Not the first Star Wars that I see, but “The Force Awakens” is the first Star Wars that I review. Apparently I do not remember a whole lot of the old films, because I did not quite understand which character is which and missed some apparent inside jokes.
Also I wonder where all the raving reactions and the 8.7 on IMDb come from, because I found the story to be rather thin, the acting not too great (however I must admit that I could stand Harrison Ford very well in this film) and the special effects are not really mind-blowing. The 3D does add something to the experience here and there, but when you watch this film on your own screen, I would not say you miss a great deal.
If I am not mistaken the two main characters are new to the story. Rey and Finn land in the battle between good and evil and help the resistance with securing a map that could lead to Luke Skywalker (a massive cliff-hanger). That is about the entire story. The bad guys are now called “First Order” and they go after the resistance to get the map, so a few space fights unravel, heroes are captured and saved, etc., etc. The stormtroopers and the guy in the black mask are suddenly very human which gave the director the possibily to add some drama that in my eyes does not add much to the film.
So, a space spectacle based on a old theme, but I do not have the idea that it comes anywhere near the older Star Wars films. Then again, I am of not a die-hard fan.