like the bottom of a pineapple upside-down cake. Here use of the goggles gave the character a layer of added reality, and it all came down to good character creation. (I don't think I was immediately sold on Yoda's appearance in Empire, either... it had to grow on me (as it was meant to, since Luke had the same reaction.)