As everyone must know by now the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, has been released. Already just on advance ticket sales alone it has broken all sorts of records and no doubt it will go on to break even more. It is thought it could go on and break the record of most successful film ever held by James Cameron’s Avatar. That has yet to be proven but it definitely has a good chance.
I got advance tickets for the opening night and went alone with hundreds of others for what I hoped was to be an evening of unbridled cinematic pleasure. What I got though was an evening of disappointment tinged with pleasure.
We were told that the new Star Wars film would be back to basics, we would see more physical props and less CGI, that it would hark back to the original trilogy and try to wipe out the stain left by the prequel trilogy. In a way they were not wrong. What they failed to say was that they were reworking the plot from A New Hope, the very first Star Wars film, the phenomenon that began the whole trend and changed sci fi cinema forever.
I’m not saying that the film was bad. The acting was far superior than anything seen in any of the previous films and the dialogue finally worked, it was believable and not cringe worthy like before. There was comedy some laugh out loud scenes, there was tension and drama and conflict but nothing original. There was a huge sense of deja vu that ran through the entire film and some scenes could’ve been lifted entirely from A New Hope.
This fault I lay entirely at the feet of JJ Abrams the director and new guiding light behind the franchise. When he took over the reins of Star Trek he told the fans there would be changes, which there were and when it came to the second in the series when news of the plot and casting leaked he told the press that it would be nothing like The Wrath Of Khan. When the film was released it was obvious he had lied because it was a complete copy of that original film with minor tweaks that played into the new timeline he had created with the first film. Now he has done the same thing with Star Wars.
With any other franchise I think he would be vilified and probably thrown out of Hollywood but because he’s done it with two franchises that each have huge fan bases that are so eager for new material they would forgive almost anything he has been able to get away with it. These fan bases are so huge that he could alienate half of them and still make tons of money from the rest but for how long before even these fans realise they are being ripped off and say enough is enough, give us something new or don’t bother?
I enjoyed the film because it was a new Star Wars film but I have reservations about the next. I already know what I’ll be getting from how the Force Awakens played out. I’ll wait and see what we get and just hope reason prevails and we finally get what we deserve and not a rehash of The Empire Strikes Back.