Ariane and Rachel at Star Wars II: The Espresso Strikes Back
A continuation of this story.
Note: this is basically a review of Star Wars the Force Awakens in story form, I avoid most of the major spoilers but if you want to avoid all spoilers, you probably want to wait and read this later.
So we all left the movie with smiles on our faces, eager to talk about the film we just saw. Rachel pointed her toy blaster at the coffee stand next door.
Rachel started, “So I can tell by our smiling faces that you all enjoyed the movie as much as I did.”
“I just have to ask,” interrupted Paula, “When did you get your hair done, Ariane?”
“Rachel did it in the theater while we were waiting for the movie to start,” I explained. “She said I needed a more Star Wars hairdo.”
“I wanted to do it with three pony tails like Rey in the movie, but I only had two hair ties,” explained Rachel.
“Cute,” said Paula. “With that out of the way, am I the only one who felt like I was rewatching the original Star Wars?”
I agreed, “Yeah, it felt like a remake with the serial numbers filed off. There are so many obvious parallels, a new Darth Vader, a new Grand Moff Tarken, a new Obi Wan, a new Death Star, a new Emperor and a new Yoda. They all just have different names, except Chewbacca. Props for gender swapping Luke and Leia.”
Rachel looked puzzled, “I get your analogy, you are saying Rey is basically this movie’s Luke Skywalker, complete with light colored clothes and a desert planet home, but who was Leia?”
I said “Finn” and Paula said “Poe” at practically the same time.
“I think you are both right.” said Rachel. “While the plot is note for note nearly identical to the first movie, it is not a perfect remake. Finn has more in common with C3PO from A New Hope than Leia. I’m not sure there is a Leia.”
“Noted,” I said, “Still the lack of originality in the plot is my biggest complaint.”
“Not mine,” said Paula, “I know this is science fiction, and I know George Lucas has an explanation why 12 parsecs is used as a measure of time and not distance, but sometimes the liberties they take are just way too silly.
“You would think that after the first two death stars were so easily destroyed that the bad guys would have learned their lesson, bigger is definitely not better. Now they turn a planet into a space station?
“How does this ‘Star Killer’ move around the galaxy and still have an atmosphere? The fact that they are creating artificial sunspots and sucking a sun’s plasma away would in and of itself destroy the atmosphere of the converted planet, but also the electromagnetic discharge of these artificial sunspots would fry all the electronics in the entire station.”
“Umm, good points,” said Rachel cautiously. “Excellent observations Professor as usual.”
Rachel continued, “My biggest complaint is what was missing. Disney wiped out the Timeline of Legends also known as the Expanded Universe so they didn’t have to worry about continuity with the books and comics that continued the story after Return of the Jedi.
“Instead they dropped clues to a completely different timeline that is just as interesting. Luke disappeared? Han and Leia had a son? Where did this First Order come from and how did it get so powerful? I want these stories dammit!”
I had to laugh. “It seems we all have our own little biases that change how we see the world,” I said. “I like new and different, and complain when I see sameness. Paula is the scientist who views the world scientifically, and Rachel is the sci-fi geek who likes great stories.”
My statement created a lull in the conversation, Rachel and Paula both quietly took sips of their coffee and I joined them.
“Still…,” said Paula finally breaking the silence, “Good movie.”
“Yes,” Rachel and I said simultaneously before getting back to our coffee.
The funny thing is that they didn’t throw out the expanded universe at all. The entire script was just an amalgamation of about 9 different expanded universe books. JJ Abrams is clearly a fan, but it may have shown through a bit too much.
I’m not going to spoil anything, but one major character is such a thinly veiled carbon copy of an expanded universe character that his/her/its inclusion in the movie basically spoiled the plot of this trilogy for me. That being said I still immensely enjoyed the movie and I will gladly pay to see the rest of them.
I didn’t think the Star Killer did move around the galaxy, just that it sucked on the sun for a while and then fired a shot across the galaxy.
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