Geeks around the world have been anticipating this day with a mix of fear and trepidation ever since Disney announced its acquisition of Lucas Film back in 2012. Yup, it’s the day Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theatres around the globe.
Cinemas have been booked out for months, and over the past day or so people have been camped outside multiplexes dressed as wookies, storm troopers, and Jedi. All of this in the hope that JJ Abrams can rescue the franchise from the disaster of episodes I through III.
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Heck, there was even a really excited Darth Vader in Sydney, Australia.
— Ariel Bogle (@arielbogle) December 16, 2015
But what do the people who’ve already seen the movie think?
We’ve rounded up reviews from some of the biggest properties around the web (no spoilers, we promise).
Wired‘s review, which does contain mild spoilers, is overwhelmingly positive about The Force Awakens. Just take a look at the quote below for an idea of just how positive it is:
But now, at last, JJ Abrams and his Resistance have flown to the rescue. Star Wars—the real Star Wars, with grand destinies and planet-killing weapons and black-masked villains fighting young people who yearn to see the galaxy—is back. The Force is strong with this one.
Mashable is one of the sites which guarantees zero spoilers. While still positive, it’s less overwhelmingly fawning than Wired.
“The film is good,” Chris Taylor writes, “time will tell if it’s great”.
“More importantly,” head adds, :it is an easy film to love, and an easy film to watch even if you haven’t seen a Star Wars flick in 30 years. The magic is back, and even if you’re not a fan, you’re likely to leave the theater with your eyes a-twinkle”.
Another article in the “no spoilers” camp, The Verge‘s review — written by Brian Bishop — suggests that “The Force Awakens actually feels like Star Wars again, more so than any film since 1983″.
Perhaps the most promising sign though is the assurance that the new film is about as far from the prequels as it’s possible to get:
If the prequels felt like a grab bag of ham-fisted shout-outs with shoehorned origin stories, Abrams’ film simply sets up shop in the middle of a long, ongoing narrative and tells its little piece. Despite the large scale, the approach feels small, almost humble — and it’s precisely how the original Star Wars worked when it opened in 1977.
If you don’t want to know anything about the plot points of The Force Awakens then don’t read Empire‘s review. There are spoilers in the opening paragraph.
As with the other reviews featured on this round-up though, it underlies the fact that JJ Abrams has ticked all the boxes when it comes to doing what’s expected of a Star Wars film.
The one minor negative it points out is that the “new characters don’t all get quite as much development as they should to match the existing titans”.
Given that Darth Vader is possibly the most iconic film villain of all time, it’s also interesting that Empire calls Kylo Ren, “the best villain that the franchise has ever produced”.
“He’s not just a worthy heir to Vader,” the review adds, “he may be more interesting. Rangy to the point of being gangly, there’s the sense of adolescence still clinging to him, his rages coming across as petulant rather than showing Vader’s cold fury”.
The Guardian‘s headline pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the review, calling The Force Awakens a “spectacular homecoming”.
Not just spoiler free, the five star review also implores fans to keep spoilers out of the comments section.
“JJ Abrams,” it says, “banishes memories of George Lucas’s prequels with this outrageously exciting and romantic return to a world you hadn’t realised you’d missed so much.”
The reviewers for The Force Awakens have generally been pretty good at avoiding spoilers. IGN is another one of the sites that “gets it”.
While its review is more tempered than many of the others out there, it’s still pretty positive. Interestingly, it says that while “the film echoes Star Wars adventures of the past, most notably A New Hope, but it’s the new elements of The Force Awakens that are its strength”.