"It's true...all of it"
A few days before watching this film, it came to my realization that this film will be the first Star Wars film that I will watch in the movie theater. I was 12 when Revenge of the Sith came out. Not long after, I began watching all six films, and then playing the video games, and soon enough developed this love for Star Wars. And now, to be watching this film in IMAX...was a majestic experience. I've seen many SW opening crawls before, but never feeling it like this. I was living the dream for about 2 hours in there, and by the end, I was emotionally exhausted.
It really is a majestic Star Wars experience. The visuals are brilliant. And I'm not just talking about the beautiful settings (which mostly is of the real world) or the creatures and spaceships (which mostly are practically built) that made the experience so real. But JJ Abrams is such a brilliant director with awesome variety of tracking shots, wide angles, and the like, that made the world feel so real and the experience so immersive.
And yes, obviously Star Wars is not Star Wars without some excellent action sequences. It doesn't take Master Yoda's wisdom to figure out that there'd be a lightsaber battle somewhere - and it was great! But its not all about the coreography. In fact, its more of the power of the moment and where we find these characters that makes this lightsaber battle great. But my favourite action sequence has to be the aerial battle between the Resistance X-Wing Fighters and the First Order TIE Fighters. The aerial sequences in this film are seriously beautiful.
Now, the characters. Some of the characters are underused or underwhelming, but I have no qualms about them. The characters that matter...were great! And brilliantly acted, too. Daisy Ridley's Rey is such a cool character, and you just can't help but love her. I've always fancied the dark side, and Kylo Ren made me love them even more. Meanwhile, Harrison Ford's Han Solo, to me, stands out yet again. He still has that charisma, that small talk persona that made us all love this scruffy-looking smuggler in the first place, but also has that wisdom and experience that sees him a different person than where we left him.
The plot...now not only is it difficult for me to cover this ground, but its also the only aspect of the film in which I have slight qualms about....just the slightest. Generally, the plot works and feels natural. But know this - some of the minor details slightly disappoints me. But it still doesn't take away a lot from the film. Where there is humour & fun, I enjoyed them. Where there is drama, I felt them. It is a complete plot that works, with only some minor details that I may have overexpected. (To be explained in the Spoiler Discussion).
And one last thing that I cannot leave out - the soundtrack (by the legendary John Williams) is gorgeous!! I loved it...and after hearing it again and again, I loved it even more. If you can get your hands on it, listen to the tracks: "Rey's Theme" and "The Jedi Steps" - they are the most un-Star Wars-y of musics, but they sound so gorgeous!!
The Force Awakens is not terribly groundbreaking or perfect, but it brings out the best in Star Wars. As a film, it is a complete experience filled with adventures, action, splendid visuals, great drama & humour. For 2 hours and 10 minutes there, I was living the dream!