Okay, you were warned.
Yes you were.
More than once.
Luke Skywalker has disappeared...(.)
It’s what I expected it would be - essentially a remake of A New Hope with the original heroes passing the torch like Ben did there. Both a new episode and a reboot, and close enough that it might be a way of cutting off the obvious studio temptation to do a straight reboot.
Hopefully Episode VIII will be allowed to contain more surprises.
In some places it follows along a bit too closely - it starts with a hero putting some vital information in a cute beepy Droid who gets stuck on a desert planet!
And the one thing I wasn’t certain of, was hoping wasn’t to be...
Finn is instantly sympathetic, Poe charming, BB-8 awwww... It takes a while to get to Rey, but we’re on side pretty quickly as she’s immediately capable and kind.
And pretty badass from the get-go. Loved Finn stopping mid-running-to-help.
And Rey and Finn are relieved and delighted to defeat two whole TIE Fighters, so not set up as out-badassing young Luke, Leia and Han.
Our heroes’ quick thinking. Finn coming up with the plan to use the gas leak and Rey ready to make it work, and they didn't even need it - they're good enough with quick plans in emergencies that they have some left over. And then Rey saving Finn with the blast door.
A Force-using villain was always going to be compared to Vader, so making the comparison in-character was a clever move.
The Force freeze is a nice new power - using it on a blaster bolt is a real “whaaaaa?” moment. Meanwhile, his slashing tantrums make him feel dangerous but also immature - which fits perfectly.
What’s up with Snoke, though? Where did he come from? What’s his deal? (And he may not really be that big...)
Hux and Phasma escape. Hoping Hux gets pissed off enough with Kylo to do something about it...
The reveal of the Falcon gets the biggest laugh of the night.
The planetary environments are a bit of an issue, as we have scruffy scavengers on a desert planet that isn’t Tatooine, a base in some ruins on a scenic forested lake planet that isn’t Yavin and a land battle on a snowy planet that isn’t Hoth.
The 3D was well done, but there was only one moment when it really made a difference - the Star Destroyer looming right at us.
Space Scottish Guy! (Brian Vernel, aka Odda the Younger. Also Emun Elliott.)
Space Iko Uwais! Being awesome!
Space Greg Grunberg! And I loved seeing a diverse crew of pilots.
Space Harriet Walter being snarky to Chewbacca! (About a big a role as I gave her in TWH as Andy’s mother.)
I can honestly say I expected Max Von Sydow to have more to do...
So, just a year and a half to Episode VIII, right? Not three years? Good... gooood...