I’ve seen it now twice.
Forget the reviews—go see it for yourself, and remember what is to be a kid again, remember what it’s like to feel awe once more.
The effects, the details, the mythology are all incredibly rich. After my second viewing I picked up on subtleties missed during the first screening:
- elegant light saber fights contrast with the more clumsy ones of the later movies which took place after the art had been forgotten
- the ground battles are from a more formal time, not the guerilla battles seen in the later episodes
- the technologies are well-crafted pieces of art, as opposed to the armour-clad industrial pieces seen later
- digitally created smoke and dust slowly drifting down giant, virtual halls
- the members of the Galactic Senate’ various politicians include nods to other movies
- cinematic nods to the Episode IV
There are problems with the movie (pieces of dialogue, some needless CGI work, and a few superfluous shots), but it does succeed in creating—for a wide-range of my friends—a sense of child-like awe while holding true to the spirit of the other episodes.
And that’s all that should matter.