Thursday, 31 December 2015

Star Wars - Another New Hope Again?

By T W Coombs

So forty years after the originals and ten years after the prequels the world of Star Wars is back and it has taken a funny turn, by trying to be funny and not living up to the hype, once again.

I am a huge Star Wars fan; I grew up watching Luke Skywalker become the last Jedi and destroy the Empire by complete luck that his evil father had a change of heart and did his job for him.  Even though some of the story was flawed, brother and sister kiss and he was happy about it and even gloated, and the acting was mediocre, come on Mark Hamill was terrible in A New Hope.  The main thing about Star Wars for me was it was fun but had a serious story that was a simple good versus evil with space magic (the force is a natural thing and not magic - oh I don’t give a shit).

Sadly after the trilogy they couldn't live the phenomenon alone, and when I say them I mean George Lucas, his swimming pool of cash must have sprung a leak so needed refilling and they did the back story.  You know because we needed to know where Darth Vader came from, oh hang on we already knew, it was explained in the original trilogy.  The prequels became a reason to have a nerd war, the purists and the lovers, and then you had the guys sitting on the fence.  I didn’t mind them, Phantom menace was good except for Jar Jar, the small boy Anakin and the pod race, get rid of that rubbish and they would have had an awesome film, Attack of the Clones was better and introduced us properly to the republic, and you know the one that became the Empire.  Then Revenge of the Sith was a dark brooding number that ended really well, just a shame about the beginning.

The Prequels did as expected, they made boatloads of money and then everyone complained about them.  They messed with originals as well by adding in CGI which much of it was worth it, and scenes which none of them were worth doing.  So we were left in a limbo of love and hate and after the mostly forgotten prequels the news hit that Episode seven was to be made, great some shouted, the world of geekdom sprung alive, more sci-fi to add to the Marvel, DC sci-fi we have been bombarded with.  So the world came alive with talk of this new film that JJ Abrams we doing after he rebooted Star Trek for the masses already.

So a couple of years later it is out and I like millions of others went to see this billion dollar making behemoth of a film.  And what did I get? A marvel film based on Star Wars!

Before some start to attack let me explain.  Please watch the six films before and take in the feel of them, lighter in places and very dark in others with some small happy times within the characters, a space opera  with fights to the death and space dog fights, then watch The Force Awakens, which starts dark and brooding and ends dark and brooding but the bit in the middle, the actual film was like more comedy, with forced jokes and sarcastic comments, this is Star Wars, which should be fun and exciting but also more serious, even if totally fantasy.

Sadly but issues didn't stop there, I had a huge problem with Ray, the girl in it, who is the girl version of Luke Skywalker, her acting was okay, her character was quite kick ass.  But Luke took months to do anything with the force, and within a couple of days (guessing on time scale) Ray is controlling minds, pulling her lightsaber to her, without any bloody training except for a non-Jedi who tells her to close her eyes and feel for the force.  What a load of rubbish and who reads minds with the Force? No one ever in the films so where did this come from? You can feel feelings of people, Yoda does on lots of occasions but read full minds? Whatever.

It was great to see the old characters even though they were all cameos except Han Solo and Chewbacca who still only had a small part really.  CP3O and R2D2 had small parts and the biggest part goes to another droid BB8 who is all CGI, and was like Wall-E from another film within the Disney business model. 


To conclude I really enjoyed this space based action adventure film, it was funny, exciting and had some hints of nostalgia but for me it didn’t feel like a Star Wars film that carried on from Return of the Jedi and does it seem like a sequel/re-make of A New Hope? Anyway, the relationships seemed rushed and forced between the main characters and the old cast were just hangers on and weren’t used as much I thought they should be.  We shall see what happens with Episode 8, but the next one is a spin off, so we will be waiting a while to see what happens with the new Darth Vader and the New Orders boss who looked like a giant Emperor.  So by the time 8 comes out I will probably have better things to do because life needs to continue outside of the world of Disney franchises.

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