The reviews are in and the critics seem to agree: Star Wars: The Force Awakens has overcome the most dreaded hurdle and has quite easily managed to outdo the prequels. It’s time to breathe a sigh of relief, as J.J. Abrams has given audiences their first good Star Wars movie since 1983.
While The Force Awakens is impressive for many reasons – its on-form cast and their palpable chemistry, the beautifully worn lived-in look of the universe, a sense of humor that never fails to hit the mark – it’s also undoubtedly flawed. While the film’s high Rotten Tomatoes score suggests a near-masterpiece, remember that Revenge of the Sith – now frequently derided by critics with hindsight – also has a high score of 79%.
That’s not to suggest that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is anywhere near as flawed as Sith, or the prequels in general. Episode VII is quite easily the fourth-best film in the entire franchise; meaning it outpaces Episodes I-III, even if it doesn’t quite have what it takes to compete with the original trilogy.
So, with that in mind, join us as we take a look at 10 reasons why Episode VII can’t top the films that started it all. And of course, major spoilers will follow, so if you don’t want some of the key story points revealed prior to seeing the movie, go catch it and then come back and read our article.