For me, the real sequels to the original trilogy will always be the Thrawn-trilogy and I had serious doubts whether the new sequels would even come close. But even then I couldn’t have imagined just how stupid this was. And people think Abrams did the Star Trek universe a disservice, at least those movies are an alternate timeline and can be easily ignored.
And as bad as the prequels were, even Lucas was more ambitious than just to recreate the old movies. This is an attempt to, almost piece-by-piece, hit every note of the original, only with new characters filling in for the old characters (who have gone on to become the mentors this time around).
This not only utterly breaks suspension of disbelief in general, because every time I realize I do like some element of the movie, the slavish adherence to 1977 original makes everything else look ridiculous and pulls me out of enjoying the movie on its own. The world-building is just weird here: Abrams wanted his small resistance vs large empire conflict, but somehow there’s also the new republic.
And you wonder how things have changed since the end of Return of the Jedi to make this setup believable at all. Not that it’s impossible to make sense of this, but the movie doesn’t even try to clear things up.
Also, what’s with need of sequel material to kill of iconic characters. This was a sign in the expanded universe material that things went shit (don’t read anything starting from NJO on), and it doesn’t work here either. I get the impulse why its done (stakes are high), but it feels so pointless and cheap here as well. At least, I haven’t seen Harrison look so cool for ages and he really made his character work.