While the first 3 'Star Wars' episodes have their problems, they have one very, very important feature that 'The Force Awakens' (and presumably, 'The Last Jedi' - I haven't seen it yet.) lack. They are part of a 6 story arc that effectively documents of what I like to call the 'Rise and Redemption of Darth Vader'
This is the common bridge that connects all of these first 6 movies together. Despite their weaknesses - and all 'Star Wars' movies have them to varying degrees - this is where their Greater Merit lies and it becomes apparent that 'Star Wars' episodes 1-6 is intended as a narrative to be enjoyed as a whole but viewed in parts.
'TFA' feels divorced from that story. For several reasons. It takes place 30 years after the events of 'Return of the Jedi'. It's pre-occupied with aging actors being front and center and reprising roles they're too old for (hence the poor justification for a 30 year gap) and yet another 'Good Guys vs Evil Empire' scenario that's basically a patchwork remake of previous content. I don't even understand how the First Order (or whatever it's called) came to be by watching the movie. Actually, a movie about the immediate aftermath of the death of the Emperor and his Right Hand Man, Vader; the destruction of the Death Star above Endor and the ensuing struggle between the fractured Empire and the rising Rebellion would be a much more engrossing story, one that has much wider impact on the Galaxy it takes place on and be much more immediate, far reaching consequences. It's relevance would be greater, too as it happens as a direct result of the events at the end of Episode 6.
There's a much more enticing story there than what we got in 'TFA'. What did we actually get in Episode 7? A lot of disconnected rehashed content that takes place 30 years after the most important event in the Galaxy so Han Solo is killed by his emo son and Luke Skywalker simply standing there, doing nothing in the last 30 seconds of the movie with nary a piece of dialogue! It's hardly adequate content to warrant actors Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill to be blessed with the top 2 Star billing posts ... Gah!
Hollywood's 'Cult of Celebrities' has a lot to answer to - sacrificing potentially good stories just so popular old f**kers can be seen on the big screen just one last time. It's unsatisfying in terms of delivering narrative and ultimately reduces 'TFA' to the weakest and most disconnected movie in the series to date.
Oh, btw. I really love the Oram chestburster scene. Scott is such a subversive old fox, aint he? Moar plz, Sir Scott. You got this. Making 'ALIEN' confronting, uncomfortable, disquieting and incomprehensible, unexpected and weird. Oh yeah. 'ALIEN' in name is worth nought without 'alien' content.