But first, I promised a spoiler free review of The Force Awakens, which I saw last night. Wowzers. That's going to be tricky, but here goes...
Overall I'm going to say I enjoyed it. I choked up at the opening credits, it was full of feels, Disney played it safe with the plotline with lots of nostalgia for the old fans but no real big revelations (again, after the 'Vader is Luke's father' thing I reckon Disney felt they couldn't pull that off again successfully), the new characters are awesome (though I question Finn's initial motivation somewhat), I felt it was a bit darker and perhaps more violent (in a dramatic fashion rather than an actual increase in the level of violence), I adore Rey, BB-8 is cute (but sorry, he's not R2-D2), and Poe wasn't in it enough. Lots of action and great visuals (we saw it in 3D, but I don't think you'd lose all that much seeing it in 2D). Certainly didn't feel like it was 135 minutes! At no point did I think 'get the hell on with it'. Ultimately I was disappointed with Kylo Ren, but the return of old characters and the bright new ones mean I'm a very satisfied Star Wars fan who is looking forward to the next one.
My one quibble? Disney need to up the amount of Rey merchandise, and fast. Seriously, they would make way more money out of me and a lot of other fans if they did. It's the same old frustration as over the Black Widow and Gamora lack of merch. Please move into the 21st century, Disney! It's not that hard!
However, one thing I wasn't quite aware of until later, and that a fellow fan and friend posted about HERE (caution, minor spoilers in his review) was that the only time I even noticed the music was when they used fragments of the old stuff (and I choked up every damn time). As Ian says, the music was such a huge part of the films, though mostly in the originals for me. And it just wasn't there in The Force Awakens. The only bits with any impact on my senses were those few segments from the originals, no doubt used to make that connection for the fans. And it's a shame. I can't even remember what any of the music was like, or even if there was any. Which is sad.
But ultimately I'd tell anyone to go see it, especially if you love the original trilogy. Just take lots of tissues!
HERE. Have a great holiday and New Year, and may the Force be with you. Always.