After watching Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on Christmas Eve, it seems that my girlfriend and I have contracted “Star Wars Fever”. In fact, my late Christmas present from her was the Imperial Shuttle Tydirium (from Return of the Jedi) in Lego form. I sorely want the AT-AT set, but I don’t think I want to splash out the exorbitant amount of cash on eBay. Anyway, we ended up watching
the “Original Series”(A New Hope/ The Empire Strikes Back/ Return of the Jedi).And I have to say that have stood the test of time, unlike other films from the late 70s and 80s. Of course George Lucas has since “updated” the films with CGI and unnecessary additions, but the characters and story have still remained engrossing and classic. The Empire Strikes Back still remains my personal favourite. And even though the prequels, in particular Revenge of the Sith, ruined the mystic and menace surrounding Darth Vader, he’s still my favourite character of the franchise. In fact, Rogue One and the Star Wars: Rebels series have helped in restoring him back to his former sinister glory.
We ended up watching 2015’s The Force Awakens, which I remembered really enjoying at the time. I actually went to see it twice at the cinema with the same friend. In hindsight, the nostalgia of watching a new addition to the franchise probably “clouded my judgement”. Now, I just don’t see the reasoning behind it existence, apart from Disney’s pockets. It’s basically a soft-reboot that doesn’t cement enough originality to warrant a new trilogy. There’s a new Empire, a new Death Star, a new Emperor, a new Sith, a new Jedi, similar environments, similar story beats and conclusions. Sure they’ve changed some of the characters and narrative elements, but it’s all too familiar and disappointingly average. The worst part is the revelation of Kylo Ren being the son of Han Solo, which is nonchalantly mentioned in conversation instead of a major plot point. Another major problem is Rey. She’s essentially a “Mary Sue” that completely takes a dump on the principles of character development. For the audience to connect with any character, there has to be a relatable bond or appeal. Instead she immediately becomes one with the force, seemingly knows everything, and has this overly quirky outlook on anything, including death. If I was being brutally honest, I’d rank it below Return of the Jedi and above Revenge of the Sith. But with a Star Wars film being released every year, it’s fair to say that “resistance is futile”. Let’s see how Episode VIII turns out.