My 2 cents about the movie (saw it yesterday):
Overall I liked it. It felt very much in line with the original trilogy.
I liked the performance of all the new actors (although Adam Driver was too much like Hayden Christensen in some scenes), and I must confess I am a bit sad that indeed Finn doesn't seem to be Force sensitive in the end.
I was shocked by the death of Han, it was nicely done. I almost suspected Chewie would be gone as well, shooting Kylo Ren in the face, and then a moon would drop on him or something like that. I am glad they didn't do that though.
Things that bothered me a bit:
1. Why the hell are all leading members of the First Order guys that seem very young? Where are the cool older characters, people having the same kind of charisma like Grand Moff Tarkin or somone similar. GENERAL Hux' actor is 32? Really?
2. Carrie Fisher's less than stellar performance. For me it wasn't exactly bad, but not exactly good either.
3. No big fights in space, capships fighting each other and so on. I would have liked to see that.
4. The scene showing off Poe's skills in the X-Wing. Half the kills in one scene would have sufficed.
My internal running commentary during that shot:
- Great Pilot!
- WOW another one!!
- Uh, I got it. He's good.
- It is getting old.
- YOU CAN STOP NOW.
5. And the most important one: The movies in themselves should make sense. The audience should have a chance to understand what is happening. I don't care that I don't know how so many Star Destroyer wrecks landed on Jakku, but if you come from the original trilogy you think: "EHH??? Resistance??? What the fuck happened, I thought they won?? And WTF how could those First Order guys build that DS3 thing without anyone noticing??". I don't want to have to read a book so I can understand what happens in the movie I am about to see. They should have just taken a bit more time to explain it.
- The destruction of the "Republic" (WTF five planets are the Republic? And they can be seen with the naked eye from the super secret resistance hideout? REALLY?)
They should stop destroying planets, it is getting ridiculous. You can demonstrate mighty dangerous stuff other than destroying planets.
The weapon itself was really meh. The Death Stars were already ridiculous but they decided to one-up them. And they were destroyed with basically the same tactic as all the other ones.
STOP BUILDING DEATH STARS!
Without that stupid DS3 thing the movie wouldn't have felt that much like a remake and more like a sequel. I would have liked that 200% better.
Huh. Now this post reads as though I didn't like the movie. I liked it a lot, really.
What makes me really sad though is that they basically steamrolled over many many things I liked about the EU. They chose to change the whole setting, basically making it impossible to even pretend some of the EU stuff that doesn't contradict the new story happened anyway. Things we have "known" for 30 years are just gone. They never existed. The Jedi Academy on Yavin IV, Kyle Katarn, Mara Jade, the whole New Republic basically. All gone.