Star Wars The teaser for the new "Star Wars" movie has over 40 million views already. Photo: Lucasfilm

Fans and critics may have soured on the last “Star Wars” trilogy, the most recent  entry of which, “Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,” premiered in 2005, but, apparently time heals all wounds. The success of the new teaser trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the seventh film in the beloved franchise, proves that viewers have forgotten any criticism of the last “Star Wars” trilogy and are excited for the franchise to return.

Over the holiday weekend an 88-second teaser trailer for the new “Star Wars” film debuted in select theaters and online. The short glimpse into the movie, which is set to premiere in December 2015, delighted fans who, according to the Hollywood Reporter, viewed the teaser over 40 million times in its first three days of release.

To put those numbers in context, the initial teaser for the recently released “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I” initially netted only 7.5 million views, which the film has turned into over $225 million in domestic box office revenue in its first two weekends. This bodes well for the new “Star Wars” movie.

Though not necessarily surprising, the fever of excitement generated by the “Star Wars” teaser is impressive considering the criticism faced by the last three entries into the franchise. George Lucas brought “Stars Wars” back in 1999 with “Episode I – The Phantom Menace” and the new trilogy was met with constant criticism over everything from the story to its overuse of CGI. The criticism, both by critics and fans, was enough to drop the box office totals for the new movies from nearly $475 million for “Episode I” to $310 million and $380 million for “Episode II” and “Episode III,” respectively. Public reaction to the movie was enough to cause Lucas to swear off the franchise, telling the New York Times in 2012, “Why would I make any more…when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?”

However, director J.J. Abrams, who successfully rebooted the “Star Trek” franchise in 2009 has breathed new life into the franchise and seems to have “Star Wars” fans’ confidence that his new film will better meet the high expectations of the rabid fan base. That confidence is reflected in the popularity of the new teaser.

When “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” debuts in December 2015 it will, all but assuredly, be a blockbuster hit. However, with two sequels already in the works for a new trilogy, hopefully the new “Star Wars” movie will be as well-received as its trailer.

Watch the teaser for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" below:

What did you think of the new “Star Wars” teaser? Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.