Charlie's Blog: VIDEO--Star Wars: The Force Awakens


VIDEO--Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I have a bad feeling about this.

Han Solo gets the famous catchphrase in this installment of the Star Wars saga, and I admit that I have a bad feeling about this, too. I don't go to the movies anymore because they cost too much, and some loudmouthed idiot ruins the movie. Going to a movie theater makes as much sense as leaving your home to go use the public restroom at the gas station down the street. I prefer to wait for the home video of any movie. If these reviews come late for you, that's too bad. The upside is that I can't spoil a movie that everyone has already seen.

The Force Awakens is not a good movie. This will earn me some anathemas down below, but the reason people think this movie is good is because of the lowered expectations George Lucas produced with those awful Phantom Menace prequels. This film did not have to live up to the original trilogy so much as live down the prequel trilogy. Director J.J. Abrams succeeded on this, but he only had to do this by not having Jar Jar Binks and actors talking to green screen animations.

The problem with this movie is that it is a rehash of A New Hope. It is the same basic plot. Other critics have pointed this out, and I noticed it, too. But it is a good movie by itself if you want something fun to watch. It succeeds on a B-movie level but fails on a Lord of the Rings level. This generation can merely recycle, and J.J. Abrams is the best recycler.

The disaster of this movie is the story. Basically, Luke, Han, and Leia are all failures. Luke tried to train new Jedi that got slaughtered by Han and Leia's emo brat turned Dark Side warrior. Chastened, Luke drops out to go meditate and/or smoke dope on some secret world. The least he could have done is run a lightsaber through his pouty nephew's guts and spared the galaxy. As for Han and Leia, they do not live happily ever after but become what most boomers became--divorcees with brat kids. As for the new faces, they aren't even worth mentioning except for Kylo Ren aka Ben Solo who kills his dad, Han Solo. Somewhere in this slaughter of a major character, there is a Freudian thing about millennials wanting to punish their boomer parents for being lousy mothers and fathers.

I know a movie is bad when I know I could have done the story better. What The Force Awakens needed in the story department was a golden age where a new republic governs the galaxy, and everyone is happy. The Jedi have returned, and Luke is the new Yoda. Han and Leia are living happily ever after. Then, you bring in the bad guys to try and subvert all of this. This would have been a much better story to begin this next phase of the saga. Instead, we got a load of recycled crap derived from the world of today than a touchstone to transcendant values that are beyond time.

I did some Googling, and there is a nasty rumor that Rey will be revealed as the reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker. I think this would be an epic disaster if it turns out to be true. It would finish Star Wars for me and many others. The genius of George Lucas is that he read Joseph Campbell who read a lot of old books. Today, no one reads including George Lucas. I wait to see movies when they come to home video, but I wonder if I am not better off reading old books instead. The Force Awakens makes the case for being a reader instead of a watcher.