So I'm not going to ruin it for anyone else with important spoilers but I will say:
Yes, some familiar characters make appearances. Technology is almost there where you can believe you are looking at the same person you saw almost 40 years ago.
A lot of the scenes in trailers were not in the movie. I would be interested in how many changes were made--how the story evolved during production.
Now that I've seen how people have have rated this against other Star Wars movies, I would have to disagree with them. I would place this in the middle of the pack. From favorite to least:
- The Empire Strikes Back
- A New Hope
- Return of the Jedi
- Rogue One
- The Force Awakens
- Revenge of the Sith
- The Phantom Menace
- Attack of the Clones