Star Wars: The Force Rehashes

30 Dec

Note: Not wishing to ruin anyone’s fun, we have not revealed any major plot twists in this post, but we have spilled the beans on some minor plot points.

The latest Star Wars offering is on track to make a gazillion dollars on top of the gazillion dollars it’s already raked in. We’ve always found the
series entertaining but we were never die-hard fans. (We skipped the two that precede the current flick.) Not using superlatives to describe Star Wars: The Force Awakens seems akin to being lukewarm about Mom and apple pie, but we must confess that we found the film diverting but not exceptional.

SW:TFA (or SW:WTF if your prefer) has the added rush of including Han Solo, General Leia (not just a princess anymore), Luke Skywalker, and of course, Chewbacca, C3PO, and R2D2. In this go-round, R2D2’s been in a funk since Master Luke went away and (like Timothy Leary’s opposite) refuses to turn on. (We think that he’s really in a snit because a smaller, cuter robot named BB-8 has stolen his thunder.)

star-wars-bb-8-1024x576

We think you might be jealous,  R2.

How do you top what has gone before?  Well, you apparently do that by rehashing the first film with a young woman named Rey in lieu of Master Luke. No Darth Vader? No problem – invent a new bad guy named Kylo Ren or Rilo Kiley or something like that and give him a light sword that goes up to 11.

The bad guys in the first Star Wars film had a nasty weapon called the Death Star. In the new one, the bad guys have a nasty weapon that’s kinda sorta like the Death Star only different, a sort of non-Death-Star Death Star.

Of course, there are some new characters too, the aforementioned Rey, and a Stormtrooper-turned-good-guy named FN-2187 (one can imagine the writers being at an impasse over what to call the character, and one exclaiming “Call him effin’ 2187 for all I care!”) who is later called Finn.

This picture’s got all the stuff that you expect from the series – the Millennium Falcon flying sideways through narrow chasms, lots of whoosh noises, s**t that blows up, the whole nine yards. However, it struck us that the series has become an endless cycle, like the same Wacky Races cartoon run over and over again. The Rebels are oppressed, they defeat the Empire and celebrate their victory. The Empire strikes back, the rebels defeat the Empire and celebrate their victory, in an endless cycle of samsara. We asked our son-in-law whether George Lucas had any involvement in SW:TFA, to which he replied “Not even a little bit.” We can understand why – after all this back and forth, a profound ennui has set in.

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