Star Wars is good to get into if you are after something like this. Waiting 15 years for another trilogy that probably didn’t meet your needs; wait another 10 to finally get what you wanted in the first place. Most of my life I’ve been waiting for the aftermath of Return of the Jedi. Now to have my narrative curiosity released, and my frustration half-quelled, I am neither joyed nor saddened; just lukewarm.
I can’t recall the last movie that’s made me think so unnecessarily. I took my brain along for this one, as I would inevitably need it mediate the duel between my objectivity and attachment. Also because I was trying to spot the social parallels and encrypted subtexts. Then part-way through I turned the brain off, ‘cause I’ve already seen Star Wars: A New Hope.
Nigh point-for-point does this film plot the same chart as the movie that began its legend. Another Stars Wars movie starts on another desert planet, with another low-class character persuaded into another large adventure beyond what she knows. It’s even got a droid carrying vital information everyone wants to find. You could quite accurately then conclude how Star Wars: Another New Hope does so itself. The same things happen, under different circumstances with several new faces. Less of a Star Wars movie and more of an ode to one.
So again we have another old-timer of cinema that would rather pay tribute to what was than build upon it; and part of me gets that. To continue something as large as Star Wars, without creating another controversial prequel trilogy, must pull at all kinds of anxieties. But sometimes The Force Awakens seems so afraid to do anything, that it does nothing at all. The prequel saga bumbled its way across the missing timeline, though along with way found deceptively redeeming qualities. Due to its ambition to be as safe as possible, The Force Awakens sadly doesn’t have that benefit.
And yet despite, it is undeniably entertaining. J.J Abrams may be without the vision and originality Star Wars requires, but he knows how to tell whatever story he’s telling. His visual and aural flair compliment well to the shiny-glow aesthetic of Star Wars. He’s also brought a sense of comedy, something George Lucas was never particularly known for. It brings to mind Firefly’s humour, and while Joss Whedon doesn’t have a monopoly on good laughs, such tacit repartee in space is a hard stigma to shake.
Star Wars: A New Hope Again is a pleasantly nostalgic, but disappointing return. It’s not the movie I was looking for; the one to reimagine Star Wars in contemporary culture and reapply its mythos for new thematic discoveries. Perhaps it was also naive of me to hope for such. But what stands now is neither inspiring nor entirely loathsome.
It’s Star Wars fan-fiction; having recreated the original under a different scenario, respectively renaming the Empire and Rebellion as the First Order and the Resistance. With no immediate purpose than to amuse and quench those who enjoyed the source material. After so much time, in ways that makes it the most frustrating.