The First Order has risen.
Note on ratings:
** Below average
*** Average. Not good or bad.
**** Above average
***** Above and beyond
Content: **** (Content based off my personal level of squeamishness.)
The content is about the same as the original trilogy. There’s blood and killing, as well as destruction of entire planets. There is one character death that will be very traumatic for fans. The movie has two swear words, much like the original trilogy. There is no sex.
Originality and world building: ***
This was the main problem I had with the movie. The plot was very similar to the original trilogy. (Did they REALLY need a bigger Death Star that gets blown up after having the shields taken down?) Some callbacks were cool, but a lot of stuff was really overdone.
The worldbuilding could have used a little more work too. While the prequels went too far into the political side for most fans, this stayed too far away. I’d like to know more about how many planets the First Order has captured. I felt like I was a bit blind to the galactic political situation.
Characters and their Arcs: *****
The movie shined here and all the characters are very original. This kept the show from falling into the hole Episode II and III fell into with their annoying characters. (Anakin needed force choked.) I’ll have to go into detail about each character.
Rey: I was pleasantly surprised to find out she was the Jedi since the trailers pulled a fast one and made it look like Finn was the Jedi. Because the movie borrowed so much from the Original Trilogy, it was a good move to have a female Jedi to mix things up a little.
Finn: When I saw the trailer, I was a little worried I wouldn’t like him, but he is an interesting character, and quite sympathetic. He’s the first sympathetic Stormtrooper in the entire cannon universe, even if one counts Star Wars Rebels. My one complaint is that he was very quick to switch sides and start killing Stormtroopers. Considering he seemed to have no brainwashing he needed to overcome, other than being afraid of the First Order, this felt off. I can’t fault the show too much for this because they did have time constraints. I am wondering what they’re going to do with him in the next movie. When it comes to skills, he’s pretty lacking so he’ll have a hard time keeping up with Rey.
Poe Dameron: He’s significantly cooler than Finn. I hope he gets a larger part in the next film. Not killing him was a very good idea, especially considering who they did kill.
Kylo Ren: He’s slightly threatening, but as far as the Star Wars universe goes, I’d put him a few rungs lower on the ladder compared to some of the other villains like Sidious, Maul,Vader, and Cad Bane. Of course, he’s also pretty low in the ranking system. After what he did to Han, I can’t figure out if I want him to die a painful death, or be redeemed, thus meaning Han’s death wasn’t pointless.
The original characters: It was pretty sad that Han and Leia had split up. Han and Chewbacca were as likable as ever. Leia, Luke, and the droids all had rather small roles, so I don’t have that much opinion on them.
Pacing and action sequences: ****
The story started very strongly and stayed at about that height. Because the whole movie was pretty strong, the climax didn’t feel super climactic. The lightsaber dual at the end was quite good. I liked seeing Kylo Ren get sliced up after what he did.
Addition to the Universe: ****
It’s a good movie, but I’m still mad about Han being murdered by his own son.
Other things I liked:
The characters and visual effects. Also the twist with Rey being the Jedi.
What I didn’t like:
Lack of originality. I understand that they wanted to let people know they’re being loyal to the Original Trilogy, but they needed more new stuff.
Also, I am really sick of Nazi based villains. By now, all villains should know people who look like Nazis don’t last long.
I like that Rey’s a Jedi, but I don’t think she should get to be the Jedi and get the Falcon. That was Han’s ship.
Story wise, I’m upset that Han’s dead, and right now, it appears his only child is evil. Han and Leia should have had some more kids to pass on the torch.
Is it worth watching?
Yes, and even worth seeing in theaters.