For me, Force Awakens is a cut below any of the Original Trilogy. But on its own merits, it bridges the glorious past with the promising future in often spectacular fashion. Daisy Ridley is a superstar in the making.
Old-fashioned Hollywood weepie with a devastating ending, but it tugs on the heart strings so very well. Jane Seymour has never been more exquisite. Christopher Reeve utilizes his gentle, boyish charisma to maximum effect. But of course, the main draw here is the legendary John Barry's (RIP) unforgettable score. The swells and cadences of the main theme are equal parts pure love and pure melancholy - a perfect aural representation of Richard's state-of-mind throughout the film.
Gareth Edwards masterfully updates Ishiro Honda's 1954 classic from an allegory about an unstoppable nuclear-created force devastating mankind into an unstoppable agent of nature acting as an equalizer against imbalance. The result is a 10.0 magnitude summer tentpole that is one of the very best of its kind in recent memory. It is also one that doesn't feel like it overstays its welcome through being artificially long (an unfortunate recent trend), despite taking place on a global scale.