I'm always a bit iffy when it comes to Abrams, but one thing I can say about the next installment is that I like that Rian Johnson is in the role for writer & director. I feel like you tend to get greater creativity and a better performance from films where the writer/director isn't too synced into Hollywood and its routines. That's why I liked Guardians of the Galaxy because James Gunn took a SciFi super hero film and gave it a take that was a perfect balance between original comedy and dramatic super hero action.
So, yeah, I'm excited for VIII and I really believe it can fulfill the same status that Empire Strikes Back did for the original trilogy. And with Benicio del Toro as the bad guy? Well, that's going to be interesting... It could either be a very gritty plot (relatively speaking) or even expand into the bizarre.