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Star Wars to me has always been about imagination.
There's a lot that has been said about George Lucas in the last forty years, but there's one thing that can't be denied: he had imagination.
JJ Abrams however does not and it shows in The Force Awakens. Besides the plot, which isn't original to say the least and has a lot of questionable elements, the visual design is very bland and derivative. The actual look and feel of the film reminds more of JJ's Star Trek films than of the original Star Wars trilogy, although luckily there are only a handful of lens flares to be seen.
Even the music sounds uninspired. Which is a shame since the music was always one of the strongest parts of Star Wars.
All in all it's an extremely average film, which would have been fine if it wasn't Star Wars. Star Wars is about pushing the limits and the only thing that was pushed here is your hype button.
The prequel trilogy was a misstep in a lot of aspects, but at least George tried to innovate and create something new. The Force Awakens however is a big step backwards.