I went to see The Force Awakens this morning by myself, hell bent on seeing it as soon as possible because I knew that with time it would be harder to avoid hearing about it. As movies go, it's rare that something so high profile could have so little out there, and indeed I went in knowing nothing beyond what I saw in the trailers.
The verdict: It was perfect.
I'm not really saying that it was without flaws, because I need to see it again before I can arrive at that conclusion. It was perfect because it is everything that I wanted a Star Wars sequel to be. The expectations were impossible, and yet it worked. The story was great, the casting was perfect, the performances were all strong, it was the right mix of nostalgia and looking forward... all I can really do is gush.
J.J. Abrams is someone I've respected for a long time, and for a number of reasons. It's weird, because he's had his hand in a so many things as a creator, but not often as a director. He's the mind behind Alias, one of my favorite TV shows ever, as well as Fringe. His resume where he was a triple-threat, producer, writer and director, is actually quite small. It was Super 8 back in 2011, where he had that end-to-end control, that I felt I totally understood his ability. It was a masterful effort, and one of my favorite all around movies to this day. It was actually that movie that gave me the confidence that Abrams was the right guy for Star Wars.
I'll gush some more about the movie after I see it again, and get all spoilery about it. I can't wait. This is the Star Wars movie we were looking for.