You see, this is exactly my point. This is why you don't trust movie critics. A New Hope being the highest rated is just... no. I mean, it is a fine movie, certainly one of the best Star Wars films out there, but to say it's better than Empire is simply insane.
Yeah, not really sure why A New Hope is higher than Empire Strikes Back on Metacritic, it's my least favorite of the original trilogy personally.
As for the scores overall, trusting critics can be misleading, but I have heard good things from non-critics that attended the premiere, one of them even said it was better than Empire Strikes Back, so I am cautiously optimistic. At the very least it won't be bad like say AOTC. TFA, for all it's issues with sticking to formula too much, was at least a solid 8/10 movie imo, and TLJ is getting even better reviews than TFA did, 86 on meta vs 81 for TFA.