Saw SW : TFA
yesterday with my son, and loved it. Not as good as A New Hope
and Empire Strikes Back
, but on par or better than Return of the Jedi
, and far and away better than the prequels. It was fun, and that is what matters most with entertainment.
However, for many of us (I was eight when A New Hope
was released), Star Wars is more than just entertainment--it is a significant benchmark in our childhood, and therefore development. The Hero With A Thousand Faces embodied in Luke Skywalker propelled me into my love of science fiction and fantasy. Obi-Wan--along with Gandalf and Morpheus--fed my love of the Wise Old Mentor figure. And to be honest, Carrie Fisher was my first crush and probably got me started on my fetish for petite women
There were flaws in this new film, sure.
Luke for a whole thirty seconds? And no dialogue?
The capital of the New Republic wiped from the galaxy with nary a set-up for us to mourn it? Not even an inadequate set-up like for Alderaan in the first film...
Finn left to heal without it ever being revealed if he's force-sensitive?
Poe dropped out of the story for a huge amount of time? The modern-day Wedge with a personality! I want more!
And not enough Captain Phasma...or her kicking any kind of ass. I was hoping she'd be a female Boba Fett. Then again, Boba didn't really kick any tail in the original films, either. He did more butt-kicking as a kid in the prequels...
And it paid far more than homage to the first film...it followed it storytelling-wise in many ways. But let's not kid ourselves and act like this is the first instance of copying in order to continue a franchise. Plots have been re-invented and re-used for countless years. Hollywood copied Shakespeare copied Greek tragedies copied spoken language tales. This wasn't even the most thorough of copying jobs...that goes to Terry Brooks. His novel The Sword of Shannara
was a blatant rip-off of The Lord of the Rings
, even if brilliantly so. The Force Awakens
is a retelling of the original film, but done with more modern sensibilities...and it has more than enough of its own gravitas. I love Rey, Finn, and Poe. I love how Chewie did more in this film as a character than all the other Star Wars films combined. I adore
Kylo Ren and his tortured, conflicted personality...despite his unforgivable sins.
Moreover, I like that different directors will have the opportunity to craft new Star Wars films, giving us their personal interpretation of the Star Wars universe. Diversity is a wonderful thing. I'm glad this franchise--to me more fantasy than science-fiction--has been brought into the present.