Friday, January 22, 2016

Star Wars VII - space nonsense

Everyone has been waiting to hear what a 40-something guy who has never seen a Star Wars film thinks of the new Star Wars film. Well, it's nonsense.

But maybe they are all nonsense. Granted that the first one was amazing, and turned the film industry on its head. I haven't seen it but its as much a part of modern culture as The Bible. It set out a world galaxy with particular rules that the next six films needed to try to follow. As a newbie I have one dumb question, and I guess this is an age-old Star Wars conundrum but; during a light-sabre battle can't anyone else just shoot those guys with a regular gun? Is it a chivalry thing, while there is a fluoro tube duel happening the unwritten rule is Do Not Disturb?

Also stormtrooper armour - is there anything that it actually stops?

From the start the writing of VII is dross:

Weary old Alec-Guinessy guy to Stalloney pilot dude: "I've seen too much"
[Tie fighters swoop from the clouds]
Pilot dude: "We've got company"

Spoiler warning here but surely anyone who cares deeply has seen the thing already?

From what I have gathered people think the three prequels were bad. This one picks up after the last good one, Revenge Return of the Jedi. The attraction for fans is seeing Old Han Solo and Chewie, Old Leia and Old Luke. As a nonfan this left me watching Leia and Han smouldering at each other as they spoke in expository sentences that attempted to move the story along and help anyone like me feeling left behind. It was very clunky.

Unfortunately I was lagging behind from the start, as the prologue text slanting away into space told me about the Republic, the Empire, the First Order and the Resistance. What a mess. Sounds like they have saved energy on writing by just doing a search and replace, new bad guys and new good guys. The new Death Star is ..... BIGGER. The new Darth Vader takes off his mask and he looks like someone you would rent a DVD from.

There is a black character who comes across as a bit of a coward and a woman character who tells him to stop grabbing her hand, then cleans up baddies with her stick-fightin' skills. This is probably meant to count as progressive. Rey (I thought she was Rae which is a name that suggests social science teachers and lady farmers) has been left out of the whirlwind of new merch, for some devious reason.

Supposedly Lucasfilm thought boys would arc up if any girl characters were included.
I am not into fantasy, books or films. Oh, you have a problem Chief Protagonist? Why don't you just wave your wand/ use the force and solve it? Oh, bad guy has a bigger wand/ stronger force? Yawn. Better enlist a wise elder with a puckish sense of humour to train you up with some new skills/ build you a fancier wand. Actually come to think of it Bond films fit the same mould.

The film ends with Rey finding Luke on a remote cliff by the sea - this is very important as the camerawork and music tell you by their sizzling intensity. Luke has presumably been there a long time and while Rey is very  s-l-o--w----l------y  reaching into her satchel for something it looked like he was hoping for a sandwich.

I did like the mechanicals; the big creatures and Rey's hovertractor that looked like a Massey Ferguson. But overall I was pretty disappointed as the reviews I read said this was a good film anyone would enjoy, not just for fans. Noooooope.  ★★☆☆☆


Nobody said...

I quite enjoyed the film, esp the aforementioned 'Fergie' hover-tractor, but like you have reservations:
How about the fact that one Captain can turn off all defence systems - by herself! No 'disarm doors and cross check' required.
How about the fact that Kylo Ren (I looked that up - I thought he was just called 'Rin') could sense his 'dad' arriving on the planet - but was surprised to see him standing 6 metres away on a narrow walkway.
Agree about the Sabre duels. Even a kick to the goolies would be useful here (how about it Rae/Ray/Rey)
Ho-Hum for the 'alien jazz combo'
And, couldn't Chewie have hooked up sometime since the last film? Or is he the only Wookie in the galaxy?
Still, at least there were no Ewoks.

chris rees said...

Yes, hiding behind trees/down corridors was surprisingly effective for people evading a dark-force-wielding emo wizard.