Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Force awakened

Just saw the new Star Wars - which is a more literal way of putting it than you might think, if you haven't been reading the reviews.

On the down side, I did have to suppress a scream due to a key plot feature which I warned the world would disappoint me.   But on the upside, the film is in most respects more Empire that Wars, in that the key action and drama is more one-on-one, human-centric, than on the "X Wings versus yet another gigantic space ball weapon" scale.

Yes, Christopher Orr was right:  the movie is pretty much a "mashup masterpiece"; and so was the more cynical  Anthony Lane (who pretty obviously enjoyed it anyway) when he writes that the movie "feels young" and "as an act of pure storytelling, streams by with fluency and zip."  (It really does seem to take only about 3/4 of its actual length, and the pacing always feels just right.)

Yeah, I have to give JJ Abrams his due:  this is pretty well directed. And well scripted - there's an air of mature credibility to much of the dialogue that is so refreshing after the terrible lines in the prequels.

So while I did enjoy it for what it is, the best thing is perhaps that this is all the mashup-ery that is really possible in the series, so that the next movie must surely have to tread some new ground.  They can't just recycle Empire, can they?  It's my new hope that they can't.  (Heh...)

[And on a "meta" observation:  this has been a huge, huge year for movie franchises that have revisited their past.  Certainly, there was a large element of it in Spectre; and with Mission Impossible, it was once again a case of Hunt having to defy the authorities and work in some sort of unauthorised ghost-like mode.   Jurassic World was in many respects rather like the first, but with hundreds of victims in a cooler looking mega park.   The trouble is, as much as I would like a bit more originality, I enjoyed all of them a great deal, and they all were pretty huge hits.  I guess we only have ourselves to blame if we don't get more plot novelty.]


Paul Montgomery said...

I don't see why they can't recycle ESB. Luke as Yoda, Rey as Luke, Finn as Solo... dunno about who plays Leia, maybe Brienne of Tarth in that shiny metal trooper outfit? Or maybe it's Finn as Leia and the pilot dude as Solo. Imagine the uproar if there's an actual gay romance in Star Wars!

The obvious move has always been for Luke to go dark side, which is still on the cards. My pick is that he has been Slork or whatever his name is all along. Perhaps that's too radical, but it would shake things up massively, even bigger than "I am your father". I look forward to finding out if Kasdan has the cojones (and the green light) to pull something like that off.

Steve said...

I dunno: clinging to the idea of seeing Dark Luke, in light of this movie, seems not a wise move, to me.

The reason I say they can't really re-cycle Empire is because there were such large elements of Empire in Force Awakens already.

Steve said...

By the way, monty, if you really want to stir CL and the Catallaxy Catholics on the issue of age of consent, you could do worse than note that even the Catholic New Advent encyclopaedia acknowledges that Mary may have been all of 13 when pregnant with the Son of God, so it seems to be a case of "if only God was as fussed about age of consent as CL, hey?"

Paul Montgomery said...

Probably best to let sleeping Jesus lie on that one...