While the prequels wallowed in excess and indulgence, The Force Awakens shines with everything that made the original Star Wars trilogy great. By bringing back old icons while simultaneously introducing new, likable characters, Abrams has laid the foundations for a new era in the franchise. Because it lifts much of its structure from A New Hope, many have noted the film’s derivative nature. He may not have transformed the series, but Abrams has succeeded in regaining the trust lost during the prequel era. By placing a safe bet on a tried-and-true formula, he has breathed new life into this cultural phenomenon. Our gaze is set squarely on Star Wars once again: here’s to hoping that upcoming films take advantage of what Abrams has achieved and build something new and exciting.