Just saw the new Star Wars - which is a more literal way of putting it than you might think, if you haven't been reading the reviews.
On the down side, I did have to suppress a scream due to a key plot feature which I warned the world would disappoint me. But on the upside, the film is in most respects more Empire that Wars, in that the key action and drama is more one-on-one, human-centric, than on the "X Wings versus yet another gigantic space ball weapon" scale.
Yes, Christopher Orr was right: the movie is pretty much a "mashup masterpiece"; and so was the more cynical Anthony Lane (who pretty obviously enjoyed it anyway) when he writes that the movie "feels young" and "as an act of pure storytelling, streams by with fluency and zip." (It really does seem to take only about 3/4 of its actual length, and the pacing always feels just right.)
Yeah, I have to give JJ Abrams his due: this is pretty well directed. And well scripted - there's an air of mature credibility to much of the dialogue that is so refreshing after the terrible lines in the prequels.
So while I did enjoy it for what it is, the best thing is perhaps that this is all the mashup-ery that is really possible in the series, so that the next movie must surely have to tread some new ground. They can't just recycle Empire, can they? It's my new hope that they can't. (Heh...)
[And on a "meta" observation: this has been a huge, huge year for movie franchises that have revisited their past. Certainly, there was a large element of it in Spectre; and with Mission Impossible, it was once again a case of Hunt having to defy the authorities and work in some sort of unauthorised ghost-like mode. Jurassic World was in many respects rather like the first, but with hundreds of victims in a cooler looking mega park. The trouble is, as much as I would like a bit more originality, I enjoyed all of them a great deal, and they all were pretty huge hits. I guess we only have ourselves to blame if we don't get more plot novelty.]