I know this film is polarizing. I know that a lot of fans felt slighted when it released. To me, though, this movie did it. It recaptured Star Wars. The irony of the main theme ("let the past die") was a clear message to us fans. Fans that hold on dearly to these franchises, to the warm nostalgia we feel when we hear Williams longing score as Luke looks over the suns of Tatooine. Fans that have read books after books of evil generals. Of Rogue Squadrons, of Droids, and play games based on the Knights of yore. We can no longer be the gatekeepers of what makes "good" Star Wars. No, we are merely voyeurs in a vast cosmos, along for the ride.
Star Wars belongs to a new generation. And though, I walked away from this movie feeling like I did when I was 5 and my dad showed me Empire Strikes Back on LaserDisc, it pales in comparison to how much joy this movie brings the next generation of fans, something I've witnessed time and time again.
It's second core message, that greatness can come from anywhere, is one that the sequel loses, with its split Jedi family tree between the Palpatines and Skywalkers. This movie's message inspires, and gives hope. Though, I may be too old to have those dreams and whimsical feelings of doing great things, I hope it gives kids those exact sentiments.
Be open minded with this film. From the cinematography, to its challenge of generally held Star Wars cliches, to its absolutely gorgeous score (particularly, "The Spark"), this movie is awe inspiring. Though, not perfect, it's worth a watch. At the very least, to see what all the controversy was about.