Richard Edwards, Editor, SFX
"It was quite stressful to watch because I was so excited about it and I found not knowing what's coming next in a Star Wars movie quite disorientating. But come the end it was a mixture of relief, exhilaration, joy and trying to get my head around what I'd just seen."
Daniella Lucas, Content Manager, GamesRadar+
"I love Rey! Is this what it feels like for dudes normally when they have a male hero to relate to? Because if so I want more heroes like Rey. I would have lost my shit if I saw this a kid growing up."
Justin Towell, Reviews Editor, GamesRadar+
"The excitement and hush that fell over the audience as the blue text faded away was incredible. And I was laughing and grinning for three quarters of it. Very, very happy to see the old cast (though a bit unnerved at how old they look/are), and excited for the new cast coming through. But by the end I was left feeling deeply unsettled, and I came out feeling very sobered. A pity as everything else was fantastic."
Jane Crowther, Editor, Total Film
"It reignited my passion. I had been immune to the excitement for The Force Awakens having been burnt by the prequels and I found myself believing in it all, all over again. I never expected to feel so strongly about Star Wars again and I am back to the adoration levels of my 9-year-old who watched her VHS of A New Hope so much the soundtrack went wonky and no amount of tracking would fix."
Daniel Dawkins, Group Editor in Chief, Games
"Thrilled. Relieved. Surprised. It's a generational touchpoint, which was obvious from the opening crawl as the audience's tentative whoops became a self-reinforcing roar of approval, and lent a comic symbolism at 4am outside the cinema, as I stood next to Princess Leia and a ten-year-old Kylo Ren, waving to their dad (Obi Wan) as he collected the car."
David Houghton, Features Editor, GamesRadar+
Have you ever only realised how much you missed something once you got it back? Ive written before (opens in new tab) about why and how much Star Wars matters to me, and after 16 years of pain and disappointment, The Force Awakens was everything I (just about) dared to hope it would be. Beat for beat, its simply perfect, resulting in sporadic giddy sobbing throughout, and more than a bit of lip-trembling discussion afterward. And Im supposed to be the cynical one on GR+. But weve got Star Wars back, and that just feels wonderful.
Matt Maytum, News Editor, Total Film
"I got chills from the opening Lucasfilm logo (plus the 'galaxy far, far away' card and crawl, obviously), but the overwhelming feeling was of being transported, and seeing a familiar universe anew through wide eyes."
Anthony John Agnello, Senior Social Editor, GamesRadar+
At the risk of sounding like a jerk, I was surprised by just how good The Force Awakens turned out to be. I've enjoyed JJ Abrams' movies in the past, but never loved one. Having a new Star Wars movie that I enjoyed would have been enough and that's what I was expecting. I loved watching this movie.
Rosie Fletcher, Special Editions Editor, Film
"Exasperated (by the full year of anticipation), bored (by hour waiting for the film to start), nervous (about not liking it), nervous (about needing a wee during it), then awed, moved, amused, fascinated and elated. I'm not even the biggest Star Wars nut but it was so tonally spot on that any minor niggles just didn't matter, and since I've seen it I find myself wanting to talk about it incessantly. The baddies were the best."
Leon Hurley, Executive News Editor, GamesRadar+
"As an exercise in tactical fan service The Force Awakens nailed it: from haircuts to accents - even bits of corny dialogue - it knew what buttons to press and just how much to press them. I think the thing that surprised me the most though was how funny it was. A lot was played for laughs and again, like the referential nods, it was pitched perfectly to never grate. Most of all, for me, it just felt like a good start for what is clearly going to be a long run of movies. It took a well know universe and made it feel familiar and fresh at the same time - the original cast clearly relished their return as old hands, while the new faces provided plenty of wide-eyed wonder to the reimagining."
Ian Berriman, Reviews Editor, SFX
"In-between laughing and feeling like cheering, The Force Awakens made me regret that I can't turn off that jaded, critical part of my mind that tallies familiar plot devices, anticipates twists and quietly mutters, "Well, they could have done that slightly better" and could just enjoy a Star Wars film like a ten-year-old can. Adulthood sucks."
Sophia Tong, Global Editor in Chief, GamesRadar+
"Only Star Wars can get me out of the house and face the world numerous times because I need to see this movie again. Right now. I never walked out of the previous Star Wars movie thinking they were THAT bad, because I always came out feeling so damn happy because I just saw Star Wars. I was so giddy and pleased coming out of the theater because seeing a fantastic Star Wars movie with wonderful characters and a badass heroine belongs on a whole new scale of happiness. How I would have loved to have grown up wanting to be like Rey instead of uhh, Luke Skywalker."