If box office numbers are anything to go by, pretty much everybody loved Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Many fans saw it more than once. James Cameron saw it at least once, and was apparently mostly unimpressed. The man responsible for Avatar, and maybe some sequels one day, did not find The Force Awakens to be as visually original as the George Lucas films, though he's looking forward to seeing where they go.
If there was one major criticism of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it was that the film played things pretty safe when it came to the plot, telling a story that was remarkably close to the one told in the original Star Wars. In a new interview, while being careful to praise both George Lucas and J.J. Abrams, James Cameron does say that he had this same issue with the film as many other fans, though it isn't actually his first complaint.
I have to say that I felt that George's group of six films had more innovative visual imagination. 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.
Ultimately, we have to admit that James Cameron isn't wrong here. Making a movie that reminded people of the original Star Wars seemed to be intentional. For many fans, this was ok, as no movie had necessarily done that in several decades. For Cameron, however, Star Wars: The Force Awakens didn't do enough new stuff. It's clear that whatever George Lucas had in mind for potential new films would have been something very different than what we got. Cameron's compliments of Lucas make it obvious that the two have very similar thought processes when it comes to making movies. With that in mind, his criticism is at the very least understandable, regardless of whether or not you agree with it.
It's far from shocking that the man responsible for Avatar was interested in the film's "visual imagination" first and foremost. Cameron is always looking for the next new and exciting way to make a movie. One assumes that the reason the Avatar sequels are in a state of perpetual delay is because of Cameron's desire to take them to the next level in some way. Of course, if we wanted to be snarky, we could point out that while George Lucas' Star Wars movies were certainly visually imaginative, some might argue that some of them were little else. Check out Cameron's full comments below.
Do you agree with James Cameron that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was just a simple retread, or do you think here was more to it than that? Let us know what you think in the comments.