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The moment that Star Wars fans across the globe had been waiting for finally arrived – the J.J. Abrams film made its grand debut and opened in U.S. theaters nationwide on Friday, December 18.
If you didn’t want to wait in line with countless others for hours, or even nearly two weeks in some cases, to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens on opening day, you may be curious to know about what you can expect.
Of course, some fans don’t want to know anything at all until they see it on the big screen. If that’s you, stop here.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably already know that the old “Star Wars” crew will be back, including Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Mark Hamil as Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher will return as Leia. It also features Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO and Kenny Baker as R2-D2.
A new generation joins the old, including Daisy Ridley and John Boyega that play Ray and Finn, respectively. Adam Driver plays Kylo Ren, who is said to be Darth Vader’s successor.
The film is set 30 years after the Rebel Alliance took down the Empire in Return of the Jedi. As CNET notes, it will continue the story of the Skywalker family, but the question has been, “whose story will it be?” The absence of Luke from all promotional materials, the site says, means that we can expect at least one major reveal.
And just what are critics saying so far?
The early reviews are in, and the consensus seems to be that J.J. Abrams has managed to “restore greatness” to the franchise.
To kick off its five-star review, the U.K.’s Telegraph writes, “Fear not, Star Wars fans: J.J. Abrams has made the sequel of your dreams.”
Vanity Fair writes, “Director J.J. Abrams and his screenwriters have returned us to the shaggy, tactile spirit of the beloved original trilogy, eschewing overabundant digital effects and boring policy debate for a visceral sense of adventure and wonder. In righting a listing starship, Abrams has done something masterful—he pays graceful homage to what has come before (the good stuff, anyway), while expanding the ‘Star Wars’ mythology in bold and organic ways. Thank Yoda for that.
“This could easily have been a mess, but in nearly every way that the film could have gone wrong, it doesn’t,” the publication adds.
According to CNET, Episode VII broke presale ticket records before opening day, and is expected to break the international opening weekend set earlier in 2015 by “Jurassic World” at $525.million.
In other words, if you hope to enjoy the film minus the crowds, you may have to wait a while.