It was pretty cool.
First off: the slow intro, empty desert, sense of dread, reminiscent of There Will Be Blood. Dug it. The darkness sitting dormant.
Stormtroopers: Same but different. Questions abound: Are these Republic Stormtroopers? Some Imperial rump state? Is the guy who pops up in the desert a good guy pulling a Luke, or some poor stormtrooper who stumbles on to the source of all evil?
R2-Polie-Olie: Looked weird, in a cute way.
Girl on the Desert Speeder: I want to assume that this is Han & Leia’s daughter, based on what I know of the Expanded Universe. The speeder itself has a very Episode IV-Tatooine feel, without being an obvious knock-off of Luke’s T-16.
X-Wing Surfing: I want to assume that this is Luke’s son, based on what I know of the Expanded Universe. Or perhaps Wedge Antilles’ son. But for all I know, it’s someone else altogether. Still, cool effect.
Lightsaber with crossguard: I liked it. Sloppy, kinda goofy, but cool. The entire scene is menacing, but looking at the presumed Sith from behind makes me curious: is this a scene in which the good guys try to sneak up on Darth Whosis and fail? Is this Darth Whosis stalking a prey of some kind? I want to find out.
Millenium Falcon, now with obligatory J.J. Abrams lens flare: First time – Okay, pretty cool. All subsequent times – GREATEST THING EVER.
But that’s me. Warsies (what the Trekkies call SW fans) are now arguing over ever single aspect of this. For example, at the bottom of this Dorkly anthology of Force Awakens fan art (yes, already), somebody calls the Lightsaber-with-crossguard a “light claymore”. This creates an argument, because it’s a standard length-sword! This provokes a rehash of why a lightsaber with a crossguard is and is not totally impractical. Because magic swords have to make sense.
Also, did you know all Star Wars fans were racist? This is true because of a reddit thread in which people admitted to being confused by black stormtrooper, because obviously not a Jango Fett Clone. Cue arguments about whether the stormtroopers in the Original Trilogy were clones or not.
Also, rolling droid is totally the new Jar-Jar Binks. Totally.
EU Novels are Lucasfilm-approved! They’re CANON! Naaaaaah!
The only hope from all this pissy slapfighting is that we go in with low expectations. Between the Prequels and Lucas being an obstinate troll about the Special Edition, we have become a bitter and jaded fandom, ever ready to pounce on minutiae as preparation for disappointment. If The Force Awakens is competent (and there’s no reason to suspect it won’t be), that might draw some of the poison out, so we can go back to the important things, like making fun of Trekkies.