I’ve never cared much for Star Wars. I detested its massive popularity from the start, even as a teenager in 1977. When I saw Star Trek - «The Motion Picture» I was in awe. After watching Star Wars I just had to laugh in contempt.
Good versus evil plots have never been my thing, but this is worse than most, filled with silly moments and wooden acting.
Like most others I saw The Empire Strikes Back as a vast improvement towards a more mature story, and as clearly the best of the six films, but it wasn’t that great either. It still needed vast improvements. With the Return of the Jedi, most of the unacceptable silliness, exemplified by the Ewoks was back. The three prequels were just more embarrassing, one big collection of indifference, and hardly worth mentioning. All those resources spent and that was the result. The story of Darth Vader could and should have been a great, engaging story. Instead it was just one giant yawn. To describe it as «lacking in depth» isn’t in any way sufficient, but a great insult to all deep movies.
The Force Awakens is actually not that bad, even as the baggage keeps dragging it down. At least it has a semblance of good storytelling. It fails to live up to any form of potential, but at least it isn't awful. JJ Abrams did a fairly good job with rebooting Star Trek (even though he clearly diminished the quality of the franchise), but he had far better source material to work with there.
This one also reminds me to a point of Superman Returns, which basically was a reboot of Superman the Movie. The Force Awakens is, to a point a remake of the first Star Wars. It was originally planned to be about the rebuilding of the old republic, but the final result isn’t anything like that, is very similar to a remake.
Please don’t misunderstand. This isn’t some Trekkie denigrating the «competition». I am not and was never super-excited with most of the Star Trek material either, even though it’s far superior to that before mentioned competition.
The world and humanity wouldn’t have been any less if there never had been made silly movies like Star Wars. It once more proves the thesis that mainstream is death.
Mainstream stories and big studio movies can be engaging in spite of themselves, if experienced storytellers really go out of their way to use the craft they have learned to tell an intense story. This is not the case here.
Its popularity, the hysteria surrounding it is most certainly a negative, not anything approaching a positive. Of course it isn’t.