Did you hear they’re making a new Star Wars movie? Well, I’m not going to review it, because, face it, it’s been almost a month, you’ve either seen it or have no interest in doing so, and nothing I can say will change that. Even so, I’m going to throw my thoughts out here for anyone who may be interested in them; if you have not seen the film, consider this your spoiler warning.
So, to deal with the elephant in the room: yes, it is A New Hope: The JJ Abrams 3D Remix. The droid searching for its master on a desert planet, the retired hero, the Death Star, even the ‘Darth Vader Moment’; they’re all here. But it’s all ok, because Han Solo just goes right ahead and hangs a lantern on it:
How do we blow it up? There’s always a way to do that.
And you know what? I’m ok with that. It’s like the franchise is saying ‘forget those nasty prequels. The Star Wars you know and love is back now’.
And it is too – the wrecked Star Destroyer and miscellaneous other debris of the collapsed Empire made for a brilliantly post-Episode VI universe.
A lot seems to have happened in the 30-odd years since Return of the Jedi: Luke Skywalker has gone from lone Jedi to Jedi instructor to legend who may or may not have actually existed; while on the Dark Side, Supreme Leader Snoke has sprung up from who-knows-where, raised up the First Order, and armed it with an even bigger, even more powerful, but just as flawed, Death Star On Steroids.
The analogy to the rise of Nazi Germany post World War One is not entirely subtle, especially not in visual terms.
It’s a less black and white galaxy now; there are three sides, for a start, the Republic, the First Order, and the Resistance, which presumably has formed because the Republic is ineffective at resisting the Order itself. And Kylo Ren? Well, I’m not quite sure he’s the bad boy he wants the galaxy to think he is really.
And of course, this being just the start of a whole reborn franchise, fandom has plenty to debate in the meantime: Who is Rey? Who is Snoke? What’s the point of the Republic? And why the hell didn’t Han shoot first?