Star Wars review: Why Lucas' legacy has been ruined
READ AT YOUR OWN RISK: While there are technically no spoilers in this review, it is likely to affect your enjoyment of the film.
OH DEAR, I thought as I cringed through yet another melodramatic, prolonged, yawn-inducing battle scene two thirds into the new Star Wars film.
"That's it. I think I'm going to walk out," I told my wife. She chuckled.
We'd come for the big event with extended family and friends - a party of about 10 - looking forward to a treat of a night.
Instead, we faced an overly dark, violent, melodramatic mess of a film which failed to capture any of the Star Wars magic and instead acted as a kind of doppelganger - it kind of looked the part on its shiny surface, but was empty within.
So two thirds in, there I am, ready to walk out. In a furtive whisper so I wouldn't offend other Star Wars fans still holding out hope, I started to outline why I could no longer stand this.
Was it the ill-thought out characters with no real relevance to advancing the film's plot, introduced and then killed off without a care? One purple haired disgrace (no offence intended to the actor) was a waste of 40 minutes of running time.
Was it the cherished characters from the original trilogy used as fan bait for Gen Xers and Baby Boomers for no discernible reason?
Was it the complete mid-film twist in the middle of a trilogy which essentially made the first movie kind of pointless?
Then there are the simply laughable bits - like when two evil characters are having a spoilt brat shouting match about shooting their big lasers.
The lack of any decent explanation for any of the major plot points of the universe?
(Like, didn't we win in Episode 6? Shouldn't Luke and Leia be running the galaxy, and raising Jedis? Shouldn't any First Order be a minor threat, perhaps growing in strength, rather than a fully-fledged overlord of the galaxy?)
Or the random excursions full of CGI eye candy, yet with no real relevance to the plot?
Then there was the sheer number of characters, yet none with enough substance or fully fleshed back story.
The list is long - I could go on. The film is POINTLESSLY long.
I apologise to all the actors involved in this film, and I don't even hold a grudge against the director. No, this is Disney's failure.
Their blatant use of cute merchandisable animals is a kind of sickly echo of the George Lucas magic.
Don't think I'm some kind of cynic. I didn't go into this film with bad vibes. I couldn't wait to see it.
"Yeah, I thought, The Force Awakens kind of bad, but maybe they'll iron things out and explain some of my questions better".
No, they didn't. And this film is worse.
As much as I loved Mark Hamill in this film - as an actor, just to hear him as Luke again -the writers destroyed Luke's legacy with what they put into his backstory. The Luke I know would never have done THAT.
By THAT, I mean Luke's demeanour and back story is hopelessly, depressingly wrong.
Remember, back between Episode III and IV, Obi Wan lost everything - he lost his own student to the Dark Side, and yet he continues his meditation on the Force on Tattooine.
But Luke - the greatest Jedi in history, who singlehandedly entered the Dragon's Lair and with faith and force alone brought his father back from the dark to destroy the Emperor - has been turned into a bitter old man.
Just. Not. Plausible.
Ahh, George. I'm sorry I bashed the prequels. I now realise how courageous they were, despite some acting and scripting issues which make them seem ham-fisted at times.
Oh, how wonderful that universe was.
In fact, with time the prequels will come to be loved as a devotional tribute to the masterful original trilogy - a cautionary fable about the corruption of great power and how an open society can rot from within.
But these films - which somehow miraculously seem to get great reviews, will eventually be seen for what they are. Right now, we are in disbelief - but the Emperor Has No Clothes.
This is simply not Star Wars.
Not the product of a single visionary, but the mess of a corporation wanting to replicate the visionary's magic without the understanding of "what it's all about".
I have no idea what they are going to do with the third film.
I now, sadly, no longer care.