Movie Date: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
STARRING: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
DIRECTOR: J.J. Abrams
THE SKINNY: Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, The First Order threatens to disrupt the peace. A ragtag group of heroes, Rey (Ridley), Finn (Boyega) and Poe (Isaac), aid the Resistance with the help of old Star Wars heroes Han Solo (Ford) and General Leia (Fisher).
THE CONSENSUS: It’s not the best Star Wars movie ever, but the Force is strong enough with this one.
MARS - JONATHAN ROBERTS
I was a Star Wars kid. That first film in 1977 was the first film I saw in a cinema. It changed everything. It even spurred part of my career.
So now, I'm wondering what went wrong with The Force Awakens (TFA).
It's not prequel bad. It isn't dull. Although, like the prequels, there has been so much expectation that I think people are trying to convince themselves they like it more than they actually do.
TFA is good, but not thrilling.
Someone asked if it's an age thing. But the ability to be amazed is not something you grow out of.
I'm not alone. Other avid fans of the original have been left in limbo, asking, "Did I enjoy it?".
TFA has great moments and only one truly useless scene (hello, smuggled monsters and wasted cameo by the guys from The Raid), but the great moments don't connect.
Not like films such as Guardians Of The Galaxy, a true child of Star Wars. Even on the umpteenth viewing, it's a thrill ride.
I don't get that feeling with TFA.
Hey, it's great to see Ford really act again for the first time in 20 years.
The new cast is brilliant. I still want to see where Episode VIII goes.
But I'm in no rush to see it again as a standalone film.
As much as I hate to say it, The Force Awakens is only okay, when it could have been glorious.
It's no Guardians Of The Galaxy.
PS. I'm considering setting up a support group. Star Wars Fans Who Love Star Wars And Think That Episode VII Is Well Made But It's Not That Great (and are also struggling to deal with it).
VENUS - LISA TWANG
Never has a Star Wars film divided fans like this one.
At least with the prequels, which were universally trashed, you knew where to stand.
I really enjoyed The Force Awakens. It has everything a Star Wars movie should have: epic lightsaber fights, cheesy-but-not-too-cheesy humour and lots of Han Solo-Chewbacca bromance.
It made my heart race and my hands rub together with glee. I even let out some whoops.
My heart goes out to Rey.
If I were a little girl, I'd dream about being as cool as her. Heck, as a grown woman, I still wish I were as cool as her.
She dispatches baddies, fixes and flies starships, and I still don't have my driver's licence. Go Rey.
Still, no one beats Ford as Han Solo. While the younger actors are worthy additions to the franchise, Ford has more charisma in his blaster trigger than they have in their weird lightsabers (we're looking at you, Kylo Ren).
Sure, even the most hard-core fan can't ignore the feeling they've seen this movie before. It's essentially a remake of the original Star Wars, with a bigger budget.
But it's still a chance to see the Millennium Falcon and the characters we love again. It's still a visual and emotional spectacle.
Even if TFA is mostly fan service, I'll take it.