Having a new Star Wars movie to look forward to takes me back to my childhood. While I'm not one of those die hard fans who will be going to a midnight screening so that they can be among the first in the world to see it, I've been talking with friends on social media and my brother about whether or not Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be any good. I think it's almost certain to be better than The Phantom Menace, and that's all we need to worry about.
George Lucas has minimal involvement in the The Force Awakens. Before he sold Lucasfilm to Disney, he wrote story treatments for a new Star Wars trilogy, but pretty much none of his ideas were used in the final script. Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the scripts for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, came back to write the script for The Force Awakens. We will be spared the at times clunky dialogue of the prequels.
Secondly, in J.J. Abrams, we have a director who is actually a people person, and understands the process of acting. In the interviews with the cast members on the DVDs of the original trilogy, they consistently said that they found George Lucas hard to engage with. I am sure that in person he is actually a nice man, but he's introverted.
Thirdly, unlike the prequels which relied too heavily on CG characters and digital sets, The Force Awakens has scaled back slightly on the use of CG, and uses built sets and actual locations. It should make for more real looking movie, just like the originals that captured my imagination when I was in primary school. Roll on this weekend.