I have liked every single Star Wars film I ever saw and I liked every Star Wars Tv show I ever saw, and every video game and every book and comic. PM me with your thoughts. I saw it... everyone I saw it with loved it. The movie got glowing reviews. It's being unanimously praised by fans for "bringing back Star Wars". You might be the first person I've seen with a negative reivew. I'm not sure what kind of standard you were holding it to or what kind of expectations you may have had, but it was classic Star Wars. I'm curious to find out what you hated about it. It was a super enjoyable movie. Significantly better than the prequels. Worthy of all the love it's getting. I highly recommend it.
I am not a Star Wars complainer. I am not a Star Wars snob. And I hated this movie. Hated. Like watching Rick Pitino or something.
It wasn't without faults, but neither were the original movies. It captured the tone/vibe of the originals wonderfully. The action was fantastic. Unlike the prequels, it had a much needed dose of humor. I thought Kylo Ren was great. It's the first movie I've seen Harrison Ford NOT mail in for several years... I was worried about his performance and I thought he was classic Han Solo. I had tiny gripes, but so many moments that got me hyped up. I'm looking forward to the sequels. I think Episode 8 might even be better... I think Rian Johnson is a better director than JJ Abrams. But what JJ Abrams pulled off here was great. This was a worthy addition to the Star Wars saga.
Universal praise? I've heard mixed results from fans
It's got an 81/100 on Metacritic and 95% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. It's a significantly higher rated film than any of the prequels.
Look, neck-beards will find anything to criticize. But it's received universal praise. Notoriously critical celebrity fans like Patton Oswalt and Kevin Smith have given glowing reviews of it as well.
It's not without faults. "Star Trek" from 2009 was a darn fun movie, but Star Trek fans criticized it for being "too star-warsy" ... With this one, the main bit of criticism seems to be that it's "too similar to the original movie".
I don't want to spoil anything. Eja, I'll reach out to you with my response to your valid criticisms, but let's first acknowledge that there's a chance you might be in the minority here. You had Mace WIndu as your avatar for several years. Did you like the prequels more than the original movies? That would presumably slant your view of the new ones. In fact, has anyone ever seen Eja and George Lucas together at the same time? Hmmm... makes you think. Heh.
I'm actually fine with the prequels for what they were, but I can easily sum up the reasons the prequels were not as beloved as the originals. There's three very simple reasons.
#1 - Overly complicated - the prequels got muddled in a bunch of political nonsense... the battles didn't make much sense... there was nobody to really root for... clones vs droids and they were both in the pocket of the emperor.
#2 - No sense of humor - The prequels seemed like they were written by someone with autism or something. No sense of humor at all. In the original, they were able to improvise slightly. Han had swagger. It was light hearted and fun.
#3 - Impossible to capture the awe of seeing cutting edge visuals in the late 70s. - This is pretty impossible to replicate. Once a decade a movie comes out that's success is greatly impacted by having cutting edge visual technology. Star Wars was at the forefront when it came out. Another great example is Jurrassic Park... minds were blown when people so CGI dinosaurs. Most recently, "Avatar" was greatly impacted by the visual spectacle. In general, we're pretty jaded to visuals at this point, unfortunately.
At best, this latest Star Wars could fix two of those 3... and it does. Boy does it. They simplify the story. It's filled with character and humor. They did a good job of reintroducing a scarred audience to the Star Wars universe. The magic was back. There were genuine moments of glee. Genuine moments where I got excited. Unlike the prequels, the actors weren't stiff and the dialogue wasn't stunted. All four of the new leads shined. I want to see more of them. Does it borrow too much from the original? Sure... but I think they had to do that. It's a love letter to the original Star Wars while at the same time setting things up for future installments.
If I were to compare to to recent movies and set some expectations, I would say it's successful because it has the best elements of three recently successful films.
#1 - "Guardians of the Galaxy" - Guardians was the best sci fi movie in years. Episode 7 is right up there in terms of swashbuckling Star battling fun. The characters have swagger and humor.
#2 - "Jurassic World" - The main reason Jurassic World was so successful was because of the nostalgia of going back to a familiar world. Episode 7 has that in spades.
#3 - "Creed" - If you haven't seen it yet, go see Creed. It's awesome. It's basically a remake of "Rocky" while pushing the "Rocky" story forward. Fans were skeptical after a couple misfires in the Rocky franchise ("rocky 5" comes to mind), but "Creed" is wonderful. We get to see old man Rocky Balboa and the torch is passed along to a worthy new actor. "Episode 7" is very similar in that regard. They cover familiar ground, you get to see old versions of your favorite characters, and the torch is passed on to characters you immediately are fond of.
Go see it. It's worth it.