J.J Abrams, being a huge fan of the original star wars (A new hope), masterfully created an adventurous, thrilling, heart-pounding and all out entertaining start to a new trilogy while keeping things intact that made the original trilogy so dear to millions of fans. The dude is a Geek God, successfully helming back two of the biggest Sci-fi franchises, this and Star Trek.
Old faces return and provide tons of nostalgia bombs and great moments. Harrison Ford, especially, was really great yet again as Han Solo. And all the while we are introduced to new characters as well, who were really well handled. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, who play Rey and Fin (The new leads), did a terrific job. You could see they gave it all in their roles and it really payed off. I loved them. They had great chemistry and were characters that you actually cared about. The new villain, Kylo Ren, was not just some evil baddy for the sake of being evil. I loved how the film humanized him while still making him feel like a force to be reckoned with.
The movie looked beautiful. Great cinematography, combining on locations shots with top level CGI. The action scenes were really entertaining and well crafted. The movie had a typical J.J Abrams' breakneck pacing. There was never a dull moment. Everything was always on the move. Also, the movie had some pretty fine tuned humor. It was not overused or mistimed or stupid. I always love it when movies manage to pull out humor like this and it makes things all the more enjoyable. Great sound design too. The blasters, lightsabers, tie fighters etc all sounded amazing.
Now there were some issues with the movie. For me, the soundtrack was just not really memorable. I'm not saying it was bad, it was infact fine on normal terms and moment with old tracks were great but there weren't any new tracks that stood out and I was kinda bummed out by that. Also, it seemed like Disney and Abrams tried to play it so safe with this film that the story beats felt extremely similar at times. And while I can understand their reasons, it would have been great to have a bit more variety. As this has been a rousing success, I hope they take more risks and move onto new stuff in the next parts.
All in all, I can't really tell you how happy I was when the movie finished because not only was it a DAMN fine entertaining film but also this will be a new Star Wars trilogy that I can actually be a part of as it releases over the years and I can't wait to see how the story moves forward. Need to re-watch it a couple of times more but it is probably near the top in the saga for me. Favourite film of the year so far.