The first fifth of the movie plays it safe with many allusions and use of templates to the original movies, and the use of a "Rocket Raccoon" (Rocket was created by a writer who took his name from the Beatles song, Rocky Raccoon) type of character, anthropomorphic and sarcastic. It does not bring anything to original at the beginning but then it picks up for the rest of the movie.
The rest of the movie is much better, with anti-slavery sections, background story and inclusion of Lando, something the Force Awakens should have included. There is plot and acting by a diverse cast, including Woody Harrelson, who tones down his usual style perfectly for his role here.
The new movie was directed by Ron Howard.