Best and worst of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens': Our global review

The Force has awoken. CNETers from around the world share their first takes on what worked and what didn't in Episode VII. Be warned: spoilers ahead.

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" has been out for a good 24 hours in some parts of the world, which means many unrepentant nerds at CNET from around the globe have been to opening-day screenings by now. Below, they share some quick impressions of the best and worst bits of the new film. Note: These are their opinions, shared of their own volition. They're not Forced reactions.

Warning: You WILL find spoilers ahead, so if you're spoiler-averse, steer clear of this story until after you've see the movie. Then be sure to come back and add your own take in the comments section. Again, spoilers ahead. Spoilers ahead. Don't say we didn't warn you.

You are, however, safe to read CNET's full spoiler-free review, which was co-written by Senior Editor Rich Trenholm and his chatty inner 10-year-old.

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No Star Wars event is complete without an appearance from the local 501st Legion. Here, the charity costumers make an appearance at an opening of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Singapore.

Aloysius Low/CNET

The best part about "The Force Awakens" is...

How relieved I felt at the end. Relieved it was the film I'd been waiting for. It was fun and exciting and felt like a Star Wars movie should. I felt a release of tension that had been coiled up inside since...well, you know...

-- Seamus Byrne, Sydney

The moment when that hunk of junk finally appears and Finn and Rey both board it to escape the First Order TIE fighters. Finn climbing down the well of the gun turrets and the old-school targeting system gave me the shivers.

-- Aloysius Low, Singapore

Rey. The acting from all of the newcomers is marvelous, but the new heroine of the franchise is the breakout star. I'm really excited to be rooting for this adventure-seeking desert planet native for the next two movies. Some things never change, I guess.

-- Richard Nieva, San Francisco

Witnessing the rebirth of the Star Wars cinematic universe with the ships, drama and humor I was hoping for. I especially appreciate little tweaks to the formula that bring a something-old-with-something-new feeling.

-- Mike Sorrentino, New York

The look on *that* character's face when the hood comes off in the final scene.

-- Eric Franklin, San Francisco

Every time Rey uses the Force. Since the moment, while being interrogated by Kylo Ren, that she's capable of deflecting his thoughts, and later when she wields the lightsaber and battles Kylo Ren, almost killing him. And finally, when she holds Luke's lightsaber in front of him and you realize she is probably the next Jedi.

-- Gonzalo Jimenez, Caracas, Venezuela

"The Force Awakens" is unmistakably and unapologetically Star Wars. Some might complain about the orphan on the desert planet or hotshot rebel pilots on a trench run, but these were the constituent elements of my childhood. "Force Awakens" takes you back to a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

It's great to see the old familiar faces.

Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET

-- Luke Lancaster, Sydney

The best part is taking a road trip with familiar faces (I loved seeing my heroes again) that make you laugh along the way. It's an amazing space adventure packed with great action sequences and promising new characters.

-- Tania Gonzalez, San Francisco

All the new characters are well-acted and fit in with the Star Wars mythos. Rey is excellent as a lost soul who finds her way to becoming a Jedi. Finn is funny and a great new character for the franchise who shares hilarious moments with Han Solo. And Kylo Ren is a better and more charismatic villain than anyone but Palpatine in any of the prequels.

-- Jason Parker, San Francisco

Without thinking twice, seeing the Millennium Falcon flying again. Also, related to the spacecraft, THAT scene when Han Solo and Chewie enter their "home." And the combat scenes look so real (thank you, technology) in comparison with the previous episodes.

-- Oscar Gutierrez, Guadalajara, Mexico

I felt like I was watching an actual Star Wars movie. At no time was I checking to see what time it was or thinking, "Wow, it looks like those people are just in a big room with everything else added after the fact."

-- Jeff Sparkman, San Francisco

Prequels? What prequels? "The Force Awakens" remixes the DNA of the classic trilogy with its breathless romp across the galaxy, and best of all it's all done with practical, physical effects bringing the exotic locations and even more exotic aliens to life.

-- Rich Trenholm, London

The worst part about "The Force Awakens" is...

Not getting to see Luke and Han together again. For all the deep, mainline shots of nostalgia this new movie delivers, never getting to truly see the old team back together again will sting for years to come.

-- Seamus Byrne, Sydney

The unfortunately predictable plot that basically rehashes Episode IV, but does it slightly better with a lot more fun. Watch this with fresh eyes, and not behind nostalgic goggles, and you'll love it.

-- Aloysius Low, Singapore

Well, I guess it wouldn't be a CNET review if we didn't rate a device's battery life. The length of time the Starkiller base needs to reach full power is horrendous! I know it was a long time ago, but is charging still this bad in this galaxy far, far away?

-- Richard Nieva, San Francisco

Theaters should make a separate exit for people leaving the movie so you and your friends can freely discuss it without spoiling it for anyone waiting for the next show. As for the film, the time jump is tough and leaves many questions hanging.

-- Mike Sorrentino, New York

More Finn and Poe please.

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There was not nearly enough Finn and Poe hanging out and bantering. Episode VIII better have at least 93 percent more of this.

-- Eric Franklin, San Francisco

The worst part about "The Force Awakens" is the underuse of Captain Phasma and all the guys from "The Raid 2." I couldn't believe they hired Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian, two of the greatest badasses in cinema right now, and all they did was run around.

-- Gonzalo Jimenez, Caracas, Venezuela

There could have been so much more of Finn and Poe's relationship. Isaac and Boyega had fantastic chemistry onscreen, and more of their buddy-cop banter is definitely something I'm looking forward to in Episode VIII.

-- Luke Lancaster, Sydney

The movie loses its Force after the first half. You never understand the political situation of the galaxy and I don't think the filmmakers justified the biggest twist. The film ends up being a nostalgic trip without developing a new story as much as it could.

-- Tania Gonzalez, San Francisco

Rey somehow automatically knows what powers a Jedi has. For example, when she uses Jedi mind tricks on the Stormtrooper to help her escape, there's just no way she could have known it was a thing Jedi could do. Don't forget that both she and Finn thought the Jedi were just a myth and knew very little about them. The Jedi mind trick just seemed like too specific a skill to figure out without training.

-- Jason Parker, San Francisco

Definitely Kylo Ren. I think this is one of the worst Sith in the Star Wars saga. Without the mask, he doesn't give a "bad boy" look -- he looks like some teenager Star Wars fanboy. When he removed the mask, I hoped there would be some scars (you know, evidence that war and combat leaves), like his grandfather has.

-- Oscar Gutierrez, Guadalajara, Mexico

Some of the reveals came too soon in the movie. There wasn't enough time to build them up (without relying on having waited over 30 years for a follow-up to "Return of the Jedi").

-- Jeff Sparkman, San Francisco

It's a shame about the one major character conjured from jarring computer effects. Still, overall the Force is strong with this one.

-- Rich Trenholm, London

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