|"Star Wars All Over Again," doncha know
||[Dec. 18th, 2015|05:43 pm]
Phrembah (a potato-like mystery)
So, of course, they did a credible job in every way on the new Star Wars Episode VII. Great visuals, state-of-the-art FX, top drawer acting and directing, and writing worthy of the very pinnacle of comic-book/sci-fi franchisery. And, yes, I enjoyed it, but . . . (there had to be a "but" in there, right?) . . .
You know what it didn't have? Anything original. This installment is a remake/compilation of the first three (IV, V & VI) episodes, maybe just the first two. Okay, first two and a half. It is kind of re-establishing the franchise on the ground broken by the Great Start Wars, the Star Wars before Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks. The story and production values that launched one of the best known, best loved sci-fi franchises of all time are reborn, rebaptised, as it were, washing away the sin and corruption of goody-two-shoes pre-tween commercialism. The original Star Wars was commercial as hell, but it made tons and tons of money for the right reason: IT WAS FUCKING GOOD! When Lucas introduced singing Ewoks, I was dating a woman who worshiped Marry Martin and Ethel Merman and all things bright and sunny---and totally fucking phony. She loved the Ewoks. Lucas took my dark, gritty action-based sci-fi away from me and handed it to this goofy woman who I was fast falling out of love with for other reasons.
Anyway, this episode walks the marshmallow-filled nougat back to the salt and grease foundations and premises of the original. What it doesn't do, though, is add anything to the story line or really advance it at all. Rey is now Luke, Leia is the General in charge of the resistance, Obi Wan's character gets parceled out to Han and Old Luke and others. Ren, of course, takes over for Darth Vader, but they're all acting out the story line of the first episode(s). There are cinemagraphic homages to the famous Star Wars bar scene, and the Old Death Star (now played very capably by the New Death Star) and the desert planet where Luke felt marooned as a child.
It will be interesting to see if they pick up the story line and go somewhere new with it in Episodes VIII and IX. We saw what happened when Lucas tried to expand upon a winning story line. Can Abrams and Company do better now that they have freshly poured concrete under their feet? Huh?