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Old 24-12-2015, 08:34   #6
I see this as an enjoyable 8/10 or 8.5/10 film, but honestly, it's not really all that difficult to create an enjoyable film when Harrison Ford is playing Han Solo, is it? He kinda is the Jack Sparrow of the Star Wars universe. That's a massive benefit that the now infamous prequels certainly didn't enjoyed.

And it also helps that Disney arguably copied the best thing about the original Star Wars before they actually owned the Star Wars franchise. Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow (Han Solo) and the Black Pearl (the Millennium Falcon). It's essentially the same equation: handsome, eccentric, charismatic pirate, with a permanent fixation/obsession on a particular piece of machinery.

So that's two decisive advantages that The Force Awakens enjoyed, that none of the prequels benefited from. But besides the fact that old Harrison Ford still kicked ass as Han Solo, and besides the fact that the new leads (Rey, Finn, Ren, and Poe) look promising -- the narrative ultimately felt too satisfied with itself, by virtue of being too inspired by the originals. It lacked the ambition to be something better. It lacked the ambition to use the old elements to create new elements that remain loyal to the essence of it. It literally is Episode IV all over again.

Episode IV: prequel character (Ben Kenobi) introduces Han Solo to sequel characters; Ben Kenobi is then killed off by Darth Vader, but Kenobi's weapon/legacy survives; Death Star is seemingly completely destroyed.

Episode VII: prequel character (Millennium Falcon) introduces Han Solo to sequel characters; Han Solo is then killed off by Kylo Ren, but Solo's weapon/vessel survives; Death Star 2.0 is seemingly completely destroyed.

(note: and Harrison Ford's Han Solo absolutely owns both films.)

If that's the "loyal to the originals" type narrative that Episode VIII will also offer, I'll readily pay for it again because that still qualifies as "quality" entertainment by most or any standards (that is, assuming that Han Solo is somehow successfully retained in the narrative or successfully replaced by a similarly awesome character) -- but, having said that, I'd absolutely love to see some new elements added to the franchise; new elements, not as mere gimmicks to fill the voids between excessively predictable destinations, but as an indispensable factor in what should be more ambitious an essence than the originals could've ever hoped for.

Albeit, to be fair, the only genuinely good Star Wars movies imo are Episode IV and Episode V (and it also helps that the majority of the hardcore fans seem to agree on that point). So maybe The Force Awakens being another Episode IV was actually the most intelligent revival. It convincingly brought back the original feel or "magic" that was never again truly reproduced after The Empire Strikes Back -- the fans needed to see that. In that regard, The Force Awakens is much closer to A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, than Return of the Jedi or any of the prequels were. Which, again, might've been just what the franchise needed at this crucial point.

Bottom line,

The Force Awakens *did* offered everything that was ever good about the original Star Wars. As good as it ever was. Arguably better than it ever was. So fanboys should have close to nothing to complain about -- the new leads work, and Han Solo still kicked ass. But with that said, I just hope that this doesn't turn into another Pirates of the Caribbean.

The massive mistake of The Return of the Jedi was the complete utter lack of substance (which was then clumsily hidden with the use of fillers throughout most of the film). Darth Vader was Luke's father, but the plot didn't really escalated after that iconic moment; instead, what could've been an interesting sequel, turned out to be a teddy bear musical plus some other random shit that added absolutely nothing to the plot, bullshit compilation.

Star Wars needs more substance, if the third in the trilogy isn't going to be another massive letdown (as was the case with the originals and also with the prequels). Hopefully JJ Abrams will prove capable of bringing some soul of his own to the story, rather than just reproducing the old magic that the original creator failed to reproduce -- that same old trick won't work come the trilogy finale.

Furthermore, it would also be cool if the new saga isn't even a trilogy, but a four part saga. Trilogies are somewhat old and tired, particularly when three films clearly aren't enough to satisfactorily answer or try to answer all the potential questions, etc.

People prefer to describe anarchy as chaos when it probably would work as a government with considerably less taxation (and size) -- and it wouldn't be "anarchy" in the supposed or perpetuated meaning of the term, either. But who gives a shit either way, really.


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