Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Force Awakens

So we finally watched it!!! 

Let me set the stage first: I wasn't a super fan of the Star Wars movies growing up. Though I remember watching the original trilogy on a VCR in the 80s and my dad explaining parts of it to me, I was too little at the time to understand and appreciate fully the trilogy. I had liked it a great deal, but not to the extent of holding my breath until the next episode came out. I watched the prequels trilogy later, but wasn't blown away by it. It's only two years ago, that our little Super-Fanboy at home, used his force to get me to re-watch all six of the movies, and that's when I was really wowed by them. Also, having a human Star Wars Encyclopedia at home helped (he even knows the back story of why Mace Windu has a purple light saber). Evidently, all we had to do was search our feelings and find out what we already knew: We had to get tickets for this movie on the first day of its release. Having already bought every Star Wars merchandise there was to buy, a movie ticket seemed like a cheap cherry on top that we could buy for the Super Fanboy ("Buy we must, my young Mama padawan", he said wisely.)

Back to Episode VII: 
Star Wars was a difficult story to tell. In any era. Having to create the expanse of an alternate galaxy, create alien life forms, political and physical landscapes, droids and battleships, and then to tell the story of good and evil within a 2-hours movie format must've been a daunting task for George Lucas. He did it nevertheless, with a personal passion that's evident in every scene of the original movies. And because it was this 'one man passionately climbing a Mount Everest of a plot', I felt forgiving towards many of the weaknesses of his movies.
Episode VII, on the other hand, is a Disney production. Maybe that's why I don't feel as forgiving. It's a media giant, not a solitary George Lucas. To me, Episode VII is too much laser bullets flying and people running, and not enough quiet time. To me, Kylo Ren isn't as sinister as Vader was and he felt just too amateurish to give me the chills (maybe he's meant to be an amateur baddie, a wannabe-Vader, still grappling with how not to see the light on the dark side). To me, Rey is not as compelling as Luke was. And the movie oozes of overly sentimental rehashes of the original, that just made it feel like a blatant cry for love from the fans of the old movie. Other than those moments, I don't know, this could've been an Avengers or Transformers movie... They all feel the same to me. 

I don't know if I can put my finger on it... Going from Lucasfilm to Disney, was a bit like moving from a crumbly old villa with character to a plush modern condo with a jacuzzi and tennis court. With the same rehashed furniture. You'll either love it or you won't. I didn't.

Will I still watch Episode VIII? Yes, absolutely -in its first week too. I'm every marketeer's shameless dream!