Just in case you missed the title. SPOILERS BELOW!
Still gonna be spoilers.
Ok. I feel I've given people enough warning. I'm not a professional movie critic. I figure I'll just discuss what I liked and didn't like.
(Expanded Universe knowledge notwithstanding! Also, know that I am far from on Original Trilogy purist. I actually do enjoy the prequels. Ok? Ok.)
Now, this is all based on MY OPINION after ONE viewing. I've discussed with with other people and we agree on many of these points. I will see it again with brother and/or friends. Maybe there's something I missed? I'm seeing a LOT of absolutely GLOWING reviews for this movie. I've seen people giving DEATH THREATS to anyone who gives it less than 9/10.
Stuff I liked:
BB-8 was still super adorable. Not the Jar Jar Binks people assumed he'd be. C-3PO was honestly far more annoying than BB-8 just in the first 10 seconds of his appearance.
I actually like the new Stormtrooper armour. Very sleek and I think a realistic evolution from the classic armour.
I laughed so hard when Kylo Ren is having his SECOND temper tantrum and these two troopers come around the corner, only to stop and turn around as they see debris flying out of the room.
The X-Wing battles were fantastic to watch. Genuinely exciting! Made me hope for Virtual Reality version of Rogue Squadron or X-Wing vs TIE Fighter. Imagine sitting in the cockpit and having to actually look around with your head. God I'd cry.
The flashback moment when Rey first touched Luke/Anakin's lightsaber hilt. Saw some neat, quick images of... honestly not sure what. Knights of Ren killing Luke's new Jedi? *shrug* Hopefully we get more of that.
I really liked Poe and Finn's interactions during a rather fun escape from the First Order. Though I feel like there wasn't enough Poe time. I have a soft spot for fighter pilots.
Rey was pretty cool too. I'll not have it said I have any problem at all with badass female characters. She seems to have this crazy connection to Luke and Anakin's old lightsaber for some reason. Just Force Sensitivity? Or maybe she's actually Luke's daughter? Certainly excited to find out more about that. But there's some issues about her that I'll mention later on.
I'm very curious about this Supreme Leader Snoke. As silly as most of the new names are in this movie, I found him to be extremely mysterious. Many people think he's actually Darth Plagueis. Palpatine's master as mentioned in Revenge of the Sith. Curious idea.
(Quote from a friend of mine: "My favourite part was when a ragtag team of heroes had to find a droid who ended up on a desert planet, where it was found by someone who wants to leave, and deliver the information it was carrying to the Rebels/Resistance."
I responded "I also liked the part where a single X-Wing had to manoeuvre down a perilous trench to blow up the Death St-err... Starkiller base.")
Yep. Sound familiar to anyone? At all? Surprisingly I'm not talking about A New Hope.
Kylo Ren was ANYTHING but intimidating. He had so little stage presence, I guess. Nothing awed me about his power or motives. (Whatever they are) He's a whiny little angsty rage machine, but I have no idea why! At least we know why Anakin was that way.
Ben Solo is his actual name. Ok, minor EU point here. Luke named his son Ben after Ben Kenobi, obviously. The man who started Luke's journey as a Jedi. Luke cared about Kenobi a great deal. Makes sense. Sooo... why Han and Leia's kid? Leia never even MET Kenobi. Han was certainly not really a fan of the guy.
He's supposedly responsible for killing off Luke's new Jedi Order which caused Luke to go into exile.
Also he looks nothing like Han or Leia. His facial structure was sorta weird. Fantastic hair. But he just looked like an angsty little teen with slightly bad teeth.
Captain Phasma. I feel pretty sorry for everyone who said she's their favourite character before the movie even came out. Those who rushed out to buy the action figures and build the costume for this character who had 3 minutes of screen time. (rough estimation) Gwendolyn Christie was carrying on about how excited she was be the first major FEMALE villain in Star Wars. And her big scene was getting tackled by Chewbacca and being forced to lower the shields around Starkiller base. That's it. Talked about throwing her down a garbage scute. Even less than Boba Fett. Makes me wonder if they cut out a bunch of her scenes. Otherwise extremely disappointing.
General Hux was just... meh. Frowned angrily a lot.
Starkiller Base. Basically a giant new Death Star built out of a planet. A massive super weapon capable of destroying entire Star Systems. Though it was cool how it had to drain the power from a SUN to fire. It really just felt like a big thing for our heroes to blow up. We saw it target some Republic worlds. I hostly don't know if it was Coruscant or what. There was a massive city, some people we don't know looking up in fear and then boom.
It seems to me the villains were really the weakest part of the movie. I don't understand their motivations. They just seem angry and evil for some reason. We're not really told what the political situation is in the galaxy either. There's a New Republic, The First Order, AND the Resistance, which is funded by the Republic? But it's not the Republic military? Maybe they'll be fleshed out a little more in the next movies?
Rey has never used the Force. Did not even know what it was, I don't think. But in a standard galactic DAY she's able to mind trick stormtroopers, repel Kylo Ren's Force mind probe, and call the lightsaber to her even though Kylo was calling it as well. She'd had NO training at all. Have not even met Luke by this point.
Rey and Finn used that lightsaber like champs! No, they weren't doing crazy flips and spins, but they were both able to fight off Kylo Ren rather heroically. Fun fight to watch. But that's just it. HOW? They had NO training at all with a lightsaber prior to this. Rey, we find out is very Force Sensitive. Not Finn. At least not yet. I mean he was a stormtrooper so he had military training. But that does not make you a lightsaber master. We all know lightsabers are incredibly difficult to wield. Not like a normal sword at all. That's why we only ever see TRAINED Jedi and Dark Jedi/Sith use them. Also General Grievous but he was part droid I guess so maybe he was programmed not to cut his own limbs off.
Killing off Han. Another minor EU thing here. Fans were SO happy the EU was declared non canon because it meant "At least Chewie's still alive now!" Then they kill Han Solo. But everyone's ok with this trade?
Oh and one last TINY little detail my girlfriend and I both noticed. Finn turned on the lightsaber by pressing the wrong freaking button. Yeah. He pressed the dial up near the emitter instead of the box midway down the hilt. I know I know. Kinda nit picking. That's why I said TINY detail.