J.J.Abrams responds to criticisms that Star Wars: The Force Awakens director is just another New Hope!

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Written by Gavin1,112 Reads6 Comments2016-01-08 23:14:12

Some moviegoers, fans, critics and even franchise creator George Lucas have voiced dissastisfaction that Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the latest instalment in the long running Star Wars saga relies too heavily on the narrative and character beats of the 1977 original, Star Wars: A New Hope. So heavy are some of these criticisms that they have referred to the new movie as a reboot or remake of the 1977 original.

Speaking to THR the director of The Force Awakens J. J. Abrams has responded to the criticisms and citing the reasons he feels the movie needed to step backward before it could step forward. Our opinion follows Abrams comments...

“It was obviously a wildly intentional thing that we go backwards, in some ways, to go forwards in the important ways, given that… ‘Star Wars’ is a kind of specific gorgeous concoction of George [Lucas]’s that combines all sorts of things. Ultimately, the structure of ‘Star Wars’ itself is as classic and tried and true as you can get. It was itself derivative of all of these things that George loved so much, from the most obvious, ‘Flash Gordon’ and Joseph Campbell, to the [Akira] Kurosawa references, to Westerns — I mean, all of these elements were part of what made ‘Star Wars.'”

“I can understand that someone might say, ‘Oh, it’s a complete rip-off!’ We inherited ‘Star Wars.’ The story of history repeating itself was, I believe, an obvious and intentional thing, and the structure of meeting a character who comes from a nowhere desert and discovers that she has a power within her, where the bad guys have a weapon that is destructive but that ends up being destroyed — those simple tenets are by far the least important aspects of this movie, and they provide bones that were well-proven long before they were used in ‘Star Wars.'”

“What was important for me was introducing brand new characters using relationships that were embracing the history that we know to tell a story that is new — to go backwards to go forwards. So I understand that this movie, I would argue much more than the ones that follow, needed to take a couple of steps backwards into very familiar terrain, and using a structure of nobodies becoming somebodies defeating the baddies — which is, again, I would argue, not a brand new concept, admittedly — but use that to do, I think, a far more important thing, which is introduce this young woman, who’s a character we’ve not seen before and who has a story we have not seen before, meeting the first Storm Trooper we’ve ever seen who we get to know as a human being; to see the two of them have an adventure in a way that no one has had yet, with Han Solo; to see those characters go to find someone who is a brand new character who, yes, may be diminutive, but is as far from Yoda as I think a description of a character can get, who gets to enlighten almost the way a wonderful older teacher or grandparent or great-aunt might, you know, something that is confirming a kind of belief system that is rejected by the main character; and to tell a story of being a parent and being a child and the struggles that that entails — clearly ‘Star Wars’ has always been a familial story, but never in the way that we’ve told here.”

“And yes, they destroy a weapon at the end of this movie, but then something else happens which is, I think, far more critical and far more important — and I think even in that moment, when that is happening, the thing I think the audience is focused on and cares more about is not, ‘Is that big planet gonna blow up?’ — ’cause we all know it’s gonna blow up. What you really care about is what’s gonna happen in the forest between these two characters who are now alone.”

There is no denying that Star Wars: The Force Awakens does reuse many elements from not just A New Hope, but also from Empire Strikes Back and even Return of the Jedi. While arguments and counter arguments, and counter-counter arguments could be made about the recycled ideas versus the original ideas we here at Scified will instead defer to a line of dialogue from the actual movie...

"Its another Death Star?"

Immediately following this question, using a holographic display the original Death Star is compared to the new Starkiller Base; much like comparing Earth to Jupiter. Throughout the movie many, many beats are recycled, but this time around they have impact. Maybe the scene in which the Starkiller Base is used may not have the impact it was meant to but the base does feel more threatening than that slowly moving moon from the original. While Reys introduction is just a rehash of both Luke and Anakins introduction, she is a much stronger character, both interally and within the context of the story. Unlike Anakin and Luke, Rey ain't no whiny bitch.

Put simply, Rey kicks arse!

In "that" scene with Han Solo, although you know what is about to happen it has much more impact than the mirroring scene from A New Hope featuring Obi Wan Kenobi because we are more emotionally invested in the character. Even Leia's scene that follows holds more weight than the similar scene in which Obi Wan felt the destruction of Alderaan.

Yeah, The Force Awakens shamelessly recycles ideas just like Return of the Jedi did in 1983, but it does it well. We care about the characters, we laugh at the jokes, cry at the heartbreaks and cheer when the action kicks in. Star Wars is back, and in much better hands than it was with the prequels!

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6 Comments

GG

Moderator2KJan-09-2016 7:27 AM

It does not matter, it still is a rehash and a terrible one at that. I literally fell asleep in this poor excuse for a Star Wars film.

#BringBackLucas

RR44

MemberInitiateJan-09-2016 11:51 AM

aside from the spectacular effects... I agree with gorillagodzilla. nothing new here as far as a creative storyline. Disappointing to say the least. Rey comes across as being a nobody. We'll probably be told later that she is a half sister to Han Solo's son... and she was left behind for some darn good reason... just like Luke. 

RR44

MemberInitiateJan-09-2016 11:53 AM

also.. the title of the film.... was the force sleeping ???? gimme a break.

GG

Moderator2KJan-09-2016 3:13 PM

^I know right.

That_OT_Ruler

MemberNoobJan-22-2016 12:39 PM

I love how he doesn't deny that it's a remake. He just says the needed to do it.

You heard it from the man himself. They had to do it... What a terribly overrated rehashed movie...

Thoughts_Dreams

MemberRespectedJan-24-2016 9:29 AM

Maybe that but at least it was lot better than episode 1 2 and 3 (the prequels). I don't mind new things but new things are not always good.

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