May The Fourth be with you, even though it’s January!
Episode 7 of the Star Wars saga- The Force Awakens is a definite conundrum. It IS Star Wars, yet a version unlike any previously made.
It tries very hard to be A New Hope/Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi all at once, and be something new as well, with the Next Generation of Heroes and Villains being introduced. It does achieve all that, moving the story forward thirty years, but also rehashes A New Hope in several ways.
Rey is the first way, an Orphan and scavenger on Jakku, a world like Tatooine but with only one Sun. She rescues a droid carrying a secret plan, just like Luke Skywalker did with R2D2.
It turns out everyone is searching for Luke, who disappeared. Rey is joined by Finn, a renegade Stormtrooper, then Han and Chewie on the Millennium Falcon. They have several escapades as they try and avoid Sith-wannabe Kylo Ren and the First Order, a remnant of the Empire.
Without giving away any of the twists, it certainly seems that Galactic History is repeating itself, with Leader Snoke replacing the Emperor as main villain. It will be interesting to see what direction Episode 8 goes in when it starts filming this month, though it would be even better if I could get a part in this one!
The set pieces are all there- Desert world, jungle and frozen planet, along with Lightsaber duels, battles and a Yoda-like figure. So it’s designed to appeal to old fans yet draw in a new Generation (like Jar Jar Binks, but the less said about that the better!)
I guess I’ll just have to watch it again in order to appreciate the nuances; the Force does seem iffy in this one. After watching Return of the Jedi I think I know why- because the ending of Jedi was a happy ending, the Empire had fallen, there was celebration throughout the galaxy, it was a perfect end to the saga, even when Lucas changed the music, it didn’t detract (that much) from the elation that the Good Guys Won! It ended on a high note, just like Episode 1 and Episode 4. This ended abruptly, on more of a sombre note.
I suppose if JJ is rehashing the plot of Empire Strikes Back for Eight, then things might improve. We’ll just have to wait and see won’t we?
PS- Get ready for the Puppet Version- Tiglet Wars!!