So now that I've babbled nonsense about the movie, let me be serious about it.
1.) It's not the prequels. PRAISE GOD IT IS NOT THE PREQUELS, AND WE MUST ALL BE THANKFUL FOR THIS.
2.) But there is more teenage-angst-leading-to-the-dark-side. I risk this as a spoiler, but yes. Apparently teenage angst causes you to become evil. This may or may not explain the teenagers at the library.
3.) The wacky sidekicks are there for some comedy relief, and don't take up a chunk of the movie and annoy you and make you wish their entire species were exterminated. I.E. No Jar-Jar. AND WE MUST ALL BE THANKFUL FOR THIS.
I really loved this. I loved the fact that we had a storm trooper who overcame his childhood conditioning to question everything he had been raised to believe. I love that no one was "WE MUST BE SUSPICIOUS OF HIM ALWAYS", because that seems to happen a lot in these cases in movies. Maybe that wasn't as "realistic", but it was refreshing and different.
Heck, I love this look into storm trooper reality. These guys aren't just 9-5 workers, that turn their killing on and off for the job. They're literally conditioned to feel no remorse, nothing but loyalty to the First Order. That's TERRIFYING. And, actually, it makes them more sympathetic. They've had very little chance to learn anything beyond their tiny little world, and people like Finn will be few and far between.
The hints to back story without going into detail helped peak my interest. The effects were great, and it was nice to see the old crowd back. I was afraid it would be some twee little throw-in to appease fans of the old movies, but it actually added to the movie, set it in a time frame, and showed us where these characters had gone while leaving the story open for the new kids. (Grumpy!Harrison Ford FTW)
Overall, this was a good effort at returning to the adventurous, hopeful atmosphere of the movies without going too far into either nonsense or misery. It wasn't amazing, but I feel like everyone was finding their feet and trying to strike a balance between familiarity and novelty. I'm looking forward to the next one, which won't be till 2016.
THEY SHOULD FILM THEM ALL AT ONCE JUST LIKE PETER JACKSON DID WITH LORD OF THE RINGS.