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THE END OF MAGIC- REVIEW OF ‘THE FORCE AWAKENS’

EVERYTHING AND THE KITCHEN SINK

A misunderstanding of what makes Star Wars work

A misunderstanding of what makes Star Wars work

They threw everything they had at it: the whole Hollywood system, JJ Abrams, the boy- wonder specially groomed by Steven Spielberg himself, the whole Disney machine, all the toys that money could buy- but they could not animate the body…

I so wanted this movie to be good. We all did. So many have so much invested in it that many are refusing to feel the prodding of doubt about the movie, refusing to listen to the voice inside telling them that something is not quite right with this film. You know who you are: Refusing to listen to your intuition. Turning your back on the Force… That same inner voice has also been drowned out by the near universal acclaim this movie is receiving in the mainstream American press. 95% on Rotten Tomatoes… The chorus is unanimous: “JJ Abrams is a genius, George Lucas is a moron. All is right with the world.” The Empire has spoken, who dares say otherwise…

Unfortunately I’m going to have to disagree with the parade marching in single file, and be that storm trooper who mutinies…

NOT GETTING IT

From the opening crawl it was clear that Abrams does not understand what makes the Star Wars universe tick. The crawl reads:

“Luke Skywalker has vanished. In his absence, the sinister FIRST ORDER has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi, has been destroyed. With the support of the REPUBLIC, General Leia Organa leads a brave RESISTANCE. She is desperate to find her brother Luke and gain his help in restoring peace and justice to the galaxy. Leia has sent her most daring pilot on a secret mission to Jakku, where an old ally has discovered a clue to Luke’s whereabouts . . . .”

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John Boyega

(one of 3 musings on many matters prompted by ‘Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens’)

A serious thing is this: The lead character in ‘Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens’ marketing thus far is a young black man- a character called Finn played by English actor John Boyega. Writer/Director JJ Abrams and company have cleverly used Boyega to draw spectacular attention to the sequels because here is a black man- seemingly the hero- at the centre of the Star Wars universe. A shining example of the new multi-cultural world we live in, led by Obama’s America. It’s a seemingly revolutionary act, and has grabbed the attention of the world…

The first image of the Star Wars campaign was of Finn in a Storm Trooper outfit in the middle of a desert. Director JJ Abram’s strength is deconstructing Myth- not so much building it. He understands how to play with the pre-conceptions of Myths constructed by others, expanding the Universe they created: so a black man in a storm troopers outfit immediately punctures a hole in the order of the Star Wars universe and immediately captures attention. Cinema Blend Movie News says, “In the history of Star Wars the Stormtroopers have always been nameless, faceless characters. They have numbers, not names. They’re completely interchangeable. The fact that one of the men underneath those helmets is one of the new movie’s primary characters feels strange to a lot of people.” Abrams knows how to take us behind the curtain like that.
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