I saw the new Star Wars “The Force Awakens” movie this week. There was tremendous hype surrounding the movie. Everyone in the major media was singing its praises. Because of this and how often I have been led astray by critics when their purses are being lined by the major production companies I went with the expectation of a mediocre movie at best.
As you may have surmised I am going to tell you my thoughts. The first thing is that the studio spent a lot of money on special effects and very little on the story. In the days that eye candy was rare in terms of quality special effects this may have on its own saved a poor movie. We now live in an age where 90% of all action films lack any story that makes sense. The action itself is so unbelievable; it often shocks me as to how stupid the studios think the public actually is. They actually expect us to accept any premise no matter how fantastic. This movie fell in line with the standard formula. It also reaches the height of ridiculousness like movies such as Fast and the Furious.
The New “Death Star” destroys planets by sucking energy from a Sun and then sending that energy as a blast to blow up a planet. Why don’t they just suck the energy off of the sun from the planet’s solar system and the planet would die by itself?
Then they destroy two planets in the Republic, which if they are anything like present day earth support billions of sentient beings and animal life. This calamity is met with less attention than an earlier skirmish and to top it off there is no reflection on the part of the characters about what has happened. This lack of character development leads most of us to have very little concern for the main characters as well.
My favorite character in the movie Finn, a former Storm Trooper, whoops it up during a skirmish when the storm troopers are being killed by the resistance. I can’t imagine that a person who was supposed to have been born and raised to be a Storm Trooper himself would have absolutely no remorse for his former comrades. After all he knows that they have all been programmed by birth as he was and that it was only due to some unforeseen “force” that he himself was able to change and rebel.
Then of course, the real bad guys come into play. Oh, yes they are nasty. But wait, one is the son of Han Solo and General Leia. He has a soft spot and we are supposed to feel sorry for him and hate him at the same time. It is so sad that he can never be as bad as his Grandpa Darth Vader. He also can’t beat the leading lady Rey when it comes to the force. Though she has had no training and he has had the best, he fails to beat her in a light saber duel. But he did manage to kill his daddy with his guard down to prove he is bad.
Finally the rebellion manages to blow up the “Star Killer base”. While the base seems to take mere minutes to destroy planets in systems far, far away it goes into slow motion to implode on itself. Meanwhile Finn, Rey and Chewbacca fight their way to a dysfunctional ship that always performs perfectly when it needs to.
Finally, most of the subplot was about trying to find Luke Skywalker, the key to defeating the dark side. In the end with the help of the droids they track him down. Rey goes out to meet with him on some remote mountaintop in a distant solar system. Many will claim that this story was weak because all it was about was setting us up for the next movie which will be much better…I doubt it.
I guess this type of movie, lacking any serious character development with an extremely weak story line has a home. I think that home though has been developed through the incredible marketing powerhouse that is Disney. A skillfully developed perception as by the emperors’ tailors, this story is a rehash of the original and lacks the proper attire to be taken as a serious attempt at quality entertainment. In the end I feel like the child in the famous fable shouting “the emperor is not wearing any clothes!”