‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Lacked Imagination, Says James Cameron

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hasn’t had the greatest response from critics, professional or “armchair.” Now there is another kind of critic who agrees with the common consensus that J.J. Abrams’ sequel to the saga that George Lucas built was little more than a retread.

Avatar and Titanic director James Cameron has been accused of doing similar things himself. That didn’t stop him from throwing The Force Awakens the same shade. Avatar was a movie critics have blasted for being just another re-telling of Anaconda, Ferngully, Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, and other films. Power-hungry men invade a peaceful land in the effort to take something the natives don’t want to give them, and a war erupts. There are sequels planned for the film, but the general consensus is already against it. In fact, Cameron initially didn’t want to release a sequel.

James Cameron, who is a close personal friend of George Lucas, felt underwhelmed by J.J. Abrams’ continuation of the saga with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

“I have to say that I felt that George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination, and this film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before and characters you had seen before, and it took a few baby steps forward with new characters. So for me the jury’s out, I wanna see where they go with it.”

It was said that J.J. Abrams did that to bring back what the fans loved while introducing new characters, as kind of a setup to “awaken” the franchise from its shameful prequels.

The prequels were generally among the most hated in Hollywood history, as much as every Transformers film Michael Bay has directed since his groundbreaking original. Anakin Skywalker, the boy who would become the most famous Sith Lord in the world, was made unlikable from the beginning. The unseen transition from whiny rebellious padawan to Emperor Palpatine’s right-hand weapon left many fans wondering what George Lucas was thinking.

Even the acting in the prequels ranged from wooden and stiff to downright offensively annoying. Jar-Jar Binks remains to this day one of the most hated characters in the franchise. Many claim that Darth Maul was the best thing to come from The Phantom Menace, a character with barely any development throughout his presence.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a film James Cameron actually believes is worse than the prequels. Of course, he’s talking about the visual punch, which the sequel admittedly lacked. Some fans found it enjoyable but didn’t feel it was a Star Wars movie.

One thing many don’t seem to be noticing is that Abrams appears to have stepped down from directing responsibilities after Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now he’s a producer in charge of several major franchises, ironically Star Wars and Star Trek at the same time. He is also producing the next Mission: Impossible as well as two that may be based on video games, Half-Life and Portal.

James Cameron has plans for several sequels himself, most notably Terminator and Avatar, so it remains to be seen whether or not he can avoid doing what he accused J.J. Abrams of doing with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He defended it when he did the same thing with Terminator: Genisys, and it appears that series has been rebooted, just like Abrams did with Star Trek.

[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon]