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So I Went To See ‘Star Wars, The Force Awakens’….



‘Star Wars, The Force Awakens’ is really a big deal here and everywhere in the world apparently. The movie earned roughly $517 million in worldwide ticket sales, smashing multiple box office records, and in North America, it did extremely well, earning $238 million in ticket sales. People have embraced this Tolkien-rip-off story as a new mythology, with actors that have reached a rockstar status… In Hollywood where I was watching the movie, people clapped when Harrison Ford (Han Solo) and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) made their apparition on the screen,… and this doesn’t happened often. To me, the movie rides a lot on nostalgia, and this is a problem. I saw the first trilogy when I was in my teens, and I loved it of course, it was new and fantastic, there were a cool hero and a badass heroin… I have never cared for the second trilogy, thus I have to be part of the target audience for this new installation, which tries very hard to reconnect with the original one. However I am not big on nostalgia and especially, I am not big on predictable scenario.

All along the movie I had this impression of déja-vu and may be it is what they were looking for, but may be it is too easy to use people’s strong desire for nostalgia? When the first episode was released in 1977, it was new and imaginative, but how long can you stretch the same idea until it sounds old and unoriginal? I wonder how the two upcoming episodes will be received especially because (spoiler alert) they have already killed one of the most interesting characters.

I haven’t re-watched the first episodes for ages, but I loved Princess Leia’s feisty character and Han Solo’s laid back attitude, he was a reluctant hero, a guy who was accepting cash, remember? He was not this cheesy good guy but a mercenary, and I loved their humor too, it was the late 70’s-early 80’s, way before all these Marvel Comics movies, which take their super-heroes so seriously. The new heroine Rey (Daisy Ridley) sure is a fighter, but she is no Leia! She takes herself very seriously, and can do it all, she knows how to pilot, understands all languages, robot and Chewbacca languages included, she knows how to use a light saber,… she seems flawless, a superwoman, an über feminist character written for a very politically correct age, and I would never exchange her for the Leia of my teenage years. The other newcomer is the loveable Finn (John Boyega) a former storm trooper becoming a resistance fighter, and we have to wonder once again how much political correctness was into play when a woman and a black guy become the two young heroes of the blockbuster of the decade. Although, you will notice, she kisses him on the forehead at the end, not on the lips, because they could not go for an interracial love story? Let’s hope it is not the case, or may be these two are also related somehow as it is always the case with Star Wars characters.

Talking about family stories which always have been very strong elements in the trilogy, once again there are some surprising revelations, or rather un-revelations as I had guessed the filiation very early on and I bet I am not the only one… I think everyone has also a good idea for Rey’s father, right? At the end, it is more or less the same movie, the one we have seen 40 years ago, rehashing the same complicated father-son relationships, with a weaker Darth Vader – Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, yes that Adam from HBO’s Girls and that was weird – the same motifs with may be better special effects and even more spaceship battles… you can almost already preview the next Disneyland attraction in some of these scenes.

People who have seen the first trilogy are now 40 years older, they are in their 50’s, and if I can see them having fun and applauding Leia and Han Solo’s return while watching ‘Star Wars, The Force Awakens’, it is very hard for me to understand something past this, a form of religiosity and obsession for familiar characters, as if these people were stuck in their childhood backyard?

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