Interlude: Star Wars – more spoilers!

So I figured I would just splash Star Wars all over this blog a little bit, since I was so excited by the new movie.

VII_harry

Nanoo nanoo.

I also sat and watched Episode IV: A New Hope with Wump over the weekend, which was fun.

Obi Wan lies

I will, however, warn you now that there are spoilers for the new movie in this post and I can’t hide them, because they’re in the pictures and my WordPress savvy is not up to the task. So stop reading now if you don’t want to be spoilered.

So, I’m just going to say it. Episode VII: The Force Awakens is my favourite Star Wars movie so far. Up until now, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was my favourite. No, I don’t care, you can squeal in the comments all you like. Fuck it, I liked the Ewoks, the whole battle of Endor scene was hilarious, the Rebel fleet vs. Death Star Mark II was awesome, and the Jabba the Hutt opening was great. Loved every part of it.

I don’t have this massive, misty-eyed nostalgia for Episode IV: A New Hope that so many people seem to have (I saved all my childhood nostalgia for Doctor Who), and I don’t have the “ZOMG EMPIRE WAS THE BEST EVAR” thing that the majority seems to hold. Yeah, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back had some cool stuff and it had a gutsy kinda-sad cliffhanger ending, but I didn’t really give a crap.

My Star Wars leaderboard goes something like this:

  1. VII: The Force Awakens
  2. VI: Return of the Jedi
  3. IV: A New Hope
  4. V: The Empire Strikes Back
  5. I, II, III (I don’t know, I suppose they can go in that order, they seemed to degenerate as they progressed and I don’t remember much about them)

I’m not here to argue about any of that, though. I’m here to talk Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

Which I already did quite a lot, in a semi-drunken text conversation with dreameling:

the Star Wars Texts

For reference, here is what the joke synopsis says about the movie:

Boo

Now a lot of this is fair enough, although they intentionally screw it up to make a closer match-up, which annoys me. There were enough similarities that it is completely unnecessary to fub the dissimilarities in order to make a point. Rey and BB don’t run into Lars. Poe meets Lars, loses BB, Finn is there, BB meets Rey, Lars dies, Finn and Poe do some shit, Finn meets Rey and BB, and so on.

I already said I was completely on board with the similarities between VII and IV, though, and that is because I think VII is an improvement on IV. It’s a “soft reboot”, as the Red Letter guys say, somewhere between a retelling of the story and a continuation of the story. It’s bringing us all back on board with a familiar series of events. Only, in my opinion, they tell it better, and of course it’s all a whole lot bigger and more destructive and basically cooler in every way.

So. Go ahead and cry. I know you want to.

Most of the objections, I already argued out on Facebook with Contro, of all people. Since I can’t be bothered repeating myself, I’m just going to repost the whole thing here.

Contro: the Force is weird with this one.

Sorry. Facebook sucks at long, multi-reply threads. And yes: Contro (Robin) didn’t want to hand over his e-mail address to WordPress. But he’s okay with Facebook. Because he’s Contro.

That all got a bit silly but my main take-away from the discussion was that I think the reflection of IV was a positive part of VII, not a negative part. I had always wondered how VI (much as I liked it) could possibly have ended the Empire, and now of course we find out that it didn’t. They’ve just fragmented a lot and ended up with a lot of the infrastructure in a new group. And the Star Wars universe is by its very nature an essentially post-scarcity culture anyway. They don’t have replicators, but they obviously have ultra-massive industry.

I was a little bugged by why there is a Resistance, instead of a New Republic. Maybe there will be more explanation of that inVIII and IX. Apparently it was the Coruscant system, and the replacement Republic / Senate, that was destroyed by the New Order. So did the Rebellion set up a replacement government and them immediately become a “resistance” against the militant remnants of the Empire, in order to lend pacifist legitimacy to the new Republic? I don’t know, what was with that? Maybe the New Order and the replacement Senate were pursuing peaceful solutions, or at least the Senate thought that was what was happening, and the Resistance knew the New Order was lying and planning a destructive attack, so they had to go underground against both groups.

Which really adds a new layer of complexity to the “freedom fighters if good guys, terrorists / insurgents if bad guys” thing that Star Warshas always had going on.

But I don’t know, maybe I missed something.

I’m also a little bugged by Snoke. Not because it was terrible CGI (because it’s Star Wars and I don’t believe quality needs to be any sort of marker here), or because his name was dumb (fuck off, idiot, it’s Star Wars), but because there is a clear “he’s not really that huge, it’s just an Emperor-style hologram” thing going on and we’re all supposed to be surprised or amused or otherwise impressed when he turns out to be anywhere between one and four feet tall.

I admit that the smaller he turns out to be, the better … but Men In Black did that joke funnier. What’s more important, however, is how everyone else in the Star Wars universe thinks about him.

The Half in the Bag guys seemed to be saying it was for intimidation, or maybe Snoke is overcompensating. But surely anyone who actually knows Snoke is four feet tall would only be amused by the giant hologram, right? Are we really expected to believe that nobody has seen him in person?

On the other hand, in a practical sense, a tiny little hologram would be a waste of time. It might as well be three inches tall on a wristwatch.

To be continued. Probably.

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2 Responses to Interlude: Star Wars – more spoilers!

  1. dreameling says:

    I’m leaving the Star Wars discussion in the other thread, but just for the record, my leaderboard goes like this:

    1. Ep V
    2. Ep IV or VII
    3. Ep VI
    4. Ep I
    5. Ep II & III

    Purely in narrative or craft terms, I do think Ep VII is better than Ep IV. It’s definitely a more mature, smooth, and polished piece of cinematic storytelling.

  2. Pingback: Interlude: Rogue One, Part One | Hatboy's Hatstand

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