The Force Awakens is set three decades after the Rebel Alliance's defeat of the Galactic Empire. A new menace to the galaxy has arisen in the form of the First Order. Fighting the First Order are the Resistance and the heroes of the story.
I really enjoyed The Force Awakens. It's a beautiful movie. It's fun. I loved the new characters: Rey and Finn, Poe Dameron and BB8 and Maz. I loved Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, they were fantastic. There were generations of fans sitting in the theater and the moment the Star Wars logo came on with John Williams' music was an incredible feeling. When Harrison Ford as Han Solo made his first appearance we all cheered.
To me Star Wars is a world of strange creatures and planets with their own moons, geographies, languages, native animals. It's exotic crowded rooms, like where Luke first met Han Solo, or Jaba the Hut's palace. It's the Jedi with their light sabers, each handcrafted and unique, their simple brown costumes, deep wisdom, respect for life and peace, and knowledge of the Force gained through years of training. It's the fight between the democratic Rebel Alliance and dictatorial Galactic Empire, between freedom and the rule of power. It's John Williams music: the Force Theme and Imperial March. It's the Skywalkers, first Anakin's story in the prequels and then his son Luke's story in the originals. It's grand, distinct characters like Darth Vader, Obi-Wan, Han Solo, Yoda and the rest. You get the idea.
Star Wars Episode Seven is the familiar battle between freedom and tyranny, only this time it's not the Empire vs. the Rebels but the First Order vs. the Resistance. The Force Awakens references a lot of what is best loved about Star Wars, but the character of Maz was one of the things original to TFA that felt definitely like Star Wars. I don't remember my favorite quote of hers exactly but it was in the context of talking about the war between the First Order and Resistance. She was asked "what war?" and responded with something like, "the only one there's ever been, the war between good and dark".
I love Star Wars. The Force Awakens is a solid movie. I loved the characters. It's funny. Some of the views and scenes were gorgeous, particularly the last one and one in the gif above in snowy woods at night. I'll always love the original Star Wars movies best, and really, anything more than them is a bonus.
"The Light - it's always been there. It'll guide you." (Maz)
What are your thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
Spoiler-ly stuff (highlight to read): Did it seem out of character to anyone else that Luke ran away after Ben killed the other students? Also, why was Ben/Kylo Ren "praying" to Darth Vader - he turned to the good side in the end?