Finally, at last, saw it today.
Thought it was pretty great.
My reaction to some of the quibbles:
I like that the characters were as vague as they were-- though vague may not even be the right word.
They were thin on exposition, but they communicated a lot of personality, and rode a lot of archtypical themes to feel complete enough. More, in fact, than I would expect from an equivalent WWII era movie.
--I mean, Kelly's Heroes needed Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, a hippie and freakin Don Rickles to pack that much into thinly fleshed out characters.
The planet hopping did seem excessive. Most of it was to service the plot, though. It would have been weak to have all of the important plot points revolve around the same planet.
they introduced that lava planet just for one Vader dialog scene? That couldn't happen on a ship?
Regarding Tarkin: I saw it in IMAX and he seemed okay to me. Only off because I kept trying to check him against my memory of the original-- and for that reason I think it may have been unwise to rely on him so much for what amounted to a b-plot. Or at least cut it back a little and/or put some of his scenes in a view screen communicating long distance
Re:IMAX-- no gimmicks. In this case the 3D just added depth, which translated into what amounts to a richer picture once I stopped paying attention to it and got "in to" the movie.
Not sure why I'm using spoilers. Is there anyone left who intends to see this unspoiled who hasn't already? And what are you reading this thread for?
Anyway.. dug the atmosphere, and the world-building was innovative (meaning, pretty new to the extablished universe I've seen so far) yet still felt like the same universe.
A couple of quibbles of my own:
Darth Vader didn't seem right to me.
Did he really tell Krennic not to choke on his aspirations?
A freakin PUN? No. Nuh-uh. Not my Vader.
And him kicking ass all the way down that corridor at the end was certainly cool, but... not really Vaderish.
I guess you'd expect something like that from prequels Annikin, but OG Star Wars Vader sent in Storm Troopers first.
Because he could do it all himself, but why? He has a little something called presence, my friends, and you don't just toss that away sabre-ing every enemy lackey in sight.
Didn't really need the inspirational speeches. Totally superfluous in my opinion.