Ladies and gentleman, it has happened. Both critics and layman audiences are, at least, content with the newest part of the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens. On the website, Rotten Tomatoes, 94 percent of critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 8.2/10. The same website reports that 90 percent of the audience liked it. IMDb reports an 8.5/10 average rating, out of over 300,000 users. Metacritic averages at 81 percent, out of 52 critics, so far. The facts are simple and undeniable, Star Wars: the Force Awakens is a universally well-liked film. Even if it is not an instant classic, it retains the charm of a space opera fairytale and builds upon Hollywoodesque expectations. To put it blatantly, it is a fun movie.
Even though Disney managed to cause an uproar by declaring a lot of fan-based content (highly encouraged by the previous creators), non-canon, the hardcore Star Wars fans seem to like the new film. It manages to cut on unnecessary half-hour long lightsaber fights, does not mention midi-chlorians, nor does it contain Jar-Jar Binks. For those new to the Star Wars franchise, both the mentioned decision and the film itself are a blessing, since one is not required to be acquainted with the original saga (or the post-made prequels, for that matter), instead, The Force Awakens provides family-friendly PG-13, entertainment.
There is, however, a person who is not impressed. The said person being George Lucas, the creator of the original Star Wars. He recently, on the 25th of December, declared The Force Awakens to be a failed retro film attempt. The grapes he has been sampling were so sour, that he even lashed out and called Disney, “white slaves” [sic!], buying and using his “kids.”
The verdict, however, is quite clear, Lucas has not produced a genuinely successful film for ages. Yes, his films did yield a great financial turnout, even the universally criticized Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but the whole thing revolves around something else, the first Star Wars film produced and released, with no trace of Lucas within, was better than anything he has done so far. This is the cause of his sour grapes attitude. The same universe, even some of the same heroes, with the same storyline, but The Force Awakens is fresh and fun while the previous films were simply famous.
It is apparent that Lucas is struggling with this news. His magnum opus, beloved child, and source of pride was sold, refurbished, and served on a silver platter; appetizing and zesty. Instead of rehashing the same scenes and ideas over and over, The Force Awakens introduces new concepts, ideas, and provides a fresh look at the franchise.
The new film includes, a female Jedi-in-the-making, the angsty and tormented, son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, who is struggling to get out of his grandfather’s shadow. His grandfather is infamous Darth Vader, and finally, an ex-stormtrooper who is shown as a human being, instead of a bland and blind pawn. Even skeptics were generally satisfied and that says a lot about Lucas.
The moral of the story is quite simple: artists who are burned out, need to get rid of the sour grapes and give access of their creations to the younger generation, so it can evolve and flourish. After all, culture is meant to be shared and expanded. There is one more thing that has to be said, those who are unsure whether to see the movie, do it. However, be prepared for a PG-13, sentimental, retro-friendly journey into the rich, visually pleasing aesthetics of Hollywood. What surprises most is the script and plot are quite decent as well!
By Mateusz Sykula
The Original Video by George Lucas
Image Courtesy of Red Touch Media’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License