I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this one. Yes, see it. See it on the biggest screen you can (3D fun, but really not necessary).
It isn’t brilliant, but it fills in some nice aspects between episodes III and IV. And, boy, do you need to know that going in (my partner didn’t and they were left utterly confused for half the film). There is an attempt to suggest that at the top of the film, but it is a gaff that they don’t set the time frame and simply assume you know going in.
That aside, Gareth Edwards (Monsters [yeah!], Godzilla [meh]) redeemed himself with this film. Probably more to do with the script, but it pops along nicely and accomplishes a lot in only a couple hours. Felicity Jones (Inferno) shows she can be an action heroine if she really wants to be, even if she’s a bit too easily convinced into her cause. And Alan Tudyk’s (Zootopia) K-2 is delightful, like C3PO on a very bad day.
Main thing is… just don’t look too hard at it all. Really, squint. Go for the ride and for the revisionist history that forgives some of the bigger gaffs in the chronologically second trilogy (though not the third). And even if they do subvert the meaning of “A New Hope” by the end of the tale, they do it in a clever sort of way. There are also some shocking digital effects that you may not even notice until you really think about it all. It is definitely a solid entry into the film canon and gives me new hope for the rest of the trilogy.