Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I write about my heresy. Finally went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens with a friend. We waited until the crowds had thinned. I'm not a Star Wars fanatic. Saw the first three and ignored the next batch. This latest effort, a Disney product, seemed to me a tired retread. The original actors are all there, but long in tooth and slow of action or enthusiasm. New characters—yawn. Sorry, BB-8. Only Maz Kanata, the green mama san, surely a product of Yoda and some promiscuous Minion, adds spark. But the fighters were the same, the storm trooper costumes showed little tweaking, and the barren scavenger's camp ho-hum familiar. Even the outpost's bar, delightful in the original, was tiresome in its reincarnation. The villains were formulaic and not very scary to boot. Boring. That this latest entry in the story raked in truckloads of cash is no surprise. Those who grew up with Star Wars—and now their children—flocked to the theater, drawn by Disney's industrial scale marketing. But for me, nothing had changed. Hollywood knows how to run an original idea into the ground—and will continue to do so as long as its coffers are filled to overflowing. Star Wars is not alone in this exercise. Will film fans be sucked in by Mission Impossible #20? At least Creed put a creative twist on a geriatric Rocky Balboa. Even the hammy cult favorite Point Break has resurfaced in a remake. Spectacular special effects give this new version jaw-dropping action but it begs the question: Have the studios run out of original ideas? Hopefully not, though it seems as if the suits demand a return to proven winners in order to rake it in—even if both script and stars are showing their age.

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