‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ at Oscars: Our forum posters debate Best Picture hopes

star wars the force awakens oscars best picture the martian 13579086

Now that we've seen those rave reviews for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," critics and fans alike are wondering if the much-anticipated seventh film in the franchise can earn a coveted Best Picture nomination at the Oscars. Remember, since the Academy Awards expanded the number of Best Pic nominees in 2009, only a handful of sci-fi films have reaped bids: "Avatar" (2009), "District 9" (2009), "Inception" (2010), "Gravity" (2013) and "Her" (2013). Can "Star Wars" break through?

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Our readers, many of whom are Hollywood insiders, have been debating this hot topic in our all-new, much faster and easier-to-navigate movie forum. Read some of their comments below and then join the discussion in our forums here.

FilmGuy619: I still have it on my BP predictions because, I mean … why not? We shouldn't brush it off just because it is a 7th film in a franchise or is sci-fi. We have "The Martian" and "Mad Max" in the mix, and they recently gave "Gravity" seven Oscars. So don't tell me they hate sci-fi.

JackO: Just wait until the J.J. Abrams bait and switch. Remember this is the guy who did "Star Trek Into Darkness."

patmcb: I think it will do very well in the below-the-line nominations (maybe even winning a few awards in visual effects, sound editing, and/or sound mixing), but other than that, I don't see it breaking through in any of the major categories.

james14: It is a science fiction film. They traditionally do poorly with the Oscars. It is a sequel. They traditionally do poorly with the Oscars.

TWNickPeek: I'm sorry, I'm not gonna follow in the wishing wells of fanboys for this one. I remember a bunch of them reaching so hard for "The Hobbit" to be nominated for Best Picture and I knew that wasn't gonna happen.

Atypical: "The Phantom Menace." #NeverForget. Many things would have to happen in sequence before I'll believe in "The Force Awakens" as a legitimate Oscar contender beyond tech nods.

Asgaroth: For "SW7" to get in the BP race it really needs to be … the best "Star Wars" movie ever, because being the grand return of one of the most important franchises in Hollywood history and pop culture, and grossing all the money in the world, won't be enough.

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Here's a look at how the first six "Star Wars" films did at the Oscars. It's worth noting that while all of the films reaped at least one nomination, the last one to take home a competitive trophy was the second in the series — "The Empire Strikes Back" in 1980.

"A New Hope" (1977)
Best Art Direction – won
Best Costumes – won
Best Visual Effects – won
Best Film Editing – won
Best Score – won
Best Sound – won
Best Picture – nominated
Best Supporting Actor Alec Guinnessnominated
Best Director George Lucasnominated
Best Original Screenplay – nominated
Special Achievement Award for Sound Effects Editing – won

"The Empire Strikes Back" (1980)
Best Sound – won
Best Art Direction – nominated
Best Score – nominated
Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects – won

"Return of the Jedi" (1983)
Best Art Direction – nominated
Best Score – nominated
Best Sound Mixing – nominated
Best Sound Editing – nominated
Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects – won

"The Phantom Menace" (1999)
Best Visual Effects – nominated
Best Sound Mixing – nominated
Best Sound Editing – nominated

"Attack of the Clones" (2002)
Best Visual Effects – nominated

"Revenge of the Sith" (2005)
Best Makeup – nominated

Compare Oscar odds: Experts vs. Editors vs. Top 24 Users vs. All Users

Make your Oscar predictions and you could earn a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Oscar nominations).

Last year, our Top 24 Users led the way with an accuracy rate of 76.67% when it came to predicting the Oscar nominations. Next up were Gold Derby's in-house team of Editors with 74.44%, followed by the Experts with 71.11% and all Users with 68.09%. (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)

Which group will be victorious this year? Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.

As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it's important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

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