The Redlettermedia guys address a lot of the things that I liked in the flick as well as all of the things that concerned me about it.
My initial reaction was, "great it's not another prequel." And after Star Wars I-through-III that was certainly good enough for me. It felt like Star Wars and that was enough.
Yes it had it's down side as well as it' ups:
Finn: John Boyega did good work. I suppose I don't need to keep saying that all time but it is such a rare thing when discussing Star Wars.
The problem with Finn is on the creative side. It is impossible for me to buy Finn as a character. There is just too much hand waivem. He was raised since he was stolen from his cradle to be a mindlessly, fanatical killing automaton...and a garbageman. Finn apparently didn't score too highly on the ASVAB. But some how he managed to get a transfer to combat arms and on his first mission has a breakdown and deserts. "Because it's the right thing to do"
How the hell would he know what the right thing to do is? The man is a Janissary. It's the only moral code he has ever known in his life. I'm just not buying it.
Also the first time he meets Rey, he gets beaten up by a girl.
Ranking on the Socio-Sexual hierarchy: Delta. No he is not a Gamma, that's supposed to be ranking not a pejorative. Although, granted a Delta with serious Oneitis. By the end of the movie he has been given a "friend-hug," received a chaste peck on the forehead and called a "dear friend." In the real world he would be completely friendzoned.
Rey. Daisy Ridley again fine job. Nuff said. Rey is the Princess-who-Rescues-Herself. Doesn't need a man in her life and never will. Rey is pure feminist wish fulfillment. No explanation at all is given for her hyper-competence in everything. And the bad part is the production team clearly felt none was needed. It is purest Grrrrrrl Power. She is already being hailed as a Feminist Icon because she isn't real. She is a Standard Korra-Pixie-Ninja. She gets really mad at Finn for holding her hand and trying to save her when they are being shot at. She can do that herself thank you very much.
This is going to create problems with plotting down the road. Unless they are going to ramrod the Rey-Finn love story in the name of an SJW-friendly romance. She already has Wonder Woman's problem. She is too powerful for any man in her life to be attractive to her. None of them are strong enough to be able to push her buttons in her in the real world.
Sole exception...her mortal enemy Kylo Ren. This could make things very interesting indeed but there is no way in hell they are going to do that.
Nope it's either going to be a forced romance with Finn, celibacy as a Jedi Knight or they will go with something really SJW friendly and make her a lesbian. (*Yeah everybody laughed when I said the same thing about Xena.*)
But after the crap Lucas had delivered in the last three films it felt like a vast improvement.
And yet as the excitement has faded and the dust has settled. More and more of the things I chose to ignore seem to bother me more and more.
We can start with the plot. At the time I didn't mind the retread but now, I do. J.J. Abrams simply doesn't take any chances with his mega-franchise movies. On the one hand I can't blame the guys. Billions are riding on his decisions so playing it safe seems attractive. On the other hand he is one of the few guys in Hollywood who can actually take chances with a big property and make it stick.
I suppose I shouldn't expect too much of him. He did sign his name to the top of the that shitty Trek Against Trump letter. In his deepest heart, he knows he is not exceptional and is running on borrowed talent.
There are other things that are addressed as well. There is the Millennials worrisome and inexplicable love for the prequels. Plinkett thinks it's all bribes to bloggers but he's wrong. The sentiment from that quarter is as real as it is terrifying.
He also goes into the profoundly stupid Star Wars Ring Theory. Which posits that George Lucas is actually a genius...Yeah I know.
Anyway all that and more is right here in one big completely NSFW package complete with excessive toilet humor at the end so you may want to skip that part. Anyway, enjoy.