A long time ago, in a house not so far away, I began to review the Star Wars Movies- starting with "Epsiode One: The Phantom Menace". I have now worked through to the final three movies. So, let's board the Millenium Falcon and see if we can do this in less than 12 parsecs...
The Empire has fallen- Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine are dead. In the vacuum left by them, The First Order has arisen in it's place- as has Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke.
All that stands against them is General Leia, and a small rag tag fleet of Resistance fighters. The rebellion needs hope...
They need Luke Skywalker...
Even to casual viewers, the story is very familiar in that it resembles the general plot of "A New Hope". Given the backlash the prequels got, I can't really blame Disney for revisiting the nostalgia well in the hopes that it'd satisfy fans.
Unfortunately, "fans" is short for "fanatics"- and you can seldom please fanatics.
While I definitely saw the resemblance of tropes, and archetypes between "The Force Awakens" and "A New Hope", I didn't let it detract from my enjoyment of the movie over all. Besides, let's admit it- ALL franchises recycle their stories in one form or another. I enjoyed the way story brought back memories of the story from "A New Hope", while also introducing new elements and potential plot directions. I found it engaging, and entertaining, with just a touch of nostalgia.
I also enjoyed the nostalgia brought on from seeing Leia, Han, Chewie, R2, and C3-PO, while being introduced to new characters. I liked the fact that the "OG" characters weren't the main focus of the movie, showing the fight taken up by the next generation of heroes. While they weren't the focus of the movie, I enjoyed the character development of relationship between Leia and Han. They were allowed to show their age, and realistically display how something traumatic can alter the nature of a loving relationship.
The new characters of Rey, Poe, Finn, and Kylo added a nice touch of energy to the franchise, and managed to stitch unrelated character threads together into a seamless whole. They were diverse, unique, relatable, and likeable - engaging me on an emotional level, and adding some beautiful depth and texture to the world of Star Wars.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to friends- and I have re-watched it a couple of times, so I'm going to give it a "Good".