Here’s another thing I was very glad to see not be terrible.No battle droids. No Jar-Jar. No Midichlorians and, perhaps most tellingly, absolutely no George Lucas. This was by no means a perfect film, but it was so, so much better than it could have been. Great casting, great direction, great sound, great visuals and a great story* came together to make this one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in the cinema for ages.
Star Wars is and always will be a camp 70s sci-fi, no matter how modern its effects. The line between good and evil will always be very stark, meaning that all its characters have to be defined. Their alignments, personalities and character traits are set in stone, and any deviation is absolute. Obi Wan Kenobi was good. Emperor Palpatine was evil. Darth Vader was evil, until he was good. Time will tell whether or not this stays true for the new characters, but Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo are all very engaging already, enough to maintain interest at least.
A stellar* return to form for the franchise that could so easily have gone the other way, The Force Awakens ended up being a sweet cherry on top of an already very good year. I’ve seen it once, and I’m hoping to slip in another viewing before it finishes its cinema run.