This is a complete newcomer review. I haven't seen any of the previous Star Wars movies. I know that Darth Vader is Luke's father, I know there's a force and some jedis and Yoda and whatnot, but that's pretty much it. So I watched this movie with pretty much no expectations.
So, as usual, bad points first, good points after.
1. I don't know if this is really a valid bad point since I'm obviously not a part of the fanbase for this series and haven't really been introduced to the setting of these movies before, but I guess for me, it's just a little hard to take seriously because of all the silly-looking alien designs and the fact that people can understand robotic beep boops as language. I dunno, it's a minor bad point, but that's just my personal opinion.
2. No explanation given for the fact that every planet is apparently hospitable for every alien species, including humans. I mean, if we're thinking realistically, what are the odds that every planet they land on has breathable air and a temperature that isn't deadly to at least one of these crazy aliens? Again, I'm a newcomer, so this probably doesn't bother the fanbase, but to me it's a little immersion-breaking. This is kind of what lands this movie more in the science fantasy genre than the science fiction one for me, honestly. The force too, of course, but that kind of goes without saying.
3. Very little explanation given as to why Ren chose the dark side. He's Darth Vader's grandson, yeah, but so? Both of his parents are rebels, so to me it just doesn't really make much sense that he would randomly become evil, so it would be nice if they provided a bit more of an explanation there. I mean, he's clearly dark enough to murder his own father, so there should be a pretty hardcore reason, or maybe he was just a little sociopath to begin with, I dunno. Maybe this makes sense to the already established fanbase, but I just don't understand it myself.
4. A few characters were kind of introduced out of nowhere and then never mentioned again. Felt like a bit of a loose thread to me.
1. Very action-packed, and the action scenes were nicely done. I was at the edge of my seat during that whole spaceship chase scene on Jakku.
2. Despite what I say about the silly-looking aliens and robots, there is a certain charm to it as well. Like, it just wouldn't really be Star Wars if it was realistic, you know?
3. I loved that classic opening with the text. It just isn't a Star Wars movie without it, I feel.
4. Great music.
5. I love that this movie featured a female action lead, especially since she wasn't sexualised, and a black guy who isn't Will Smith as the male lead. It was quite refreshing.
6. While I still think the alien designs are silly, I do love the clothing designs in this movie. Flowing capes and crazy hairstyles all the way.
If I could give this movie a score between 1 and 6 where 1 is the lowest and 6 is the highest, I'd give it a 4.5, I think. I didn't like it quite enough for it to earn a 5, but I still did enjoy it quite a lot.