I thought it was done just about right… very entertaining & added to the greater Star Wars story. I don’t think Star Wars needs something earth-shattering, it’s just supposed to be fun adventure/fantasy. Sure, it could have been a little better in places, but there was more right than wrong with it.
I read that JJ Abrams tried including Luke in more of the script, but his character was so strong that he basically took-over, and you didn’t care about whatever the other characters were doing. I guess I could see that. I do wish they’d given him at least one line at the end, like “I’ve been waiting…” or something. It would have made his appearance more memorable. Another interesting result of “Luke at the end” – It seems the next movie will almost have no choice but to pick-up right where this one left-off, which is different from any of the other sequels –all the rest of them had years in-between… hence the “screen crawl” at the beginning of each movie. So what will the screen crawl on the next movie say? I suppose there are always some details to fill-in.
While the main plot points were a bit borrowed or predictable, that’s true with 90% of all movies… and there was enough new stuff in the movie to keep things interesting. In addition, this movie mostly served to introduce a bunch of new characters. There just wasn’t a lot of room/time left to do anything else too major. That said, perhaps they could have invented some new kind of way to destroy a planet – perhaps a “creeping doom” that was like a disease which consumed planets. And the rebels would have to figure out how to stop it. Maybe an idea for the next one? Anyone listening?
I thought the end of the movie was a bit rushed… my guess is stuff that got cut to get the running time down, as the studio has a financial incentive to keep it to a certain length.
Finally – I’d really like to know why C3PO’s arm was red… He mentions it, but then it was left totally unexplained!!! WHY!!?