I didn’t do the “Let’s watch all the old Star Wars movies before seeing the new one” thing. I really didn’t do any prep work. So when I walked into the theater, I was there to a see a new movie, not compare it to the old ones or take a nostalgic trip.
I will say, I am impressed that they got so many of the actors/actresses from the original movies to come back for this one. Some aged better than others, I’ll tell you that right now. Did their appearances warrant the cheer that people in the theater offered up, no, not really.
The acting from everyone was spot on. The fight scenes—especially with the light sabers—were a little lacking if you remember them from the other movies. In my opinion anyway. Like, they acted as if the saber weighed fifty pounds and took a lot of effort to swing, hence slowing them down to near sloth speed.
The hints at who is whose kid, and who is related to who, is just cheesy. I get the whole, “try to make the audience gasp” in surprise, but really, the movie could have held its own ground without the need to distract the audience with the mystery of who is related to who. I found it annoying. People who get it right away will be annoyed at how the story keeps dropping hints. Those who never get it will just be confused. It would have been better to just throw the info out there and move on. Like I said, the story, plot, and acting are good enough to stand on its own without such gimmicks.
Overall, yes the movie is entertaining to see. The space fights are sure to be good eye candy if you are into the 3D effects. It is age appropriate for nearly all, there is some violence but they don’t get graphic.