This article contains spoilers
A long time ago, in a galaxy where giant yellow letters float through space (presumably fleeing the star destroyer right behind them), a fascist organisation called the First Order/Empire are engaged in a guerrilla war against the Resistance/Rebel Alliance.
On the dusty desert planet of Jakku/Tattooine a plucky, apparently-parentless scavenger stumbles across BB-8/R2-D2, a small droid carrying the lost rebel map/plans. After the First Order/Empire send Stormtroopers to recover the map/plans, our defiant protagonists must transport BB-D2 to the Rebel Resistance. They commandeer the Millennium Falcon (a ship that did the Kessel Run in 12/14 parsecs!), and hide in its storage cellar. A less dust-covered protagonist of the opposite gender joins and helps transport the droid. He/she is equally parentless, but a far better actor.
Our heroes are joined by a weary-but-wise old hand, played by Harrison Ford/Alec Guinness, who educates them in the ways of the force while standing in the Falcon’s sitting room. Said old hand is later poetically light-sabered while trying to disable shields/a tractor beam and save a kidnapped female protagonist. Don’t feel too sad; he was paid multiple times more than the rest of the cast.
Meanwhile, aboard the Starkiller/Death Star, masked antagonist Kylo Ren/Darth Vader talks to a hologram of the Supreme Leader/Emperor, and force chokes his own officers. He is kept in check by the grey-suited General Hux/Moff Tarkin, a ruthless bureaucrat who styles himself closely on the Nuremburg Rally. It emerges that the Starkiller/Death Star is no moon, but instead a giant intergalactic death ray which they use to blow up the Republic/Alderaan in order to prove to controversy-loving Buzzfeed writers that they are not, in fact, the good guys.
Everything hots up towards the end; having been briefed by a large brown squid-thing, Poe Dameron/Wedge Antilles leads the resistance/rebel fleet to destroy the Starkiller/Death Star, via a small ventilation shaft/equally crappy plot device. After flying through an iconic trench, Wedge/Poe flies into the Starkiller/Death Star, shoots some cylindrical components, and enjoys the wide shot explosion.
Halfway through there is a plot twist – it appears that one character is another character’s father – and given that this is a trilogy it seems fair to assume that in the sequel the First Order/Empire will probably strike back. But never fear. It seems from the final five minutes that Luke Skywalker is still, somehow, the New Hope.
It’s gloriously entertaining sci-fi fun with great concepts, a brilliant John Williams score and enough merchandising opportunities to keep Toys ‘R’ Us alive for at least another couple of years. I’m just not sure we needed the remake.