I can’t say that I wasn’t excited to see the newest installment of the Star wars Franchise. I am probably one of the few people who liked episode One and three, at least they were a different slant on an old story. The Force awakens continues to make big box office bucks mainly because the new generation is being introduce to a story they’ve only seen as Saturday morning cartoons, now with live actors on the big screen. The other enduring audience, people who grew up with star wars and old codgers like myself, who first viewed the original as an adult and fell in love with the characters and the Star wars Universe.
In 1977 I was 28, wow! I was still young and recently married when I first saw the original Star Wars with the ugly sub title a new hope. No one ever referred to it by that name anyway, in those days it was just Star Wars. Any way I was looking for a way to waste my afternoon when my wife was away in Florida. I went to the Highland theater which was out of my neighborhood Back then it was new and shiny and had 2 huge screens. When I went it was before noon and an early matinee. I shared the theater with maybe a dozen people at most. When I left the theater there were people lined up for a block. I stupidly asked some one which movie they were lined up for and the reply was Star Wars, the movie I had just watched.
I liked the movie, it is still my favorite of the entire franchise, but before perusing the movie section of the Pioneer press for something to see I frankly had never heard of it, so I was surprised at the crowd lined up for tickets. The magic of the first Star Wars movie can never be recreated. The special effects alone made it a modern masterpiece. I was amazed and astounded just like those old 1950’s promos used to say. It was the only sci-fi movie that I can say this about, even today compared to all of the fancy FX done on a regular basis it still stands above the rest.
Enough about the original How about the Force Awakens? I knew that it was coming well in advance, I read all of the hype and watched every trailer on you tube. Like millions of other fans, for me this was a widely anticipated once in a decade event. To date it has made $540,000,000 so they have surpassed their budget and made a nice profit. What more can you ask for?
Well as a fan I feel jilted. I wanted something new and exciting, not old rehashed action that hardly took any thought or imagination. The on screen comparison of the death star to the planet gun was obviously an inside joke. It’s different because it’s bigger. It still destroyed a planet so where is the difference? That soccer ball robot a poor substitute for R2D2 was totally annoying and useless. Again it’s different because he has a ball for a body instead of a can. and lets not forget the villain who turns out to be Leia and Han Solo’s son, gone over to the dark side for no apparent reason, at least not one that the audience is aware of. What is with this family; is there a recessive stupid evil gene or what? His villain costume isn’t even original it was just a rip off of his grandfathers.
Even the patricide is old rehashed plot fodder. This time we get to say good bye to Han Solo for good, cause he’s dead. There is absolutely nothing new or original about this film and the only performances of note came from Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and veteran actors Max Von Sydow Andy Sirkis , Domhnall Gleeson and Gwendoline Christie. I’d like to say that Lupita Nyong’o did a good job, but I don’t even remember her, was she a cameo or what. The two young leads Daisy Ridley and John Boyega gave performances that were worthy of low rent television, but not worthy of the big screen. They’ll do okay because of the boatloads of money that this property is generating. This was an average big budget movie nothing more; but if they didn’t have a built in multi generational audience I doubt they would have made their money back,