This is gonna contain spoilers. Duh. You been warned. By the way, if you whine about spoilers a lot? Please don’t feel welcome in my presence in the future.
What follows is my reply to the attached YouTube video by Nicholas Spargo. I remember back when The Phantom Menace came out we were all gaga over it at first. I even bought a C3P0 action figure. Might even still have it around here somewhere. However, once the novelty wore off, we found it to be fool’s gold, and the subsequent prequel installments weren’t much better. Perhaps the same will happen with The Force Awakens. Spargo is already arguing in favor of looking a gift horse in the mouth. However, I think time is going to be much kinder to JJ Abrams than Spargo suggests. Years from now I may look at this entry into my online blog and eat crow. However, I feel objectively speaking, Abrams has simply made a superior film to the prequels. I will agree with Spargo that it’s far from the best, but it’s also far from from the worse. Time may judge The Force Awakens to be above average, which is more than okay for me.
In the prequels, talking happens a lot more than doing. In JJ Abram’s directorial contribution to the Star Wars Franchise, doing happens a lot more than talking. If both of these are mistakes, I prefer Abram’s failure to Lucas’ prequel “successes” at any time in any galaxy.
Anyway. Here’s a link to what Nicholas Spargo had to say. After watching that, if the link still works for you when you stumble upon this in the future, read my comments to him below that. Then feel free to add your own thoughts. Cautious with thoughts you must be. For prosperity this is. Yes.
You make a good case, Nicholas. I disagree.
The prequels were badly made on many levels. Too much CGI which sucked the humanity out of the stories and left the actors with nothing to act. The result was cardboard cut out performances in front of digital matte paintings. However, JJ Abrams uses practical effects, much better dialogue, and lets his actors breathe life into the roles. George Lucas was great at ideas, and he surrounded himself with people who fleshed out what he wasn’t great at, and that’s how A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back did so well, but the prequels proved Lucas unchecked is just not a great director. However, if Abrams can do anything it’s start a great story. I’m glad to see Abrams isn’t gonna direct all three films, but he’s the only person alive today who could light this fuse. He played to his strengths, and that led to The Force Awakens. Is it the best Star Wars film ever? Not by a long shot, but it’s also not the worst.
While The Empire Strikes Back is far superior to The Force Awakens, this latest installment is simply objectively speaking not worse than the prequels. When that spaceship blows up before Rey & Finn’s eyes, it’s a palpable moment filled with intensity and raw emotion. The explosion feels real. The characters reactions are visceral. Even tho obviously the shots leading up to that were planned and orchestrated, what appears on screen is a fantastic illusion of reality. There is not a single comparable instant at any point in episodes one through three. The entire pod race of Phantom Menace pales in comparison to five seconds before the TFA Falcon reveal – AND THEN we get the Falcon reveal on top of that! Wow!
Sorry. You failed to prove the prequels are better.
Yes JJ Abrams’ story is a complete and total ripoff of episodes four through six. I grant that without reservation. There are echoes from the prequels too. This isn’t lazy writing however. It’s very deliberate. It’s done with such intricate care (and dare i say love) that it’s amazing to experience for the first time and even more fascinating to dissect. It’s a mosaic of everything that’s come before. I agree the suspension of disbelief is stretched thin, but similar stretches of logic can be found in all the films. Qui Gon just happens upon Anakin and notices his connection to The Force. That’s convenient too. Luke’s last name has been Skywalker this entire time. Adult Anakin Skywalker once visited the same farm on Tatooine, yet never bothered to go there to look for his own flesh and blood? Is the name that common? Like Smith? Your argument about coincidences in TFA can be said for the entire franchise, so JJ Abrams is doing exactly what the other films have done, which makes TFA the same kind of film the other installments have been. An absence of such coincidences would make it less of a Star Wars film. An absence of unanswered questions would also make it less of a Star Wars film. Again, that’s why Abrams was hired in the first place, cuz asking questions like that is his forte. Answering them? That’s NOT something Abrams is good at. His role in eight and nine are diminished just a tad and I’m happy to hear that. Perfect in my opinion. Let others pick up where he started. It’s a brilliant strategy. Kinda like how Abrams picked up where Lucas left off. No man is an island.
Your exact argument for physics flying out the window with regards to the Star Killer can be applied to A New Hope as well. In reality, it’s impossible to make a Death Star, yet we didn’t walk out of the theater back in the 1970s did we? How could such a moon sized space station propel itself? How does it amass enough energy to blow up entire planets AND move around between star systems AND feed everybody housed on it etc? Stopping a film to answer such questions and attempt unimportant technobabble or stopping a film to explain politics is NOT why we come to see a movie called Star Wars. If we wanted Star Diplomacy.. Well who would want to watch CSPAN in space? Honestly? By the way, “the force” isn’t scientifically verifiable in the real world, alien linguistics would be way more complicated, and light energy doesn’t really work in a way that can turn a flash light into a sword. We suspend our disbelief for the other films. JJ Abrams is asking nothing more challenging from his audience than Lucas ever did.
You can argue you didn’t enjoy the film, Nicholas. That’s understandable.
However, what you find to be flaws in TFA can be found throughout the franchise, and while one can argue the entire franchise is flimsy and flawed and incongruous, what you may see as weakness I have always viewed to be its strength. We’re all sitting around a campfire in a cave, and someone is describing to us what the shadows and light on the walls really mean. We can argue and whine and laugh and cry and whatever else we want to do, but what’s happening here is that we’re being entertained. Thousands of years later, mankind is still watching flickering lights and shadows on a wall, and we’re still entertaining ourselves. That’s movie magic for you. Abrams isn’t Lucas. Disney isn’t 20th Century Fox. And that’s very okay. It’s still light and shadow flickering on the wall. It’s still a lot of fun.
If you wanted something more than fun from Star Wars Nicholas, I’m sorry man, but you may wanna rethink that.