Reviews for Star Wars the Force Awakens are 95% positive while The Empire Strikes Back had 96% positive reviews

Rotten Tomatoes has a 95% fresh rating for Star Wars the Force Awakens.

Critics Consensus: Packed with action and populated by both familiar faces and fresh blood, The Force Awakens successfully recalls the series’ former glory while injecting it with renewed energy.

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 184
Fresh: 174
Rotten: 10

The positive reviews for the previous Star Wars Movies are

Empire Strikes Back 96% positive
Star Wars 93% positive
Revenge of the Sith 80%
Return of the Jedi 79%
Attack of the Clones 67%
Phantom Menace 57%

Critics are saying the Force Awakens has “strong performances,” “old-fashioned escapism,” and script that “has a better and sharper sense of humor than the original trilogy.

The Atlantic Christopher or is providing welcome news for Star Wars Fans

There are no references to the prequel trilogy—no Anakin (at least not by that name), no Amidala, no Darth Sidious, and no Jar Jar. From the earliest stages of Abrams’s production, it was clear that Abram’s was well aware of the deficiencies of those latter films: the orgiastic overuse of CGI, the window-mannequin performances, the fourth-rate dialogue. And so with The Force Awakens, Abrams has begun one of the most important reclamation projects of our time: the complete erasure from cultural memory of The Phantom Menace and its sequels.

With The Force Awakens, Abrams is directing for fans, and as a fan. It’s borderline miraculous how well he captures the mood and rhythms of the first Star Wars trilogy: its pace and wit, its balance between earnestness and irony, the joy it took in set design and creature-building. The Force Awakens may have cost $200 million to produce, but what one sees onscreen is not the money but the love.