The original Star Wars was simply a good, swashbuckling tale that just happened to take place in a future time far, far away. The ideas and representation of that future were novel and ground-breaking at the time, but its an excitement that simply could not be repeated today. The SFX have improved exponentially in films since then and the franchise has become tired and worn.
The answer, IMO, is simple to express but may be impossible to execute. Good story, less reliance of special effects, good and interesting characters that have good chemistry on the screen can still make a good movie and great experience. They could do like Star Trek and mirror current political and mortal dilemmas in their world where the subjects can be examined as a commentary on the current day.
Also, please god, REAL science fiction authors!