San Diego Classic Film Calendar

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Five Things I'm Expecting from Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I haven't seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, so don't worry about spoilers. It's been out in theaters for about 48 hours now. Yeah, I know, what's wrong with me. I'm planning on seeing it in the next couple of weeks, and I'll do my best to avoid spoilers in that time. I spend way more time on Twitter than Facebook, so I kinda figure how bad can a spoiler be at 140 characters. I am not a huge fan of Star Wars, so if a spoiler or two sneak through my poorly constructed net, I'm probably not going to open any veins.

There are five things I'm expecting from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and I honestly don't think I'm going to be disappointed:

1. Fun. At their best, Star Wars films are fun. I'm sure the J.J. Abrams understands this, has shot for that, and likely hit the mark.

2. Kind of a Stupid Story. This is the main reason I don't consider myself a fan of the franchise. At 14, when I saw the first film, Episode IV, Star Wars. I flatly refuse to use those three words to describe it. I came out of the theater pumped like the rest of the audience. The special effects were like nothing you had ever and still hold up almost 40 years later. But I was also kind of disappointed. I couldn't help comparing the story of Star Wars to other great films I had seen at that point in my life, and storywise it wasn't even close. Face it, Star Wars is only Science Fiction because it's set in space. The story could just as easily be a Western or Sword and Sorcery film. You really wouldn't have to change much. I guess If you want  Science Fiction, you should read a book. Or watch Twelve Monkeys, or any of a dozen other movies that have way better science fiction plots than Star Wars.

3. Cool Stuff. This is main reason I have what little affection I have for Star Wars. The films abound with cool stuff. Light sabers are cool. Blasters are cool. Force choke is cool. X-wing and Tie fighters are cool. The Millennium Falcon, way cool. I fully expect Star Wars: The Force Awakens to be full of cool stuff. That's the main reason I'm going to see it, and the only reason I'm even sort of worried about spoilers.

4. Annoying Characters.  In Star Wars, cool stuff and annoying characters walk hand in hand. I guess it's like the light and dark side of the Force. Do I need to explain? Whiny characters, Luke, Princess Leia, Anakin, .... Annoyingly cute characters, C-3PO, wookies, Jar-Jar, .... Lame villains, Darth Maul, General Grievous, I'm looking at you. Or cool villians, who evolve into lame. Yes, Darth, that would be you. It's too late to become a good dad. You have to do what all bad dads have done throughout history: remarry and screw up a new batch of kid. In any Star Wars movie, there's usually a small handful of characters who are not annoying, Han Solo, Chewy, Obie-Wan, the rest, forget about it.

5. A Movie Better Than the George Lucas Films. I know this is not setting the bar very high, but I do like to end on a positive note.

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