All I want for Christmas is a good Star Wars sequel!
December 16, 2015
Hello everyone! I love you and you’re intoxicating!
And, NO!, I am not intoxicated! … Actually, I could be. It really depends on when you’re reading this. Literally, this second as I’m typing these words I am not drunk or sniffing magic markers, but you are not reading this as I type this. Honestly, there’s like a 50/50 shot that I’ve been hitting the Canadian cough syrup or Scottish ‘water of life’ pretty good, but as the words are flowing out of my fingertips – they’re sober ones.
Also, of-fucking-course, you would smell the shit out of magic markers. They’re MAGIC! Why did we even call them that? Not we. They! Of course, they would call them MAGIC markers to get us to by them and then to smell them and give our kindergarten version of ourselves a brief moment of levity in the truly cumbersome world of being a 5 year old.
It’s kind of a chicken or the egg scenario with kids eating glue and the magic markers. Like were they already eating glue and they were so bananas off of that stuff that they fiended to find something else for that next bump and found the magic markers? Or were they all doped off the magic marker fix that they started eating the glue? I feel like either is plausible and that kids are absolute creep bombs.
Anyway… what was I talking about?!
You’re sexual deviants in the best way possible and I want to talk about…
Tomorrow/Thursday night and then officially on Friday – the new fucking Star Wars movie comes out – THE FORCE AWAKENS!
And I’m excited for it. I’ll fully admit that I became excited for it. It was bound to happen, but I was passively fighting it for awhile.
Originally, I wasn’t blown away by the whole idea of more Star Wars movies because of two reasons:
- THE PREQUELS SUCKED. They fucking sucked. I know it. You know it. And all those stupid fucking bloggers out there who have been writing clickbait articles for the past few years being like “Here’s 10 reasons why the prequels were actually good” they fucking know it. They really fucking know how bad those movies are that’s why they’re being counter-culture and posting shit that no one is going to agree with to get you clickity clicking on it. You played right into their got-dam hands. IT’S A TRAP! … Get it! That’s a fucking Star Wars reference. A Star Wars reference that is predominantly used on messageboards frequented by straight males who post pictures of a transexual man to woman who looks pretty hot and then some are like I’d bang that chick and the other’s are like IT’S A TRAP I’ve seen that hot chick picture before and it’s really a dude and then they’re all like AHHHHH YOU’RE GAY!!!, and really everyone should just chill out because hot is hot and, secondly, let’s all marvel at how hot some of these men transitioning to become women can get nowadays – that’s like let’s marvel at the complexity and beauty of the Sistine Chapel. We did this! Humanity did this! And yeah, the prequels sucked and I’ll talk about them more later.
- DO I REALLY NEED MORE STAR WARS MOVIES? I feel like that is highly valid question. We’ve got three of them that are amazeballs. Then we got greedy and got three more that I wish someone would just erase from my fucking brain already. So, what’s the point of more? For the most part, it’s just to sell more merchandise because now that Disney owns it – they want to get all that Star Wars cash going their way. I mean people already say that about the original trilogy that it was a cash grab, but luckily we got three excellent movies or more so two excellent sequels after the first movie went gangbusters. So, do we need more?
And that’s where I was at. Obviously, I have no control over whether or not we needed more or whether or not we were going to get more Star Wars movies. So, once they started releasing trailers the question of do we need more became two different questions…
- WILL IT BE ANY GOOD? Serious question. As mentioned, we’ve gone through this before with new Star Wars movies not being any good. Why would this be any different?
- WHAT DO I WANT OUT OF A NEW STAR WARS MOVIE? This will be the main thing that we’ll discuss today. Not to burst your bubble, but I was not smuggled under Lupita Nyong’o’s dress or inside Peter Mayhew’s pants to see the London premiere on Tuesday, so I have not seen the movie. But I have been thinking mightily about what I would like out of this movie.
Let’s talk about the movie in general and hypothesize a bit about the former bullet point up there before we get to the latter…
THE FORCE AWAKENS
It’s directed by J.J. Abrams and is written by a crew of people involving Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Arndt, Abrams, and, maybe, someone else. I can’t remember. And from what the press has said, George Lucas was not involved in the making of this movie.
Ok. Abrams. Well, I like Abrams. I don’t think I would go further than that. He seems like a film director. He’s got the glasses, the hair, the Jewishness, and he does make pretty looking movies or TV shows. But I’m not like bowled over by the dude. The best thing that he’s done that I can point to as a solely him kind of operation is Mission Impossible III and I like that movie quite a bit. I didn’t like either of the Star Trek movies he made and I never watched a minute of Alias. He was one of the original creative forces that made Lost and I loved Lost… still do. I loved the ending as well. Super 8 was ok. I thought the alien at the end was terrible and I think I thought the ending itself was kinda bad, but the movie was good outside of that.
The key thing might be or not be the Star Trek movies. There is a big difference or could be a big difference between the Trek and Wars movies and that’s Abrams is not trying to get you to like a reboot. In some ways, The Force Awakens looks like a reboot with several characters seeming eerily similar to characters from the original trilogy, but at the very least they are not those EXACT characters. In Trek, he’s got the nearly impossible task of trying to convince you that Chris Pine as William Shatner is better than William Shatner as William Shatner. Sure, Pine is better to look at, but it just doesn’t make any sense from the get go that you’re going to allow that to happen in your brain to like Pine as Shatner better than or just as much as all of your nostalgia and previous feelings of Shatner as Shatner.
I didn’t watch Star Trek the TV show. I’ve watched most of the movies and even for me those movies just seem soulless because it’s a bunch of people pretending to be other people who are pretending to be something else. Zach Quinto isn’t playing Spock. Zach Quinto is playing Leonard Nimoy’s Spock for all of eternity whether he likes it or not. It’s hard enough to make a compelling movie, but then to rub it in a person’s face that these people are just replacing the people you’ve already formed a bond with is just absurd.
So, there’s a chance that so much of the failure of the Trek movies – some people like them, but I do not – is that they’re doing the whole reboot bit. They’re looking back so much to pay homage to what’s been done and is holy that they’re tripping over their own feet as they attempt to move forward. That’s possible. That’s entirely possible.
The first Trek movie was so much setup and hand-holding. Pine is Kirk, Quinto is Spock, the white kid who is doing that terrible Russian accent is presumably a character who had a terrible Russian accent on the TV show et cetera. The only thing worthwhile in the first movie was Zoe Saldana in that skintight onesie with a mini-skirt and the prospect of Vulcan and hot Saldana sex. Outside of that, it was a dumb movie.
The second Trek movie had similar problems as they tried to reboot Khan, but like be too clever about it. That sucked. The action scenes were derivative too. There were like 5 sci-fi movies where a spaceship crashed into a city as people fled in the span of a year and that’s really all this movie had going for it. They also toned down Khan so much. The idea that a character looks exactly like a dude, but he’s a bit stronger than a normal dude or a bit faster isn’t all that engaging. The best parts of Trek 2 was Alice Eve in her underwear for no other reason than to show Alice Eve in her underwear and then it was Alice Eve’s absolutely fantastic horror reaction to seeing her father killed in front of her. Spoiler? Who cares. That movie sucked. Eve fucking nailed it in those two short moments of a 2.5 hour movie. Also, Cumberbatch has a moment where he is talking to Quinto and Pine and you can clearly see and hear he’s a better actor than they are in this setting. He sounds like he’s doing King Lear and they sound like they’re doing some shitty Star Trek 2 reboot.
While we’re talking Trek, I didn’t like the new BEYOND trailer. If I end up seeing that movie, it will be way way way down the line. Cannot imagine going out of my way to see it. And I like Justin Lin, but I’m over this Trek reboot.
But this is WARS not TREK. I know. I know.
As for the writers, Kasdan wrote EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI. That’s a good sign for sure. At the same time, who has more say? Disney or the writers? I’m guessing Disney. So, Kasdan could help create the dialogue like he did in EMPIRE and JEDI that is fun and better than A NEW HOPE’s dialogue. And Arndt wrote Little Miss Sunshine. That’s wonderful. And Toy Story 3 and some of Inside Out. Great. I’ll assume that Oblivion isn’t his fault. I’ll just assume that.
That central team seems capable of making a good movie for sure. And they’ve hired a litany of pretty and interesting actors to fill out the cast. Oscar Isaac, Lupita, Gwedoline Christie, Domhnail Gleeson, Adam Driver, John Boyega, and the freshest of fresh faces Daisy Ridley. Great, right? And they’re bringing back Harrison, Mark, and Carrie.
But we all know this already, KAY-SWIDGE-IZZLE!!!!! GET TO IT!!! WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WANT?!?!?!?!?!?
Well, I want what I believe was promised with PHANTOM MENACE and more.
Another way of saying that would be, I want a not dumb version of PHANTOM MENACE.
In many ways, this is also what I’m expecting the movie will be. In many ways, I think this is what the movie should be or has to be or whatever. Why? Well, PHANTOM MENACE is like A NEW HOPE, but they fucked it up.
We got a new cast of characters that are both different than the original trilogy while still paying homage to the original trilogies characters. I mean Obi-Wan is still the “same” Obi-Wan, but Ewan’s Obi-Wan is absolutely different than Alec’s Obi-Wan and it’s fine because he’s not supposed to be the same. He’s basically a brand new character. And he’s compelling. A man who is a jedi, but is a young jedi. That’s something we want to see. But the real deal…
DARTH MAUL. They fucking nailed it and fucked it up at the same time. Darth Maul is a guy running 80 yards untouched to a touchdown and then drops the ball before the goal line. Darth Maul was THE new bad guy we all wanted. He was instantly recognizable as a badass and he had two red lightsabers and he just fucking killed it as a bad guy. Or as the idea of a great bad guy. And then they killed him. Poof! All that work for nothing. He was on all the posters, the toys, and is easily the most recognizable thing from that movie and… POOF! He was gone. He had a couple scenes, he talked once, which was stupid and then he died. What the fuck was the point of all that? Darth Maul could have been THE guy. In the first Star Wars we meet Darth Vader and we’re enthralled. What if he died at the end of the movie? Would there even be sequels?
I remember, vividly remember when ATTACK OF THE CLONES was announced or even when we thought it was called CLONE WARS and people truly believed we were going to see an army of Darth Mauls or at least another Darth Maul. Did we? Nope. He was just a guy and they killed him and when the first movie is over, there’s absolutely zero momentum going for it into the next movie. At the end of A NEW HOPE, Vader lives and he’s going to get his shit together with the Emperor and they’re going to come back. You haven’t seen the Emperor and you don’t know who he is, but Vader is force choking people and he can fly a spaceship and he can kill Obi-Wan Kenobi with a lightsaber, so that bad ass motherfucker is going to be back and this time – he’ll be pissed.
That’s what I want. I want a great villain again.
I don’t have any real theories about what’s going to happen in FORCE AWAKENS, but I want a bad guy or multiple bad guys to exist, to be formidable, and to not just up and die. I want the villain(s) to lose, but retreat or survive with a sense that they will be back. I want characters! Characters don’t die with barely a word spoken. Characters have stories and they have epic adventures. That’s what we need.
It seems like Adam Driver is wielding that red light saber this time. It seems like he’s a bad guy. It seems like Gwendoline as Captain Phasma is leading the stormtroopers and that she is bad. I have no idea what happens in the movie or anything, but if they’re investing in these characters to be the big baddies in this movie – then I don’t want them to be fucking dead at the end of it. They can lose, but not die. They could even die, but be brought back to life with mechanical parts. It’s happened before in Star Wars — why waste all the concept art and storyboards and blah blah blah and fucking make a villain that is truly villainous who fucking sticks around. Learn something from Gwendoline’s TV show of Game of Thrones and realize that bad guys are so much worse when they’re still fucking around.
And a hero NEEDS a villain so much more than a villain needs a hero. Villains can be villainous. Always. Until the end of time. Villains just need victims. Heroes, on the other hand, NEED villains to be heroic. A hero needs strife. Don’t waste villains.
That’s the main thing I want — villains who are not scrapped.
Honestly, it makes so fucking little sense to me for them to dispose of villains at the end of this movie wrapping everything up with a neat bow because it’s guaranteed there will be more of these movies made. Why waste everything you made in this movie to only need to start over again in the next one? That was an enormous problem with the prequels and is a problem with many big budget action movies in general.
We went from Darth Maul to Count Dooku (and Jango Fett?) to Sidious and Anakin. Each one had a different villain. Each one had to basically reboot the story to get us into what the hell was going on each time. Plus, how stupid was all that? You got Maul who looked super villainous and did all of his own flips and shit to an old man who waved his hands fighting a green CGI-ed gremlin spinning around to that same atrocious CGI-ed green thingamajig against a CGI-ed guy in a black cloak shooting out CGI-ed lightning from his fingertips plus two white guys going at it in a fight that you pretty much know exactly how it’s going to end. And the Jango Fett thing was hilarious because it wasn’t like we knew anything about Boba Fett outside of the fact that we loved him and they went out of their way to give Boba Fett a backstory that makes him not the guy y0u’re going to get to see more of in the prequels. Why wasn’t Boba Fett just like ageless or part robot or whatever? Instead, Obi-Wan fights Boba’s dad because that made sense to some moron.
Ok, back to the point, a villain or villains.
Also, I don’t want too much fan service.
I know we’re going to get some considering there has to be plus Harrison, Mark, Carrie, and Chewbacca are back. I feel like some of them will die, if not all of them. I don’t think that’s necessary, but I feel like there’s a good chance of that because that’s what they do in movies and TV shows – they think they can’t use a character, so they kill it.
There was fan service in Phantom Menace, but like most things in that movie – it was dumb. Like Anakin making C3P0. That was stupid. Just stupid. Like fucking real stupid.
Also, fan service is really a misnomer. It’s blaming the fan. The writer or director or whomever did the servicing is to blame. If you want to make a new movie and you can’t figure out how to make it fit with the other movies and you just jerryrig it together because you think that will make the fans happy? Nope. You need to just do a better job. Also, fans don’t want the stupid winks and so forth to the old movies because that takes you out of the current movie you’re in.
Please as little “fan service” as possible.
Lastly, don’t force a love interest if there isn’t one.
Say what you will about Tom Cruise, but two of his latest movies I loved and they didn’t force a love story into them and I think most films would have. JACK REACHER and EDGE OF TOMORROW. In both movies, Tom is teamed up with a gorgeous London woman in Rosamund Pike and Emily Blunt, respectively. Neither has a Hollywood love story to be spoken of.
In Reacher, Tom flirts with Rosamund, but he does so no more or less than any character flirts with any other character in the movie. The snappy dialogue where the characters push each other’s buttons happens between practically every character in the movie. Tom saves Rosamund’s life not because he has banged her or hopes to bang her, but he does so because he is the hero, he wants to kill the bad guys, and she’s also a hero of the story who is alongside him for the ride. It’s not because they’re going to have babies together. There is a kiss at the end, but it’s not much and it’s more of a thank you for saving my life kiss.
Similarly, there is a kiss at the end of Edge of Tomorrow with Blunt, but it’s more of a thank you for all you’ve done. Throughout that movie, Tom actually begins to love Blunt as the marvelous human she is and for how little he wants to see her die. It’s not even a flirtatious relationship. Tom’s character doesn’t really want anything to do with her, but she’s the key to getting him out of this loop. She’s beautiful, sure. But her character is first about being this powerful killing machine who can teach him to be a killing machine to him learning her humanity and him becoming attached to her.
If there is to be a love story, and there will be, in Force Awakens – I don’t want it to be stuffed in there like a square peg in a round hole.
After recently re-watching the original trilogy, Han and Leia’s love is complicated and it is not satiated for fan service quickly. It builds. Also, Han is quite the emotionally fragile guy with Leia and Luke. They drive him to act differently than he would normally. To the point, in Return of the Jedi, Han says Leia can be with Luke if she likes him better. That’s pretty fucking bold and shows how much of a guy-boner he’s got for Luke. Like Leia has already told Han she loves him, saves his life, but he is willing to step aside if her thing with Luke is a better deal. It genuinely seems like Han believes that Leia is two-timing him with Luke like the whole time and he’s willing to admit he lost. That’s pretty fucking crazy. It’s also pretty fucking great. I love it.
Of course, it’s a little incest-y with Leia and Luke kissing that one time, but that’s better than the pseudo incest of Padma kind of being Anakin’s defacto mom or Anakin being Padma’s defacto son who grows up to become a big strong man that she bones. I mean isn’t that 100x worse? Seriously, why did they do that?! Anakin goes from being a toddler to James Dean, while Padma goes from being Padma to being Padma. I’m not even sure how Anakin jumps 15 years in puberty while the rest look identical from movie to movie and we’re supposed to be cool with it. Whatever. It’s stupid. Fucking prequels! I HATE THEM!
So, I don’t want a hokey romance if it’s not there.
At the end of A NEW HOPE, the three of them are just chums. Leia and Han flirt a bunch, but that’s Han’s personality and Leia doesn’t give anyone an inch. Sure, Han and Luke think Leia’s hot because they have eyes, but that’s kind of it. There’s a pseudo will they or won’t they, but it’s more so WILL THEY STOP THE GALAXY FROM BEING DESTROYED BY THE EMPIRE AND NOT WHO AM I PLAYING KISSY FACE WITH ON NEW YEAR’S EVE?!?!?!?!?!!?
Anyway, I just noticed that the question mark for whatever font this is that WordPress is using looks pretty cool (KSWI Jordan’s note here… the question mark I was seeing in the type-y my post-y window is not the same question mark that got posted. So, that’s weird. Anyway, there’s like 15 more words until the end!!!! You almost made it!!!). And I’ve also written like 3 gajillion words.
So, I want a good movie.
Please give me a good movie.