My problems with Star Wars (SPOILERS)

Last night I saw the new Star Wars. It was fine. Maybe it was because I saw it in an empty theater, or maybe because it had been built up so much by everyone who had seen it before me, but I just was a little…disappointed. It started out pretty good, I guess, but I think that was just because I was excited about Star Wars. Here are, in no order, my complaints.

1) No new themes. My friend told me the day before that his biggest complaint was that there were no new themes. I was confused—good vs evil, fathers and sons, weren’t those the only themes Star Wars has ever had? He meant music. No new John Williams themes. But I think because we had had that talk, I was primed to look thematically at the movie. And there were no new themes. Good, evil, fathers, sons, whatever. The same shit. They couldn’t even bring themselves to do mothers and daughters.

2) Lack of motivation. I just don’t get why most of the characters are doing anything most of the time. Like yeah, I the evil guys are evil, but now we know that they’re actually not all evil. Our dude (I shit you not, I can remember none of these people’s names) is a stormtrooper, but realizes what he was doing is “wrong.” Sure, but how did he realize that? I have no idea. He doesn’t say. I sort of imagine him as John Kerry in like 1971. Also, what does the Empire want? Who are they? Who is the Republic? In the original Star Wars the story was so iconic and such a version of the hero’s journey that it didn’t matter—good and evil were archetypes. Now, though, I think you need to have more.

3) Predictability. Wait, so we have a star wars movie with a young hero from a desert planet who finds a cute droid who beeps with important information and has to take it to a hidden fortress before a planet sized weapon destroys another planet—er, sorry, this time another five planets? I can’t wait to find out whether they will be able to deactivate the shields in time!  Oh—is that a father-son encounter on a bridge? Those have been fun in the past, and, well, I guess they could only sign Harrison Ford for one movie. The new cantina band is also way less rocking.

Look—it was a fine movie. I enjoyed it. I’m glad I saw it, mainly because I was risking being a social pariah if I didn’t. Will I watch it again? I doubt it. Do I think it deserves to be the highest grossing movie of all time? No. It’s all been downhill since Titanic.


© Henry Gruber 2013