So, I really, really, really loved it. I tried to have low expectations, and as a movie and a Star Wars film, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
- I wanted MORE Poe Dameron! I am hopeful we'll get to see more of him in the next two. I've always found Oscar Isaac attractive, but this took it to another level. He was the perfect mix of corny, earnest, and sassy. And that hair.
- John Boyega's Finn and Daisy Ridley's Rey were fucking awesome. The perfect protagonists for the SWU. Rey's kick-ass feminism/independence/agency was a highlight that goes without saying but I'm saying it anyway (the scene where she gets the lightsaber instead of Kylo? CHHHIIIILLLLS). Speculation time: so, the most obvious one is she's Luke's daughter--pulling a 'leave your kid on a desert planet to grow up without you' is a classic Skywalker move. The expanded universe geek in me wants her to be Kylo Ren's twin sister (Jaina and Jacen!), though the other part of me doesn't because they have wicked chemistry.
- This is going to sound kind of horrible, but I loooooved Kylo-Ren...when he had his mask on. Don't get me wrong, Adam Driver is a fine actor and fine looking person, but without the mask he seemed petulant and whiny, whereas with the mask he was this tall, graceful, broad-shouldered stranger who spoke with calm confidence. Who knows, maybe that was totally the intention of the actor! His character can only be the powerful, in-control Sith when he wears the mask. But more than that, I loved Kylo Ren's physicality. His clenched fists, big black hood, and angry gait. Every time he was on screen I was entranced!
- Okay, I loved the idea of Gwendoline Christie as this badass chrome Captain Phasma storm trooper, but then we didn't even get to see her face! I totally thought that the scene where she takes down the shields would have been a perfect opportunity for her to have her helmet off. I'm holding out hope that she will be in the other movies and with more face time! In the same vein, I was pretty disappointed by Maz Kanata, the CGI character voiced/motioned by Lupita Nyong'o. As CGI characters go, I didn't think the species was very intriguing to look at or watch. I would have much preferred to actually see Lupita Nyong'o dressed as the character and watched her actual face act! Maz was probably the most disappointing part of the movie for me.
- Apparently the storm trooper upon whom Rey first uses the Force to mind-control was DANIEL CRAIG. Spectre was filming at the same studios and he just did that short, uncredited cameo? The voice sounded super familiar, but without his British accent I don't think I would ever have guessed it was him. I hope it's true. (He's even listed on the IMDB page as storm trooper JB-007.)
- Mark Hamill at the end with his beard and piercing blue eyes in an Obiwan-esque robe YES PLEASE.
- Domhnall Gleeson's embrace of the evil British general was so over-the-top that it was almost laughable, but because it's Star Wars I liked it.
- My last observation/complaint is when Rey and Chewbacca return to the Rebel Base after losing Han, and Leia and Rey embrace and NO ONE EMBRACES CHEWBAACA. Like, he was Han's best friend and had been with him longer than anyone else!! Couldn't we have had a three-way hug between them? That whole scene I'm just looking at Chewy wandering in the crowd with no one comforting him. :(