Warning: May contain spoilers!!!
At the end of Return of the Jedi, it seemed as though all would be well across the galaxy—the Emperor was defeated, the Death Star destroyed and Darth Vader was redeemed. The Rebel Alliance was ready to usher in a new era of peace as hope spread across the planets. They conquered some pretty hefty bad guys, but the reality of evil remained—and it was bent on spreading.
The Force Awakens picks up about thirty years after the battle on Endor. The Rebels had, since the battle, established the New Republic, calling the citizens of all planets throughout the galaxy to participate in this new democracy after the Old Republic had been corrupted by Emperor Palpatine and his allies.
There’s been some speculation as to what about The Force is being awakened—is it awakened in an individual or individuals, or had it been inactive and is now back in play? That hasn’t been revealed yet. But, however it shakes out, the title suggests that The Force is going to be a main character in this movie. The battle between the deliberate use of The Force for good and for evil will take main stage.