STAR WARS VII: A Lost Hope


The family went out last night to watch STAR WARS VII: The Force Awakens. Now as I've said before (far too many times), I really wasn't looking forward to seeing this new movie; I figured that J. J. Abrams had simply turned it into another pastiche of the original trilogy of which I have so many fond memories. However, being who he is, I figured he would also toss in a heaping helping of social justice retardation and then crank the blender up to 11 with whiz-bang special effects to compensate for the lack of plot, character, and simple fun.

I must report that I was right in almost every single way. Mickey Mouse Wars was, on some levels, even worse than I had expected it to be.

Everyone involved, from the producers, to the director, to the writers, to the cast, came running full tilt at that exceptionally low bar I had already set- and then smashed headfirst into it.

I suppose I should add the obligatory SPOILER WARNING!!! here, but frankly, anyone reading this blog has either already seen the movie or never will, so if/when I do give away something important, tough titties, as they say in Blighty.

"All units, this is Black Leader..."

AWESOMESAUCE

Before I start bitching about the film, let's get out of the way the things that I really did like- and let's be fair, there are a few things to like about this film.

I loved seeing X-wings in action again. I grew up on STAR WARS lore, watching those battles above Yavin and Endor, and reading the X-Wing novel series by Mike Stackpole and Aaron Allston. I wanted to be an X-wing pilot when I grew up. Never mind that, within the actual film lore, the Incom T-65 X-wing would actually be a 40-year-old design; they still kick ass in a space dogfight against TIE fighters (which, by this point in the universe's chronology, are like a fifty-year-old design).

Poe Dameron was pretty cool. He reminds me a lot of a younger Wedge Antilles- both the greatest starfighter pilot in the galaxy and an upstanding human being.

The visuals in the film are truly amazing. This is one thing that Mr. Abrams actually does do well; he knows how to make use of colour, depth, spectacle, and CGI. Actually, there is too much CGI in this movie, but at least it is impressive.

Since, as John C. Wright said, the best way to look at this movie is not as a sequel but as a remake, I understand and appreciate the blatant rip-offs of the original trilogy. The beginning, set above not-Tatooine; the considerable amount of time spent on said not-Tatooine showing off not-Luke-Skywalker; the screen wipes that totally are not a copy of the old films; the not-cantina scene that is set in not-Mos Eisley with the not-jizz band; the not-Death-Star-Trench-Run at the end- all of these things, and many more nostalgia-inducing bromides besides, were generally fun to see as homages to the old films.

And... um... honestly, that's about it. Not exactly The Godfather, eh?

Plot? Who Needs a Plot?!

Saw it, blew it up twice, got the shirt...

There are so many things wrong with this new movie that it's hard to know where to start. So let's start with the basic building block of any great story: the plot.

In this movie, the plot goes something like this- kids, cover your ears and eyes if you don't want the surprises ruined:
  • EEEEEEEEVIL Stormtroopers descend on backwater planet looking for somebody;
  • Heroic Pilot Guy meets with Generic Beardy Dude to pick up Sooper Seekrit Information;
  • HPG and his Plucky Droid Sidekick try to get off-planet in an X-wing (!!!!!!) but are foiled by EEEEEEEEVIL Stormtroopers;
  • HPG orders PDS to am-scray and find help;
  • Whiny Emo Vader shows off an amazing display of Force powers to capture HPG;
  • EEEEEEEEVIL Stormtroopers then massacre innocent bystanders on WEV's orders, prompting the guy that Matt Forney hilariously called "Mace Dindu" to spontaneously grow a conscience and refuse to be EEEEEEEEVIL anymore;
  • The movie then cuts to a shot of Mary Sue Heroine- and lots more about her shortly- gathering junk from a crashed Star Destroyer on a world that looks exactly like Tatooine, yet isn't;
  • A whole bunch of pointless stuff happens, and then Mace Dindu and MSH somehow find themselves aboard the Millennium Falcon;
  • Some more pointless stuff happens, and then Han Solo and Chewbacca enter the picture;
  • Yet more pointless stuff happens, with MSH somehow discovering Luke Skywalker's old lightsaber (presumably because she is his daughter, which totally makes sense, dontcha know...);
  • MSH gets captured, Mace Dindu and Han Solo and Chewbacca end up meeting Princess Leia, and somewhere along the way it is revealed that WEV is in fact the son of the scruffy nerf herder and the Princess of Alderaan- cue the DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!! music here;
  • The plucky Resistance cobbles together a plan evidently written on used Kleenex to attack Starkiller Base, which just destroyed some Very Important Planets, or something;
  • The attack commences, stuff gets blown up, a lot of other nonsense happens;
  • The plucky Resistance WINS! Hooray!
  • MSH finds Luke Skywalker... somehow... despite being completely clueless about almost everything, and we end the film on a ridiculously drawn-out sequence where Luke just stands there and stares a lot.
Oh, and Han Solo dies. At the hands of his son, whose actual name is Ben, not Whiny Emo Vad- er, I mean, Kylo Ren. And there is some new shadowy Emperor Herpetine figure involved somewhere.

(Actually, Harrison Ford is on record as saying that he hated playing the character of Han Solo, so I suspect he's probably the only person happy with the way that plot point turned out. I can even picture him telling the producers that the only way he would ever agree to join the cast is if he could get killed off, so he would never have to do it again.)

The Doomsday Weapon at the heart of the story seems so ridiculous, it actually becomes incidental to the plot. Indeed, what is it with evil empires and superweapons? In the first film, the Empire built a Death Star; it got blown up. In the third film, they built an even bigger Death Star; it got blown up. In this film, they built the MOTHER OF ALL DEATH STARS; it gets blown up.

What kind of bank is backing these insane idiots? Lehman Bros.? How the hell has the Empire/First Order/whatever managed to avoid a literally galactic-scale financial meltdown all this time?!

And the EEEEEEEEVIL Stormtroopers are led by a woman, named Captain Phasma, who I can only assume was chosen for her ability to "aid and comfort" the top brass rather than her combat record, her leadership skills, or any other merit-based criteria. Since you never see her out of her silver-coloured armour, it's impossible to be sure.

If you go back up and read carefully, the entire plot is basically just the best bits from the original trilogy- which itself was a pastiche of a number of obscure yet great films like The Hidden Fortress- stitched together in Frankensteinian fashion with a heaping helping of complete filler and nonsense, and loads of SocJus crap- exactly as I had predicted.

And that doesn't even begin to get into the plot holes in this film. There are so many of them, and they are so large, that you could expend the entire fuel supply on a Death Star piloting it through them all.

J. J. Abrams had the same opportunity with STAR WARS that he did with Star Trek- he could have taken the franchise off in a new direction, come up with something completely original, fresh, and breathtaking. Instead, he took the greatest sci-fi film trilogy of all time and turned it into a complete mockery of itself.

The Blandest Characters in the Galaxy

Just kill them all off, already, I'm past caring
As if the plot wasn't bad enough, the characters were somehow even worse.

Not once in the entire movie did I find myself actually caring about what happens to anyone. John Boyega played FN-whatsit reasonably well, but he didn't have a whole lot to work with. Aside from his relationship with Poe Dameron, there wasn't a single interaction with any other character that made him someone worth caring about. Frankly, if he'd gotten shot and killed halfway through, I seriously doubt it would have made any difference.

Poe Dameron was kind of interesting, but didn't get much of a chance to do anything. Han Solo came across rather the way Harrison Ford himself does these days- somewhat old, somewhat creaky, and very crotchety, yet still funny in his own way. Princess- er, General- Leia looked and fat and worn-out and dressed like a sixty-year-old lesbian.

Luke Skywalker, the focus of what little plot there is in the movie- to the point where they should have just called this movie "The Search for Luke"- doesn't even appear in the film until right at the end, in a scene so pointless and drawn out that I wonder why they bothered.

Kylo Ren has got to be the least scary baddie ever conceived. Every time he appeared, I wanted to yell "TIM-BERRRRR!!!", so wooden is his performance. When Darth Vader strode onto the screen, children and pets would wet themselves in fear; but when his grandson, a pathetic whiny castrated Millennial version of the great man with serious daddy issues, moped around, all I felt was a sense of revulsion, like I'd stepped in the remains of some dog's breakfast on the sidewalk. Even Benedict Cumberbatch was more frightening in Star Trek: Totally Not the Wrath of Khan Again.

I mean, when my folks and I talked about the film, my sister and mum giggled about how the goofy droid character, BB-8, was the one that they liked the best. What does that say about the film when the best character isn't even human?

One Mary Sue to Rule Them All

Khaleesi Skywalker, I presume?

The absolute worst thing about this movie, by miles, has got to be the main character, Rey.

I have been watching and reading sci-fi and fantasy for damn near 25 years. I have NEVER, not ONCE, encountered a female character in a book that I disliked more thoroughly and intensely than Rey Skywalker.

She is in every way a feminist's wet dream come true. She is strong, independent, tough, supremely gifted and talented, and liked (somehow) by everyone she comes into contact with.

She is also every masculine man's worst nightmare.

There is a huge difference between being a confident woman, and being a cuntish one. The former is almost always a beautiful, accomplished, talented woman who is very aware of her considerable physical charms, yet makes people feel better simply by virtue of her very presence. She is sweet, caring, and good-hearted. She is, in a word, feminine.

Rey is the exact opposite of all of these things, because feminists- of which J. J. Abrams evidently clearly is one- always make that mistake of turning a comforter into a cunt.

She looks like a 14-year-old boy. She dresses in androgynous clothes. She acts in a shockingly rude manner toward a decent man who is simply trying to help her- when she and Finn are being chased by first stormtroopers and then TIE fighters, her only reaction to him is to berate him every time he tries to protect her. While her cunty attitude improves toward the end of the film, she is in every way the antithesis of womanly charm and grace.

And all of that is just stupid, too, considering what Daisy Ridley actually looks like.

Worse than that, Rey is the Mary Sue to end all Mary Sues. Consider the following:
  • She manages to fend off two goons trying to steal from her who are roughly three times her size, while armed with nothing but a big stick and kickassitude;
  • Despite practically crashing the Millennium Falcon when attempting to take off, twice, and with no experience of piloting anything as complex as a starship, she figures out all of the controls within 5 minutes and proceeds to execute combat manoeuvres worthy of Wedge Antilles himself;
  • Even though Rey has never once left her home on Jakku to travel anywhere else, she understands Wookie-speak perfectly- yet Finn, a thoroughly combat-trained and indoctrinated stormtrooper, has no idea what Chewie is growling;
  • When handed a blaster, she has no idea where the safety is or what it does- and yet, when she has to, not only knows how to arm the weapon but fires it with perfect accuracy at distances ranging from 10 to 30 metres;
  • She has never once been trained in the uses of the Force, and yet somehow manages to summon up the ability to perform a Jedi Mind Trick on a hapless guard (played to maximum comic effect by Daniel Craig);
  • Even though she has never been trained in lightsaber combat or any lightsaber fighting style, she fights with, and bests, a highly skilled Dark Side adept (who was admittedly wounded), who is far larger and much, much stronger than she is;
As others have pointed out in their reviews, this list of hidden talents and skills is so ridiculously improbable that it would take a literal act of God to make them believable. But, of course, God doesn't exist in the SW universe. So we're stuck with a character that is about as likable as an eggplant, about as believable as the Church of Scientology, and about as interesting as a stalk of celery- which she closely resembles, by the way.

On the subject of Rey's lightsaber skills, I have a perspective on this that most don't. I spar and train with women on a regular basis. I routinely spar with women who have the same mass ratio to me as Rey does with Kylo Ren. Now, in that climactic duel with Ren, she is able to batter down Ren's defences as easily as though she were his physical equal.

This is quite simply ridiculous. There is absolutely no way an untrained woman, whose adversary's physical strength alone makes him a minimum of three times as strong as she is, will be able to get out of a sword lock based on strength alone. NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN.

Yet in Mr. Abrams's fantasy world, such things are apparently not only possible, but routine.

Also, on the subject of Rey's marksmanship, I happen to have a sense of perspective that most don't. I have trained in pistol marksmanship a couple of times. (I stink at it.) I can tell you right now that obtaining sight alignment and sight picture takes a lot of practice- don't ever let anyone tell you it doesn't. The idea that some orphaned waif who has never held a gun before can instantly become an expert shot is so absurd that whoever put that nonsense into the script thoroughly deserves to be smacked upside the head with a wet mackerel.

Interestingly, my parents saw very little wrong with Rey. My sister, who I am very sad to say identifies as a feminist, thinks that she is a "well-rounded female character". This is, of course, because she has never had to spar with me; nor has she ever fired a gun; and other than our father and me, very few men in her life have ever had the nerve to tell her off when she starts becoming bitchy toward both men and women.

Wake Me Up When It's Fun Again

Despite everything I've written above, I cannot say that I am angry about what has happened to STAR WARS. Every egregious insult to my intelligence that was perpetrated by the film was, for the most part, expected.

My cup of nerdrage is empty, because it never even began to fill up in the first place.

Instead, all I feel is a shoulder-sagging weariness, a sense of resignation at the fact that there is simply no line that the SJWs will not cross in order to destroy the things that the rest of us love and cherish.

There is no use in pretending that the STAR WARS saga can be saved anymore. The abuses that George Lucas heaped upon his own creations, starting with Return of the Jedi, continuing on through the seemingly never-ending edits that he made to the original trilogy through all of the re-releases, and concluding with the mind-boggling stupidity of the prequels, have now been topped in grand fashion by J. J. Abrams and the Disney marketing teams that thought that Social Justice Wars was what we would want to see.

And you know what the really sad thing is? If I hadn't stumbled across the Manosphere six years ago, I probably would have bought into the Narrative and judged this to be a good movie with a great Strong Female Lead. Thank God I know better today.

Left to myself, I would not have bothered to go see this film. My family wanted to, so we all went. And now I want that little chunk of my life back.

Skip this one, or- once it gets released on DVD- download it for free from Pirate Bay. This movie just isn't worth your time, money, or effort.

What did you think of STAR WARS VII: The Force Awakens? Put your thoughts in the comments below.

Comments

  1. "anyone reading this blog has either already seen the movie or never will,..."

    ...

    This is the best part of your post. I realized long ago, most of the thousands of movies released every year I never will see. Signal to noise ratio. Pre-release date, on this movie, I noticed the large number of TV ad's for this film. This use to be a reliable indicator of a movie's depth of quality, plot, story line and overall measure of weather it was good. If the critics loved it, and lots of TV ad's, this was a real stinker. When I found out that this movie is like 90 % of network TV, aimed at women, designed to appeal to women and offend men like me, noise. TV ratings are dropping. I continue to hear that a new hit show is on such and such network.

    "Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. Psalms ch37-36."

    After the present generation has died out, in the distant future, NetFlix, Hulu and a dozen other streaming services will have a choice of thousands of great movies. In the mix will be the several episodes of of "Star Wars". In the future, a farther will sit down with his son and remember his own youth and that he must guide his son on the path of what it is to be a man. The farther will remember episode 4. He will pick 4. The farther will remember this scene.

    Aunt Beru: Where are you going?

    Luke: Looks like I'm going nowhere... I'm gonna finish cleaning those 'droids.

    Aunt Beru: [after Luke leaves] Owen, he can't stay here forever, most of his friends have gone. It means so much to him.

    Uncle Owen: Well, I'll make it up to him next year, I promise.

    Aunt Beru: Luke's just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him.

    Uncle Owen: That's what I'm afraid of.


    At the end of the movie, the son will have a lot of questions. We all dream of a son that will succeed us. We all dream of a son. I personally think 7 will be on the streaming movie list for a very long time. A generation or two. But, Homer, Shakespeare's Cesar, Henry V, Napoleon and dare I say Luke Skywalker, time less.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've noted with much disappointment that *all* of my White Knight type male friends love this movie. "Worth every penny," all of them said. Which makes me dread seeing it all the more. Because I know, without a doubt, that given this, everything you've written here (and the other commentaries I've read which are similar) I will agree with.

    I've been asked to see it tomorrow with a friend. I do so dread it now. I fear most of the ride home I shan't speak much.

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    Replies
    1. I wish I could look back at what I wrote and say that I was being too harsh, that the movie is actually better than I give it credit for being.

      But the more I think about it, the less I like it. Mickey Mouse Wars truly is as bad as I thought it would be, and then some.

      Your white-knight friends love it because the Mary Sue at the heart of it all is what they've been brainwashed all their lives into thinking a woman should be. Men like you and me hate it because that is precisely the kind of woman that no man in his right mind would touch with a ten-foot barge pole.

      Delete
  3. I am not at all shocked to report that, having seen the film, all the words you slung in the post above concerning this little experiment in Millennial Entertainment proved to be true.

    ReplyDelete

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