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First off, if you haven't seen the original three movies (Ep. IV, V and VI) I think you should do so before seeing VII. Secondly if you haven't already seen those movies - what are you thinking? :-) SWTFA can certainly stand on it's own, but much of the past 'soap opera' fill in the blanks are missing.
So let me tell you right from the get-go, JJ Abrams knocked this thing out of the park. I was truly worried he wouldn't capture the spirit of the original movies - the 'je ne c'est quoi' - that makes the original trilogy what it is to millions of fans. But he did it. There are elements in the movie that are certainly "Abrams'esque", and you'll know when you see them, but nothing pulled me out of the movie to think about it.
In many ways, it's the best Star Wars film to date. I don't take those words lightly. It's not a perfect movie by any means, but given what Abrams was able to deliver within the scope of this universe - BRAVO!
I won't talk about specifics because the movie just opened and many haven't been able to see it yet obviously, but I will say this:
1. The 3D was great. Not perfect (it's a conversion) but I could tell effort was made to produce this movie for 3D from the beginning and that was refreshing. There was only one shot that was jarring and I'll bet it was a Disney executive's call to do it. I don't think a creative would have. Anyway, it was a brief shot and we can discuss in the comments (where spoilers can and do exist!).
2. The score and sound effects were absolutely stellar. Go see it for the audio alone!! Just breathtaking.
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By the way, there was NO STAR TREK TRAILER pre-rolling last night. I was very disappointed. (Cineplex IMAX in Canada)
4. GO NOW. Go while the truest Star Wars fans are there watching. Nothing, NOTHING beats being the middle of fans like this. The impromptu clapping, laughter, gasps and pointing. It's experiences like this that will keep movie theaters alive in this era.
I'll talk about more in the comments. Again - THE COMMENTS WILL HAVE SPOILERS!! Don't read them unless you want to be clued in on aspects of the movie. You've been warned! Let me know your thoughts on the movie guys!!