Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion (with spoilers)

This is a transcript of an e-mail conversation that took place between Adam and Alex over the course of a week or so during the holidays. We discussed the new Star Wars movie; things we liked about it, things that we didn’t, and where we saw this movie in the context of the other Star Wars movies.

 


 

Alex:

This is our spoiler-filled discussion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We both saw the film on opening weekend, and both liked it overall.

First, let’s talk about what worked. For me, it breaks down like this.

1) Tone. Star Wars movies are supposed to be optimistic. There are characters who are very clearly heroes, and the decisions they make are heroic ones. Rey refuses to sell BB-8 despite needing the money because BB-8 is vulnerable and needs help. The entire premise of Finn is that good sometimes triumphs over evil and that people, deep down, want to do the right thing.

TFA is an optimistic film, as it should be. Not everything needs to be dark, disturbing, or morally ambiguous. There’s nothing wrong with sending the audience home happy.

2) Characters. This is where I think George Lucas lost his way when making the prequels. He forgot to make interesting characters. He fell in love with the universe that he created, and he thought the audience would be interested in immersing themselves in it. He forgot that people are generally interested in relating to other people, and that’s kind of what story telling is all about.

TFA introduced a new batch of characters, and I’m on board with the new breed.

I’ve seen that some people are criticizing the way that Rey seems to be just naturally good at everything, which is not entirely unfounded (I’ll touch on that later). However, it’s worth mentioning that no male character ever received this amount of scrutiny. At the end of the day, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to let women have one character that just kicks ass at everything.

Finn is heroic in a more clumsy and relatable kind of way. His origin story may seem a little thin, but I think it’s part of that optimism I was talking about.

Kylo Ren has the potential to be the most interesting character in the entire franchise. In contrast to the cold and ruthless demeanor of Darth Vader, Ren is emotional and volatile. Where Vader ultimately turns back to the Light Side in order to save his son, Ren stands at a similar crossroad and instead commits the ultimate sin and kills his own father. When he has his mask on, he is fearsome and cool looking, when he takes it off he’s as weird and despicable as King Joffrey.

I like BB-8. The droids are a really underrated part of what makes the trilogy so watchable. They did an excellent job humanizing BB-8, and I think ended up being exactly what Jar Jar was supposed to be.

3) It’s a really good action movie. I have an untrained eye, but it looked to me like JJ used a nice mix of digital and practical effects, that was also paced perfectly. Not once did I check to see what time it was or how much longer the movie would be, which is usually a good indicator that I am heavily invested in what is going on.

Off the top of my head, those are the things that really worked for me.

Adam:

I’m really just going to be echoing you at this point, but I guess that’s alright.
 
I was actually sold right from the opening crawl. It was direct and cheesy and perfect. It told you what’s happened and what’s happening, bringing the audience up to speed and setting up the adventure to come with total efficiency. And you’re right about the tone. Star Wars was, at its core, a basic morality tale of good versus evil. TFA does this perfectly. The heroes are heroic and the villains are villainous.
 
Let’s be honest about the original trilogy- it’s not about the story. The story is simple, and one that’s been told a million times before. It was the characters we cared about. And where the prequels failed with this, TFA excelled. I’m going on record as saying Rey is one of the best characters we’ve ever seen in this franchise. I’ve heard the same criticisms you have about Rey, but, seriously, all the same criticisms could be leveled against Luke. Rey’s too good at everything? Okay. So then tell me how Luke was a crack shot and ace pilot against battle trained Imperial troops? How was he able to fire torpedoes into the Death Star exhaust port with his eyes closed after only an hour of Force training? So, let’s call a spade a spade. The criticism for Rey has nothing to do with her character and everything to do with her gender.
 
Anyway, I agree. The new characters are great, and I’d also say this movie has some of the best acting in any Star Wars movie. Daisy Ridley is a real discovery, and it reminds me of Sigourney Weaver in Alien. A complete unknown giving a career making performance. She also has great chemistry with John Boyega. And Oscar Isaac is great as the smart ass rounding out the cast. You’re also dead on with BB-8.
 
So let’s talk about Kylo, aka my second favorite Star Wars villain. I worried when I saw the design that this was just going to be a Darth Vader clone. What I’m happy about is that he actually is a Darth Vader clone but that’s his character. He’s of Skywalker lineage, seduced by the dark side and now emulating his grandfather. Sound cheesy? I dunno, sounds kinda like Kim Jong Un to me. I love the idea of an emotional villain, someone who’s not in control.
 
The most important thing this movie did was give us characters to care about. I left the theater wanting to know more about all of them, and excited to see where the next movie takes them. Which is a nice change of pace from the prequels, where I just didn’t give a shit.
 
And agreed as well on the action. JJ knows how and when to use CG, and when to go practical. CG just can’t replace actual sets and locations. And if I’m going to get specific, this movie has the best lightsaber duel since ROTJ. Instead of overly choreographed nonsense with ridiculous settings, there was weight and drama. There was a brutality to the action sorely missing in the prequels (and even from the original trilogy).
 
Another thing I’d like to point out that I loved was the humor. This movie had a lot of it, never out of place, and always good. Finn was much funnier than I expected him to be, and I loved that. And the humor helps add to both the overall tone and the characters. It makes the movie fun. And Star Wars, above all else, should be fun. That’s what I was happiest with. TFA was exceptionally fun.
star-wars-7-kylo-ren-unmasked-pic
Alex:

I forgot to mention Oscar Isaac, who was excellent in that OTHER great sci fi movie of 2015, Ex Machina. I think Poe is going to end up being a really popular character among fans of the franchise.

The old guard (Fisher and Ford) were completely outclassed in this film by the younger guard. It was really apparent that these newer talents are light years ahead of their contemporaries in terms of talent. Fisher has actually been vocal in the past about how little she thinks of her own acting abilities. Ford usually gets a pass because he’s more than paid his dues, but his acting style is uniquely suited towards action/adventure movies in the 1980s.

I can honestly see a SHRED of validity in the argument that Rey was a little too good at everything. She did strike down the film’s biggest villain in the very first movie, where Luke got his hand chopped off in the second movie. I’ll bring this up when we talk about what didn’t work, but it did seem like her character was never in any real danger, which can make for a less compelling story.

You mentioned the fact that you felt the theater wanting to learn more about the characters. I remember reading that JJ said the main reason why he agreed to take on Star Wars was that he was compelled by the question “who is Luke Skywalker?” For this film, they used Luke Skywalker as the object of a search, which I thought built a little intrigue for the next film. We finally get our new hero face-to-face with the elusive Luke Skywalker, and we have a lot of questions…and the film ends. Perfect! THAT is how a cliff hanger is done!

Now we get to find out “who is Luke Skywalker?” What is his connection to Rey? I’m kind of hoping that Rey is Luke’s long lost daughter, and that we find out very quickly in the next film. We then get to learn about Luke’s secret wife/lost lover, and it opens a whole bunch of interesting story opportunities. Notice the extra long hug between Rey and Leia, almost as if she sensed something.

The worst case is that Rey is the daughter of Han Solo and Leia. I understand that in the Expanded Universe, Leia and Solo had two kids instead of one. I have not read any of the Expanded Universe, but my friend Ben (who has written a few soccer articles for That Lowbrow Life) said that they were somewhat predictable and that Disney was right to throw them out.

Adam:
 
I was actually very excited to hear Oscar Isaac was cast in this based on his performance in Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coen Brothers movie from a couple years ago. I did see Ex Machina a couple weeks ago and loved it, but now I’m getting a bit off topic. Although it’s also worth noting that Domhnall Gleeson, the second lead in Ex Machina, played General Hux in TFA.
 
I actually though Ford was really good in this. He felt like Han Solo. It’s the most acting he’s done in years. Carrie Fisher, on the other hand, showed up. But I’d also argue both were well aware that this movie wasn’t about them. By allowing the new actors to really shine it helped sell this episode as being THEIR episode, rather than just more of the same with the same old characters.
 
I’ll wait until you give your criticisms on Rey, but I have several arguments in defense of her.
Like you, I was a huge fan of Breaking Bad. Every week, after each new episode, some friends and I would talk about what’s going to happen next. And every single time, we were wrong, and I was always happy we were wrong, because what the show ended up doing was infinitely more interesting than what we were coming up with. I like to be surprised by my entertainment, I like to not be able to predict where it’s going. So while the theories have been fun, I hope they’re all wrong. As for the expanded universe stuff, I’ve read some of it. I have fond memories of reading the Dark Empire comics as a kid, along with the Thrawn trilogy of books. Most of that stuff doesn’t hold up well (although the art Cam Kennedy did for Dark Empire still kicks ass). You’ve got Rian Johnson doing Episode VIII, a director who’s done interesting work (in particular, he did what I consider to be a front runner for the best episode of Breaking Bad, Ozymandias), at the same time you have Lawrence Kasdan telling everyone Star Wars is about to get weird. My prediction is most of the theories flying around right now will be wrong. My sincere hope is it’s the same as it was with Breaking Bad, where what we end up seeing is way better than what we were predicting.
So I guess that covers what we felt worked about the movie. So why don’t we talk about what didn’t work?
Alex:
One thing I forgot to mention that I enjoyed was the way that the First Order scenes seemed to draw from Nazi Germany as inspiration. This is a common motif in 20th century cinema, and it’s an effective one.

When I first walked out of the theater, my biggest criticism of the film was that it felt a little TOO retread. The story follows pretty much the same structure as the original. Hell, they even had ANOTHER Death Star. After thinking about it for a while, I don’t think the retread stuff bothered me as much as I initially thought. I feel that they revisited the original story structure, but added enough little twists to keep me intrigued for the next film. The real problem with Force Awakens was the fact that it was virtually devoid of real suspense. A good story places it’s hero in danger, and although the audience knows deep down that things will work out, they still fear for the protagonist. A good story teller will place the hero in one dangerous situation after another, and build tension that ultimately leads to resolution. I do not believe that Abrams did this effectively. My issue with Rey being too good at everything has more to do with the fact that I never believed she was in danger at any point during the film. I’m not saying she needs to be a damsel in distress, just that there is nothing wrong with the hero being vulnerable and having weaknesses. Apart from temporarily freaking out and running off into the woods (kinda Luke Skywalker-esque), we see no chinks in her armor. The same goes for the new Death Star (let’s call it what it was). At no point did I think that there was any probable outcome besides it being destroyed by our heroes. I remember thinking “if they keep making and destroying these giant killing machines, I’m going to stop believing they’re a threat”. The second issue that I had was that there were a few moments of clumsy storytelling. One of my biggest pet peeves in modern storytelling is when two characters have a conversation on screen in which they recite major plot points out loud in a way that sounds nothing like an actual conversation. Leia and Han Solo have one of these conversations, and it seems like there should have been a more subtle way to get the point across.

I mentioned on the podcast that I had a few major plot points spoiled for me (Ren being Han Solo and Leia’s son, Ren killing Han, Skywalker showing up at the very end of the film), so I might not be the best judge. Apart from lack of tension and some clumsy dialogue, I have no real issues with this film. I’m sure I can find some more flaws if I’m really looking for them. In a Star Wars film, I got exactly what I wanted over 15 years ago when I went to the theater to see Episode I.

Adam:
 
Yeah, the First Order stuff was done really well. It felt like the logical evolution of the Empire after their defeat.
 
I’ve heard both sides of the “retread” argument at this point. It doesn’t really bother me. If it were just beat for beat the same story, that would’ve been upsetting. But they used the basic framework to essentially reset Star Wars, to bring everything back to basics, to reintroduce the world, introduce the new characters, and set their stories in motion. So this never bothered me. But, I’d agree that there was a lack of suspense. I knew the Resistance would blow up Starkiller Base, I knew Kylo Ren wouldn’t kill Rey and Finn. And I also agree that this better be the last time they have a giant killing machine. And I’m optimistic that it will be.
 
I’ll be honest, I was more prepared for the “it’s unrealistic for Rey to be so awesome” debate. And I have arguments for why it’s okay that she’s able to use Jedi mind tricks, and able to best Kylo with a lightsaber (no one seems to want to factor in his injuries to that debate). I wasn’t prepared for a valid argument that it takes away from the suspense of the story. So I had to noodle this one a bit, because it still doesn’t bother me much and I had to figure out why. So, for me, the reason it still doesn’t bother me is that the suspense is more about her character than her situation. Rey is a very reluctant hero. She helps Finn, but wants to get back to Jakuu, wants to continue waiting for her family to get back. When she’s faced with a bigger destiny she doesn’t want a part of, she runs off. She retreats. So for me it was more about how her character was going to accept being part of this larger destiny. And for the most part I think that worked. It’s open for debate whether I’m right or not, and I suppose it’s really a matter of opinion. But that’s just how I felt.
 
For me, I have no real complaints. Nitpicks, sure, but nothing big that hurt this movie to me. I thought there was maybe a little too much fan service, and I’d have liked to have seen an actual dogfight in space (for a movie called Star Wars, there’s a surprising lack of actual star wars). Some of the dialogue was clumsy, some of the moments clunky, but that can be said of all of the Star Wars movies. The only thing spoiled for me was Han Solo’s death, which I had suspected anyway (Harrison Ford is famously not a fan of this series). What I’d say is that this felt like a Star Wars sequel, in the best way possible. It was a satisfying movie experience that reminded me of what I loved about these films growing up. It was a lot of fun, and that’s what I was hoping for the most.
 
star-wars-the-force-awakens
Alex:

It seems like Abrams understood that his new film could have flaws, so long as they were pretty much the exact same flaws that the original trilogy had. By understanding this, it seemed like he was able to focus of the things that fans of the franchise enjoyed about the original films, and in doing so mask some of his film’s shortcomings.

I would like to now discuss The Force Awakens (TFA) and it’s place within the larger Star Wars franchise. In order to do so, we need to establish how we feel about the existing body of work.

Since Disney has basically thrown out everything besides the first 6 movies, let’s set aside any novels, comics, or TV shows that we may have seen and just focus on Episodes 1-6. Rank them from best to worst.

For me, it’s as follows.
1) Return of the Jedi (E6)
2) The Force Awakens (E7)
3) New Hope (E4)
4) Empire Strikes Back (E5)
5) Revenge of the Sith (E3)
6) Phantom Menace (E1)
7) Attack of the Clones (E2)
Return of the Jedi is my favorite movie of the franchise, and for me it’s not even really close. It is both epic in scope but at the same time really focused. There is barely a dull moment. It has suspense, comedy, and an ending that sends the audience home happy. It is everything a Star Wars movie is supposed to be.

I’ve had some time to think about it, and I think that TFA might be my second favorite film of the franchise (I re watched the original trilogy a few weeks before seeing TFA). It seems like everything that worked about New Hope has been improved upon, and it’s kind of like watching a better version.

New Hope is next for me, which some might take issue with my ranking lower than TFA. It is still a tried and true Star Wars movie (the original, in fact).

Empire Strikes back is right in the middle of the pack for me (which I think you may disagree with). For me, it relies too heavily on the “I am your father” twist. There are some films that you can watch, knowing full well what’s coming, and still enjoy immensely (Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho comes to mind). Others rely almost entirely on some kind of twist, and the loss of emotional impact damages the film. Multiple views of Empire Strikes Back are, for me, a bit tedious.

Revenge of the Sith I saw once in the theater, and I didn’t completely hate it (except the part at the end where Vader yells “nooo” and it’s ridiculous). It is ranked this high only by default.

Phantom Menace was a disgraceful and successful attempt to pray upon my child-like enthusiasm and take my money. The only reasons it’s not ranked last is because…

…Attack of the Clones is unwatchable. I seriously had to take a break in the middle of watching it because I was so bored out of my mind.

Adam:
 
This always gets a little tricky to me. I can objectively rank the films, but subjectively, I couldn’t really pick a favorite out of the original trilogy. If I watch one, I watch all three. So I can’t even call this my official, personal ranking. It’s an objective ranking, because a subjective ranking would list the entire original trilogy at number 1.
 
Okay, enough stalling.
 
1) The Empire Strikes Back
2) Return Of The Jedi
3) A New Hope
4) The Force Awakens
5) Revenge Of The Sith
6) The Phantom Menace
7) Attack Of The Clones
 
Now, if I’m going to be totally honest, I saw TFA again the other night and enjoyed it more the second time around, and I can see it overtaking ANH in the future. But for now, this will remain my list. Also, while many days I might feel that Empire is number one, sometimes it’s Jedi.
 
Empire usually remains at the top of the list, however, because it’s a character movie. And I love Star Wars for the characters. And without this movie, in which we come to better understand our heroes and villains, Jedi would have absolutely no weight. I completely disagree with your assessment of Empire. I think it’s much more than just the shock moment. It slows down enough for us to really get to know the characters. Han is a reluctant hero, Leia struggles to reconcile her feelings and her sense of duty, Luke needs to learn patience and to see the bigger picture. Vader is made a much stronger villain (he’s really just an Imperial thug in the first movie), and the shock moment is still a big character moment. Luke up until now has known Vader only as the man who killed his father. But with that one revelation, everything Luke has been told up until this point comes into question. Obi Wan lied. Yoda lied. It just adds so  much more drama to Jedi. Also, Empire has my favorite chase (the asteroid chase), the Hoth Battle is amazing, and it has, in my opinion, the best duel in any Star Wars movie hands down.
 
On the other hand, Jedi is, admittedly, more fun. It’s a fast paced adventure, it has the best space battle in film history, and still manages to tug at the old emotions. It finished out the original series with a bang, and had the most earned happiest of happy endings possible. It also introduced speeder bikes, which are just so fucking cool. Yeah, if possible, I’d actually put Empire and Jedi at a tie.
 
ANH gets a higher rating over TFA only because it was the first. Without it, TFA wouldn’t even exist. Also, it’s honestly a very tight, well paced, fun movie. And I’d say it still has the best opening sequence of any of the films.
 
TFA captures pretty much what I said about Jedi. It’s a fun movie that also makes me care about the characters. It’s epic in scope and intimate in execution. It also made me excited to see the next one, which is a new sensation.
 
Revenge Of The Sith is the best prequel only because it’s the least boring. Our mutual friend Pete Vandall put it best, “Revenge Of The Sith is barely decent.” It has the same problems all of the prequels have: bad acting, overuse of CG, long stretches of nothing happening, clunky and often embarrassing dialogue. But Lucas obviously saved all of his story for the third chapter, so things kinda happen through most of it.
 
The Phantom Menace, I would argue, is actually the best looking of the prequels. It’s the only one shot on film, and the only one to make extensive use of actual sets and locations. I rewatched the entire series leading up to TFA, and what I will say about Phantom Menace is it’s got moments where it actually feels close to being a Star Wars movie. I hadn’t seen it in years and tried to watch it objectively. It’s clunky right from the outset, but there’s a sense of mystery and adventure in the opening. Then you get to Jar Jar, and the Gungan city and the movie stops dead for about 20 minutes. Then there’s more adventure, and the arrival on Tattooine, and then the kid. And that’s when the movie falls apart. Not just because Jake Lloyd was terrible (I’ll refrain from making fun of him since the guy apparently has some very serious mental issues), but because the character is terrible. And the movie comes to a screeching halt and never picks up any momentum again.
 
And yet it manages to be less boring than Attack Of The Clones. Clones has the advantage of no kid in a lead role, instead replacing Anakin with a prototype acting android designated Hayden Christensen. I guess if you like lots of lightsabers and ridiculous chases, Clones might be entertaining, but I just found it so fucking boring. Nothing of importance actually happens. You could cut the movie down to about half an hour (at most) and still get all the information you need from it. It also has possibly the worst love story in film history. Yeah. Fuck that movie.
 
Alex:

Iffy analogy time. My view on Empire is that it’s like the vegetables on my plate. Yeah, I know that it’ important and that the whole meal is probably better for having it there. I’m not going to pretend that my favorite part of the meal isn’t dessert. It’s a good movie, but but Jedi has the payoff. That’s just me though. I grappled with ranking TFA ahead of New Hope. My initial thought was that New Hope was the original Star Wars, so how could I justify putting anything ahead of it that wasn’t part of the original trilogy. This kind of thinking is probably left over from the prequel backlash era, which I’ll get to in a second. At the end of the day, TFA is more fun for me to watch as a 33 year old man in 2015, and probably more fun for all the new viewers who don’t have the same sentimental attachment to the trilogy that I do.

I hate the prequels and I wish they never happened. Let’s just leave that there.

So my next point is this: I believe that the era of the Sacred Trilogy may be over. For the last 10-15 years, my feeling has been that the original three movies are all that is right and good with Star Wars, and that everything else that came after is blasphemy. That includes all of those stupid updates that Lucas has added to the originals since. Now we have a new Star Wars movie that I would argue at least belongs in the same league as the original trilogy. So now what?

We are entering a four year period that will see five different Star Wars movies. There will be two more as part of the series proper, and three stand alone movies as well. Is this a new era, or is it just more Star Wars crap? It might be too soon to tell.

I just wonder if we may eventually view the new Disney era movies in the same way that Star Trek fans view The Next Generation. Given the quality of TFA, and how modern it is in comparison to the originals, I think that the Star Trek: TNG comparison might be really fitting.

old-star-wars-poster
Adam:
 
Nah, I get it. I can’t really argue between Empire or Jedi as a personal favorite. My feelings on the prequels are a little more complicated, but I would never say they’re good movies. And there’s no need to discuss it.
 
I think the Star Trek comparison is very apt, especially considering Star Trek was ruined well before JJ Abrams ever got his hands on it (for the record, I actually really enjoyed Abrams’s first Star Trek movie). And my feeling is that this new trilogy will be very much like The Next Generation. Potentially better overall, but never quite as recognized. And I have a feeling the spinoff movies will be like the other Star Trek spinoff shows, which appealed to super nerds, but not the slightly more casual nerd like myself. I hope not. Rogue One has a cool premise, and could potentially be a fun movie. 
 
A lot of this depends on how these movies are executed going forward. If they continue to rely on nostalgia and cram these movies with fan service moments and references to the earlier films, then these movies will just feel like products. If, like Star Trek TNG, this new trilogy (and the other upcoming Star Wars movies) are allowed to evolve, then I can definitely see them eclipsing the originals in terms of quality. Never in importance, but they could end up being objectively better movies. But it’s way too early to be able to say with any certainty. We have a whole 12 months before Rogue One. 
 
And this might be slightly off topic, but I find it interesting that in a year where we got a terrible Terminator sequel and watchable but dumb Jurassic Park sequel that traded on the nostalgia of the originals, we got a new Star Wars movie that managed to capture that same nostalgia while still feeling new and exciting. 
 
Alex:

Rogue One will be directed by the same guy who gave us the last Godzilla movie, so who knows? I kind of enjoyed Godzilla, but I didn’t think it was anything mind blowing. The idea of telling the story behind the stolen Death Star plans is interesting though. It’s actually a way better idea for a prequel than three movies with a young Darth Vader whining and crying.

I’ve read rumors that one of the spinoff movies will be about Boba Fett. I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with me, but I can’t think of a character from Star Wars that is more overrated than Boba Fett. I’m not saying that it’s a bad character, I just don’t get the whole cult following thing. As far as I can see, Boba Fett had two things going for him.

1) He looks cool
2) He’s mysterious

Now I understand there is a little more back story explained in the prequels (which I hated and have forgotten about on purpose), but I don’t see a whole lot to draw on for a story. Besides, wouldn’t it just expose a character who is only cool because we don’t know anything about him?

As for nostalgia, we’re in agreement. I actually got pretty excited for Jurassic World, which I felt was a pretty big letdown. There were a few other bright spots this year, though. The Wet Hot American Summer series on Netflix was pretty solid. Creed tapped into what worked about the Rocky franchise without completely rehashing it. Hell, my favorite movie of the year was a Mad Max reboot! Star Wars really lived up to and exceeded by expectations. It actually got me excited about Star Wars again. If you had told me six months ago that I would be doing a whole conversation piece about Star Wars, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Adam:
 
I didn’t see Godzilla. I heard mixed things about it, though. We’ll see. I would agree that Rogue One has the more interesting premise. And it has a better chance than the actual prequels, because the only required story element is “rebels steal Death Star plans.” It allows a little more freedom in terms of storytelling. The only other confirmed spinoff is the Han Solo movie, which I’m much more skeptical about. How do you recast someone else as Han Solo? If they can get that part right, then it might end up working. 
 
I’m very happy to know I’m not alone in my opinion about Boba Fett. A cool looking plot device, but not much of a character. I assume a movie would be about him going from bad actor kid to competent bounty hunter, but imagine if they did a Boba Fett movie in the style of a Sergio Leone western? Fistful of Dollars with Fett in the Clint Eastwood role. That could be cool. 
 
It’s hard to get too excited about spinoffs, though, because it’s really just a rebooting of the expanded universe. It’s very likely someone wrote a book or comic about rebels stealing the Death Star plans at some point in the last 40 years. And, I think I said this before, but the vast majority of the old expanded universe was not particularly good. As far as I’m concerned, it’s 50/50 as to whether Disney will pull this off or not.
 
Mad Max set a standard in so many ways. And there’s a good comparison there, new movies made from old franchises that update in the best ways possible. Both Fury Road and The Force Awakens took what worked before and did it again in a modern way. And I’d have to say the same thing. I never stopped loving Star Wars, but the fact that I’m now eagerly anticipating Episode VIII, drawing the new characters, even (nerd alert) buying some of the toys shows how much Abrams and company succeeded with this new movie. Star Wars is back!

1907514_1083815424978254_5819057157408723426_n  Alex co-hosts The Lowbrow Podcast, follow them @lowbrowpodcast

 

me_stru Adam is a comic writer and illustrator for SubHero Productions. Follow him on twitter @AdManComics

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