Star Wars: The Force Awakens
This was everything we hoped for. A return to the way the first Star Wars movies felt - adventure, excitement, romance (a bit anyway), and fun.
I liked the way the movie paralleled the first one, with little bits of the second two thrown in where needed, providing just enough context to see that one person's story is never quite finished. Also that it's always about families and friends, the people we love and fight while we're trying to accomplish bigger goals. That age old truth works really well here.
And it fixes the problem with the second trilogy. The new Darth's "issues" connect with us in a way that couldn't happen before.
I also like what Mrs. Darwin wrote about Finn and Rey's relationship. It wouldn't have occurred to me to think about it that way but I definitely agree with her. It was also refreshing, for one thing, to see a strong female who wasn't as pushy as Leia or as wishy-washy as Amidala. Rey was just herself, a natural product of her environment. Huzzah!
We were also thrilled to see John Boyega. We loved him in Attack the Block, one of our favorite movies, and it is nice to see his talent appreciated with this choice role. I also thought it was a genius move to show a Stormtrooper's point of view. They might be clones but they are still people and this acknowledges that.
I've seen various people complaining about different things but I think they are looking for something this movie is not meant to be. The Force Awakens made us feel the way we felt when we saw the original Star Wars. As young college students, my friends and I left the theater excited, happy, and thrilled to see an opening for a sequel. This delivered that same feeling.
Here's hoping the next one is as strong as The Empire Strikes Back. Well done, J.J. Abrams!