Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
Will Star Wars: The Force Awakens receive a retroactive nomination in the Critics' Choice Awards' best picture category? Lucasfilm Ltd / Getty

The Critics' Choice Awards is rumoured to be considering making a pretty big adjustment to one of the most prestigious categories despite announcing its list of nominations on Monday 14 December. In the revised awards line-up, recently released Star Wars: The Force Awakens could become a contender for best picture, pitting it against the likes of George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road and Ridley Scott's The Martian.

Fear not fans of the franchise, the reason it didn't necessarily make the cut before the official announcement was made wasn't because the film was thought to be bad by any means, but that Disney was so paranoid of any leaks, that it avoided screening the movie before most of the awards voting deadlines. A decision that resulted in one board pushing its deadlines back and led to the first Star Wars Best Picture mention in the American Film Institute awards earlier this week, and now it seems other awards organisations are worried they might have missed a trick.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens could be nominated for a visual effects Oscar after making the contender shortlist, but how about its chances as best picture?Lucasfilm

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film body claims action was being taken "in the wake of an unprecedented outcry" from its members, and that they were simply asking if The Force Awakens would have made their best picture ballot had their judging panel seen the film before voting. Whether or not this will actually mean adding an 11th best picture nominee to the 2016 contenders list remains uncertain, but it is a possibility.

The buzz surrounding The Force Awakens has lead to speculation that JJ Abrams' sci-fi sequel may even be up for a best picture accolade when the prestigious Academy Award nominees are announced on 14 January. It's understandably already made the shortlist for best score and visual effects in the upcoming Oscar race, but its chances of a best picture nod seems unlikely, given that whilst the movie is very good, it's not necessarily going above and beyond what cinema-goers would expect from a typical sci-fi film. The success of the film is largely based on fans' emotional connection with the long-existing franchise, but when regarding it as a standalone movie, could it really compete with some of this year's best, and more original, films? We're not so sure.

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