Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens - what the critics say

The new Star Wars film
The new Star Wars film

Critics have generally hailed the latest instalment of the Star Wars film series as a tour de Force to rival the original trilogy.

The first reviews in newspapers will make pleasant reading for fans of the space saga, with Episode VII: The Force Awakens coming 10 years after the last film.

Robbie Collin, in the Daily Telegraph, gave the film five stars, saying JJ Abrams' effort managed to "reconnect with its long-missing past".

He said: "The tension-easing news is the Force Awakens find it, gloriously so, restoring the myth and magic to George Lucas's faraway galaxy. It's no bewildering science-fiction epic, but a fantasy adventure in a world we already know."

The Daily Mail's Brian Viner offered four stars, and said: "Devotees can now lather up with their Yoda-shaped soap under that Darth Vader shower content that in the hands of director and co-writer JJ Abrams, the empire has struck back.

"The Force Awakens is the most exhilarating film yet in this mighty franchise. It is the magnificent seventh."

Kate Muir, for the Times, called Episode VII a 'humongous piece of cinema' and gave it five stars.

She said: "This is the first Star Wars with a 12A rating and most children should find it unterrifying; adults will be floored by tearful nostalgia, because this is a classic. Exactly what we were hoping for."

John Hiscock, in the Daily Mirror, said: "All I can say is The Force Awakens evokes magical memories of 1977's Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, with plenty of humour, action, drama and heart."

And the Independent's Geoffrey Macnab awarded four stars, saying "the reboot turns out to be a thoroughly invigorating affair".

He added: "The Force Awakens could easily have turned into an anti-climax. Instead, it is very close to a triumph - a film that fans of the old movies will relish but one that looks bound to capture the imagination of a new audience too."