Tag Archives: Star Wars 7

The strange critiques of The Force Awakens

starwarshorizontal

The Force Awakens hits Blu-Ray here soon.   And there is something that has been bugging me about the fans response recently to the movie.

First of all, I admit it.  Star Wars takes up a lot of my thinking.  I was 4 when the original movie came out.  Apparently it was the first movie I ever saw in the theater, according to my parents.  And I’m pretty certain they would know.

So when the news hit that Disney had bought Star Wars in October 2012 I was excited.

Episode 7 30 rock

But let’s be honest the prequels left a tinge of disappoint.  (Or for some, complete hatred.)  So there was some worry that maybe we would get a new series of prequels, movie that had lightsabers but  were still somewhat off.

The Trailers

Then the first trailer dropped in 2014 and there X-wings, and the Millennium Falcon.  Holey Moses, the Falcon is back.  (And the radar dish is now rectangle, because as we all know the dish was destroyed in Return of the Jedi.)  It was great, but still, keep those expectations in check.

Then the second trailer dropped in 2015.  And it ended with the perfect lines “Chewie we’re home.”  Chills. Down. Spine.

Chewie, We're home

The third trailer just brought it all home,

“There are stories…”

“It’s true.  All of it.”

That exchange was just perfect.  I admit.  There may have been weeping.

Then the movie.

I saw the very first showing available here in the Richmond area, 7 pm on December 17.  I was giddy from the opening crawl.  Here was an opening crawl devoid of trade federation, trade talks, and blockades.  Instead there was talk of finding Luke Skywalker.

Yes!  The story has always been who is Skywalker!  So here we finally have a story where we are looking for someone.  A holy grail search in a Star Wars movie.

And it’s here that I begin to scratch my head at the complaints that Force Awakens is a retread of A New Hope.  With Force Awakens the entire story is getting us to finding a person.  A person.

A New Hope’s driving plot point was about blowing up the Death Star.

The Similarities and Differences

Yes, there are similarities.  There is a desert planet, Han Solo, Chewie, and Leia are back in the movie, there is something hidden in a droid that everyone is looking for.  And of course there is a new Death Star, Starkiller Planet.

But there are differences.  The first interaction between Poe and Finn, it feels like actors are finally excited and happy to be in a Star Wars movie.  Finn is funny.  Rey is funny.  And not forced Jar-Jar funny, or even worse C-3PO funny in Attack of the Clones.   (Dear Lord in Heaven, C-3PO in Episode 2 is just unbearable.)  Their joy was such a breath of fresh compared to all the other Star Wars movies.

Complaining that the Force Awakens is too much like A New Hope is just spoiled complaining.  For years people complained that the prequels weren’t like the originals, and now people complain about The Force Awakens is TOO MUCH LIKE THE ORIGINALS?!

What the actual heck!?!

Seriously Haters…get a grip.

Creating is difficult.  Complaining that a great movie isn’t the Second Coming Perfect is just stupid.

The deal is JJ Abrams had a near impossible task of rebuilding the Star Wars brand and he pulled it off with flying colors.  Good for him.

Creating is difficult.  If all you do is critique, then you realize that it is difficult, and you have chosen the easy way out.

Creating is difficult.  When creation succeeds, celebrate it.

Also see: Ten Things I Learned From George Lucas.

 

Captain America 2 and the indie writer

I caught Captain America last Friday on its opening day.  Marvel has a thing going now.  They have broken out of the linear prequel-sequel story lines, and now they have an entire universe to play-in.  All of the other Avengers were mentioned in the movie, yet they didn’t appear.  At the end of the credits we get a notice, a la James Bond, that Captain America will appear again in Avengers 2.

.Captain America 2 Winter Soldier Poster

Actual Comic books made from paper have been doing this for decades.  Movies based on comic books have only recently caught onto this idea.  I think Disney is also about to take the Star Wars franchise down this road as well, with a new trilogy on the way and then two other side movies in the off years.  (As a side note Disney, I am available for any parts…)

Cool poster.  If you know who did this let me know so I can give proper credit.

Cool poster. If you know who did this let me know so I can give proper credit.

But as writers without corporations or committees needing to be appealed too, writers, and indie writers in particular could really do well with this approach.  The general wisdom on the street is to write in a series.  Well, why limit ourselves to a linear series.  Create a single world and write all about it.  I have thought about it.  I have three books about Kevin.  Maybe I could spread the universe out a little and write about one of his friends, and have Kevin be a sideline character.  I have no idea what I would do, but again this is a possibility.

Maybe we need to stop thinking linearly, and thinking about whole universes.  After all, we create.