You know... I guess I should be used to being out of the target demographic, but this movie was just plain rude to anyone who was a fan of the original. I'll get to that at the bottom so as not to put a huge spoiler in plain view. If you've never seen a Star Wars movie, or think the original is quaint and dated... Read another review.
Problem one: They copped the plot and much of the script straight from of the original. There's hardly any variation except to delay one detail to the very end. Even the scenes are recognizable and comparable.
Problem two: As with The Empire Strike back, this is only half a movie with the sequel set up in the last scene.
Problem three: The movie is too long. Many scenes are too long. What is it with action movies these days? I think it's that they want you to have enough time to forget how much you paid to get in.
Problem four: The new main characters and actors are of the Portman, Christensen ilk--too young and not mature enough to be truly interesting.
The older actors look as if they know their obsolescence has been planned are part of something that lacks the magic of the original, and convey a sense of doom that doesn't come from the plot.
Excepted are several character actors and a CG character.
Now to the major spoilers...
Luke Skywalker is on screen for all of 30 seconds in the very last scene. He doesn't say a word.
They freakin' kill Han Solo! Are you kidding me? Even worse, in retrospect, it looks as if Harrison Ford is acting throughout as if he knows he's been written out of part VIII. This one thing absolutely ruined the whole deal for me. If you're a fan of the first movie, it's likely to do the same for you.
Yet again there's a death star, only this time it's a base on a planet using the energy of a star. How clever.
Why did I give this movie even four stars? Because once or twice, in between dozens of cringes, it made me laugh, and visually it's one of the best films I've ever seen. The last half hour cost it two stars.
I'm beginning to think that JJ Abrams is only capable of extremely good-looking, but ultimately unsatisfying movies. He started off decently with Super 8 and Star Trek, but mucked it up with Into Darkness and now this. Maybe Disney put a gun to his head for this.
I have two very carefully chosen words for Disney and JJ Abrams for what they did to my memories, but I'd never be able to review another movie here if I wrote them. Instead, I'll just say that they should have waited till all the fans of the original were dead. Enough.
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