Ok, before I start slating Star Wars, let me say that I TRIED!
I’ve never been a fan. When Abrams et al announced they were making a new version of the film, I wasn’t excited. At all.
The sort of excitement I felt was comparable with the excitement you might feel for:
- Stacey Solomon’s new Christmas single
- Prince George’s first tooth coming out
I was also worried. Because it’s hard in this life when you don’t like things like Star Wars, Stephen Fry and football. Conversation becomes impossible.
There was a glimmer of hope for me. Everyone was saying The Force Awakens was well good. Even Mark Kermode! And I don’t like his hair, but I respect his opinions on film. So I thought maybe I could be in the cool club too, and that my Force would awaken.
Unfortunately, my Force is DEAD. It was never alive, but now it’s gone forever.
I mean, guys, let’s be honest here. The Force Awakens is a bit rubbish.
And I don’t want people to wave their lightsabers at me, so I’ll confess I liked one part of the film. That was, the first twenty minutes, in which Oscar Isacc – a nice pilot in The Resistance – gets chased by mardy members of The First Order.
In this scene you also meet the new ‘evil guy’, aka Adam Driver. He plays Kylo Ren, whom I kept accidentally calling Darth Vader to my brothers (who looked seriously disgusted). But he is ‘the new Darth Vader’, tbh.
He has a complicated backstory. According to his mum, Princess Leia, Ren went away to what I can only describe as Jedi summer camp – where Luke Skywalker tried to teach him the ways of The Light Side. Only, he didn’t really enjoy it and ran away to The Dark Side (who can blame him: dark clothes look so much better on brunettes).
There are loads of other things that happen in the film. I won’t go into too much detail because we’ve all seen it and I’ve already given Wikipedia about 100 new hits doing incredible research for this article. Let’s just say there’s a new posh bird in it called Rey, played by Daisy Ridley. She’s ok. Half the time I expect her to pull out a lacrosse stick and start hitting Stormtroopers, but she’s actually got capital technique with a lightsaber. And there’s her friend Finn, who’s also ok. I’d go for tea with them both, but then I’d meet Ren for a few tequilas later.
Character analysis aside, the real reason why The Force is snoozing within me is because I wanted more complexity to the plot of The Force Awakens. I’ve finished Season 3 of The Bridge recently, so I’ve got used to people doing fucking weird stuff. And I wanted something wacky to happen here – whether it was a character becoming corrupted, a cheeky snog, or a flashback to Ren’s traumatic time at summer camp. There’s too much black and white, and not enough grey.
Not to get too deep, but we live in a world where there is lightness and darkness all the time. But people aren’t simply ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’ – it’s a lot more complicated than that. So a franchise where nice people run around in beige cloaks and bad people run around in scary helmets doesn’t quite cut it for me. (Not least because the Stormtroopers must be sick of wearing those outfits. In fact, Star Wars is in desperate need of Gok Wan).
If there was anything I enjoyed about Star Wars it was Harrison Ford and Chewbacca. I was less impressed with Carrie Fisher. When Princess Leia is told of Hans Solo’s death, she may as well be hearing that the Resistance’s toilet roll has run out.
I digress. But the main problem with me is the plot’s simplicity – which paves the way for a film of two-dimensional characters, and not enough emotional substance. The special effects are amazing, but it’s small ingredients that pull in the Star Wars reluctants like me – those who are a bit turned off by explosions, aviation and other stuff that mask flimsy storylines.
I’m surprised that there haven’t been more people who share my view about Star Wars. It seems that if you don’t like it you’re either trying to be controversial, you ‘don’t understand’ it or are some sort of killjoy. I actually find the marketing around it slightly oppressive, as it seems this ‘fun’ film is immune to criticism.
To be honest, I think it’s like The Dark and Light Side: there’s good taste, and there’s bad taste, with nothing in between. And I’m afraid to say that in this case, The Star Wars rejectors – thought numbered we may be – might be the ones to have seen the light.