Star Snores? The Yawns Awaken.

Posted: 21 February 2016 in Cultural
Tags: ,

Akylo_ren_star_wars_the_force_awakens-HDfter sitting though a marathon 25 minutes of product advertising, followed by 20 minutes of dismal film ads, we finally got to the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Like so many blockbusters, the film is derivative.  The Force Awakens is a rerun of the original 1977 Star Wars: A New Hope.  Sure, Jurassic World 2015 recycles Jurassic Park 1997.  And dear old Spectre 2015, is reconstituted flesh from any number of prior incarnations.   But the flavour or the taste in The Force Awakens has been diluted into …. nothingness. Cinematic homeopathy.

There is no dramatic arc, just hurley burley chasing around.  The music is noisy and dictates what you should be feeling.  The film reviews were so good.  But they forgot to say “great film for 12 year olds”.

We meet Storm-Trooper Fin who gets squeamish at the sight of blood, has a fit of conscience, and deserts.  An unexploited angle – does “The Force” speak to others than just The Jedi Knights?  It would be interesting of ”The Force was not so elitist.  How old-school Roman Catholic, when in days of old, the Roman church used to believe the Holy Spirit spoke only to the Pope and the cardinal

And the sense of evil, or terror?  You do not see innocent villagers get murdered – this is not a Syria Civil War documentary .  But any sense of the loss is missing.  An entire planet goes up (where to??) in smoke.  No sense of horror or tragedy.  And Snoke, the evil source of The First Order?  More like a disagreeable old uncle your parents made you kiss goodbye at the end of a visit.  Old, wrinkly, breadth smelling of damp and roll-ups, and without his dentures – unintelligible.  Mildly unpleasant.  Yet hardly evil.  Go back to 1959 Sleeping Beauty, where the Witch turns into the dragon.  I looked it up on YouTube.  Goodness – it made my scalp creep as it did all when it first came out.  Or look at the Toy Story series again.  Aimed at younger kids– but has more fear and despair.

Then there is the family dynamic with Hans Solo, Leia and let’s say …. others….  Ford is great to see, and this element is good to have. But it is under-exploited.  Seeing our big characters being personally conflicted in family tension would have helped us identify with them and care for their fates.

There is plenty of drama and the characters do fall clearly into “goodies” and “baddies” – with one major exception – “The Force” itself, that seems to export both itself and The Dark Side – which also comes from itself.  This is an ethical ambiguity that has been running since the beginning of the series.  Pity – something closer to a Judeo-Christian divine presence influencing man again man’s own dark side would make for more drama.  And allow “The Force” to help the rest of us, not just a handful of Jedi Knights.31daysphoto

Today is Day 31, To Cross. To day Zero.  Skip the film for Lent and do something better.




  1. Nick says:

    Thanks for the review, Bill! Well written.

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