My “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Review: We’ve Been Had [Contains Spoilers]

Ken AshfordPopular CultureLeave a Comment

So I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens last night.  In IMAX 3D.

A very fun movie, even if you are not a fan of the series.

BUT here’s the thing: Of COURSE it is a good movie; 90% of it is the same ingredients as the original, right down to the bar/cantata scene with strange music and weird aliens. A villain in a black mask. Father/son conflict. A cute droid carrying an important secret. Mega-death planet destroyer (with one small vulnerable spot that the rebels must get to destroy it). Humorous quips while the battle rages.

The other 10% is nostalgia (revisiting old friends).

It enjoyed it immensely, but boy, they sure made a predictably “safe” moneymaker.  It bordered on plagerism.

That’s what happened to the Star Wars franchise when it went to Disney.  It became formula (like everything Disney does), and the new Star Wars is more than just a blockbuster movie — it’s the anchoring element of a vast commercial program, painstakingly factory-made for maximal audience appeal, which means maximal inoffensiveness. Don’t expect the next two Star Wars movies to be much different.  In fact, Star Wars sequels and prequels are destined to be part of moviemaking into the infinite future. One can envision Hollywood eventually turning out Star Warses well beyond the Lucas-planned nine movies (which I don’t believe to be true anyway), each periodically “rebooted” for a new generation of customers by casting the latest new young stars in new costumes facing the same old perils and uttering the same old quips.