For me, Star Wars has a very simple proposition, and that’s to entertain me. The much derided prequels didn’t quite do that, especially the dreadful Attack of the Clones. They were mostly dull despite having some over the top visual effects, an expanded universe to play around with, and a different story arc that involved Anakin Skywalkers fall to the Dark Side.
The Force Awakens fails me in the opposite way: Staying too close to the original trilogy, in particular, A New Hope.
(Mostly spoiler-free opinion/review to follow, but proceed at your own risk)