A storytelling geek like me, and not just a Star Wars geek, is bound to love it. It's cyclical in the best tradition.
That's all I will say before I again warn you I have SPOILERS in mind as I continue talking about it.
The least spoiler I can say is that it's very reminiscent of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean movies, in a good way, mind you, because I loved them, especially the original trilogy (the fourth is basically for anyone who might want to just experience one of them, because it's mostly unrelated). I say this not just because Daisy Ridley's Rey ends up reminding me of Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Swann, but because of a few other elements besides, like the pirates hideout (more or less) where our heroes meet Lupita Nyong'o's Maz Kanata, which clearly evokes a similar haunt from the Pirates films. The treasure hunt, so to speak, is right out of them, too.
You'll find, in my Episode VII label, two previous posts I've written concerning my speculations and expectations, which ended up being exactly what happens in the movie (from a certain point of view). I loved that. I thought Kylo Ren being revealed right away to be Han Solo and
I love how John Boyega's Finn transforms from a stormtrooper to reluctant hero. He helps make the whole thing more rich than any previous Star Wars (yes, I just said that). I love how Han Solo continues the tradition of veteran hero dying in the opening film of a trilogy (even if I'm sad to see him go).
J.J. Abrams is once again true to form. (Big Red Ball 'O' Doom? Check. Greg Grunberg? Check!) I've been fascinated with his work since Lost. (Also, hello, Ken Leung!) He's got such a strong creative track record at this point, it's only appropriate that he next gets to become the next Christopher Nolan, a guy with the ability to unleash big ideas on the big screen as big as he wants. The next Star Wars is in very good hands with Rian Johnson (check out Brick and Looper right now!). So it's great that Abrams got to set the ball rolling, and will be able to what he wants now. Because we are all in for further treats.
The best part of The Force Awakens? That it's got its own massive payoff, from the lightsabers duels Ren fights with Rey and Finn after killing Han to Rey's meeting with Luke. This is the best ending of any Star Wars. It's dramatic payoff that's so good you don't even care that they just destroyed another Death Star-type weapon and completely downplayed it in favor of the human drama.
The worst part? Carrie Fisher's acting. But there's always a stiff actor somewhere in Star Wars. The good news is, the saga is always filled with enough spectacle where it doesn't matter, from the originals to the prequels, to a whole new trilogy.
And it's just beginning...