Spoilers below, sort of.

Well, this was a pleasant surprise. A very pleasant surprise.

But that’s about as far as I’ll go. I liked it; it was fine. J. J. Abrams may have found his calling as a maker of excellent riffs on existing films (I take it back; Into Darkness was way worse than Wrath of Khan, in a way that this was not, vis-à-vis A New Hope).

The Force Awakens neither upset me nor blew my mind. It looked like a Star Wars movie, even aside from the familiar faces, although, honestly, how many desert planets are there for heroes and heroines to grow up on? The acting was good, there was an appropriate level of snarky nonsense, and I only shuddered at the dialogue once or twice (mostly, I think, unfortunately, because of Maz, whose hippie attitude was banal and useless).

I had the most fun spotting minor (or middle to major British, which is the same thing) actors: Harriet Walter(!) fixing up Chewie, Pip Torrens for a good three seconds of general First Order menace, Sebastian Armesto delightfully squirrelly…  Obviously Oscar Isaac was a delight, and I enjoyed Domhnall Gleeson as a villain, which he did unexpectedly well. I was not at all surprised at how well Adam Driver and his sinister face do evil.

Oh, I definitely cried watching Chewie pilot the Falcon by himself.

Director:  J. J. Abrams
Rating: PG-13
Length: 135 minutes, which felt a little long, actually; I checked the time, but only once
Score: 4/5