2015: a year of extraordinary films, fascinating indie flicks and nostalgic blockbusters. Here's my favourite 30 movies - and a few of the worst.
The desert scenes in The Force Awakens clearly reference British films about war in North Africa such as Ice Cold in Alex. Finally - and switching sides this time - the landing of the stormtroopers straight into a firefight at the beginning of the film is a clear echo of the depiction of the D-Day landings in Saving Private Ryan.
You'll be hard-pressed to have remained unaware of the highly popular BB8 droid, controllable using a smart phone or tablet, for example, or there's always the Darth Vader shower head; but perhaps that's one for the super-fans!
These things will never change until those with the power to make the decisions make it happen. I think if JK Rowling, the person who created Hermione, says she doesn't have to be played by a white person, we can assume Hermione does not have to be white.
Joseph is going to be successful, I don't think anyone watching the show would question this, he would charm his way into the best of any situation. He is very likeable too and I wish him all the best.
Rey, like Ripley before her, is unapologetic is terrific. That she takes up space, never shrinking back, is understandably attractive and is bang in line with current discourse. However, just because a woman is physically strong and athletic, assertive and can handle a lightsaber or a flame thrower, that doesn't necessarily make her a feminist.
I will not celebrate the films of 2015 in the traditional manner. Instead, I will celebrate the films I have seen in 2015. 'New' is not reason enough to watch a film.
It took all of fifteen minutes for The Force Awakens to teach the prequels a lesson, the start was brooding, intriguing, exciting and fresh. It perfectly introduced the new era of Star Wars and set up what fans would be facing for the next three installments.
Taklub, the winner of the 2015 Cli-Fi Award for Best Film (titled the Cliffies) is a devastatingly human and raw exploration of the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda) which hit South-East Asia, causing particular destruction in the Philippines in 2013. The film is an intimate affair which focuses on how one family piece their lives back together.
We thrill to the sight of newcomers Finn, Rey, Poe, BB8 and assorted bad guys. The movie is a rollercoaster ride of dazzling special effects, action scenes and set pieces. And then, it stops.
J.J. Abrams's nailed it. The battle's won. 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' is 135 minutes of high energy, excitement and escapism with a wow capital E that will have fans drooling.
Boyega is just the latest in what is quickly becoming an exodus of BAME talent leaving the UK for the US. He follows Marianne Jean Baptiste, Idris Elba, Lennie James, Benedict Wong, Archie Punjabi, Dev Patel, Colin Salmon, Navreen Andrews, Gubu Mbatha-Raw and many, many more.
Many viewers and critics claimed to enjoy the original prequel upon it's release but with hindsight the feeling is that punters and pundits talked themselves into thinking they enjoyed it, when subconsciously they knew all along something was amiss.
Don't get your hopes up - instead, keep them tempered and then be pleasantly surprised if The Force Awakens is amazing. That way you won't spend a year defending the film as a brilliant masterpiece as so many of us did with The Phantom Menace, trying to convince ourselves that it was just as good as the ones we loved when we were younger.
Behind every sequel hungry, franchise captive in the picture house queue who's had to remortgage their house for a bag of stale popcorn, stands an overly critical cinephile with a yearning for something better and a secret bag of supermarket-bought peanut M&Ms in his pocket. This is a list for the latter.
Are you excited about Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Annoyed? Or even utterly indifferent? This research study wants to hear YOUR views.