J.J. Abrams is a very calculated director. He breaks filmmaking down to an exact science. As a result, he’s very effective at conveying what he’s trying to convey. It’s also why you can look at Star Trek, Super 8, and that one episode of The Office he did, and have no idea that they were from the same person. This made him a frustrating choice to direct the seventh (or eighth if you count Clone Wars) entry in the Star Wars franchise, since no one knew what to expect.

Out of all the things we could have expected from this film, this is probably the best. While it’s not perfect on its own, it’s what I’d consider the ideal Star Wars movie. It pays loving homage to the best parts of the franchise while subverting the worst. It also has the best writing, cinematography, and special effects out of any of the films.

Now, it seems to be common practice to critique this movie based on how it works as a standalone film. First of all, that’s kind of ridiculous. While the upcoming spinoff movies will need to figure out how to present themselves as something other than another Star Wars, this film’s connection to the franchise is inescapable, and it requires a level of Star Wars knowledge that everyone in the Western world has.

But, as they say, when in Rome. This is the most beautiful movie of 2015. It has a better sense of scale than any other movie I’ve ever seen. The poetic dialogue and narrative is really cool even without drawing parallels to the original films. The special effects are spectacular. Kylo Ren is the most original villain we’ve had in ages. The performances are great. The score is amazing.

But once again, it’s not perfect. It has its fair share of corny and slow moments. It’s a bit anticlimactic, carrying on for half an hour after the emotional climax and ending on an unnecessary cliffhanger. The big guy isn’t very realistic. Like its predecessors, it tends to lean on the force as a deus ex machina.

Still, I’ll give The Force Awakens an A. It blew me away in a way that very few movies do. I’m sure you’ve all seen it or made plans to see it already (it made half a BILLION dollars on opening weekend), but if not, you gotta. I’m starting to work on my end of the year listicles, but in the meantime, like this post if you like it, comment if you’ve got something to say, follow my blog if you like it like it, you can also follows me on Twitter @thememe_supreme, and happy Life Day.