After what seems an eternity, the new Star Wars film is here. Or is it? Is this in fact A New Hope Special-Special Edition?
As you're surely aware by now, JJ Abrams has done for Star Wars what he did for Star Trek; create a modern homage/re-make with great special effects, a "good-enough" script and some decent casting.
It's all very well done technically and the acting is sufficient (with the exception of Carrie Fisher, who appears to have had so much Botox injected into her face that she may as well wear a mask!), and I suppose that familiar feeling it creates should be applauded. The new characters, Rey, Fin, Poe and Kylo are all synthesis of past characters, but Poe in particular lights up the screen for the short time he's on it.
The action sequences are great, as you would expect and again feel like Star Wars, which is no mean feat. I avoided spoilers and only watched the official trailers and was happily surprised that I hadn't seen the best bits or indeed guessed the story, which is often the case these days.
I liked it overall, and it does what it needs to, which is to introduce a whole new generation to Star Wars without alienating the old guard.
The larger test to my mind is yet to come, in Episode 8. Can it move on from its history now, not pander to it like the sadly stalled Star Trek franchise has?