I loved the film and saw it at midnight in Hereford. To me, it felt a lot more like Star Wars than The Force Awakens though I did have a few issues with it.
1) Saw Gererra, the character played by Forest Whitaker. Why did he just stand there when the Death Star destroyed that town?! He came across as a badass, someone who has tested the empire time and time again. He looks badass, with two robotic legs, armour and a Mad Max style shoulder pad. He could easily have jumped on that ship and helped back up Jin Urso's story. But nope, he was "tired of running". Bollocks. If it was meant to be a Ben Kenobi self sacrificing moment it failed badly. If anyone followed the Clone Wars TV series, you can see a younger Saw Gererra in season five and he does come across as a badass. Total waste of a character and an awesome actors talent.
2) Animated faces. Tarkin was okay. But still looked weird. Maybe it was the big screen but he had too many flaws on his face if that makes sense? And did he really need to be in it?
They really got the look of Carrie Fisher down to a t. Unfortunately, the look they got was the glassy eyed and waxy looking skin of Carrie Fisher at the height of her drug addiction, not the fresh faced princess of ANH. Didn't need to see her face. Hood up from behind would have been fine. Of all the easter eggs this one annoyed me the most.
3) Easter eggs/fan service. I don't mind a few nods to other films in the series, but this seemed worse than TFA for it. And people in the cinema seemed to love it. The sight of Dr Evazan and Ponda Baba, the droids and Leia was met with approving grunts of "Yeah!" and "Oh Fuck Yeah!" It was like we were all sat watching a dirty movie by the sounds some of my fellow movie goers were making. I liked the sight of Ponda and Dr Evazan until the place got totalled and it seemed a bit absurd they had escaped. The droids I was kinda "Meh" about. They didn't need to be there and neither did loads of the other little nods that were included that I have forgotten about because it was gone 12am at night and I remember shit all when I am tired.
4) SAS Stormtroopers. They look badass and I can appreciate that there would be elite troops in the Empire. Remember that scene in ROTJ when Palpatine says "An entire legion of my best troops await them". Remember how they were in that movie and were kicking ass against the ewoks? Exactly, they weren't. Fuck off Disney. Stop putting shit in to sell toys. I could deal with the shore troopers, as that could be armour that is for that kinda environment, like snow troopers on Hoth, scouts on Endor. SAS type troopers? Piss off.
5) Perhaps a silly one but I never said I wasn't a pedantic twat. The Stormtroopers didn't sound like the original trilogy troopers. The original troopers sounded like they were talking through a walkietalkie. Like a static kinda sound when they spoke, making them feel a little more machine like maybe, and less human. These ones didn't. Oh well.
6) Darth Vader. Sticking a tall muscle man in a costume (and a shitty looking costume at that) doesn't make for a good Vader. I dunno how I feel about the end scene where he becomes a kind of space Jason Vorhees, hacking his way through rebels like a machete through horny teenagers. It got a great response from the audiance, and was the part where the cinema seemed to have some mass orgasm by the sound of the furious grunts of approval and casual profanities. I personally would have preffered a cutaway and then a mass of dead rebels afterwards. But I am not a cinematographer or a director or anything, i'm just someone who gets pissy about meaningless things in good films. And as whole, it was a damn good film.