Friday, 22 January 2016

A long, long time ago...

No, it hasn't taken me five weeks to see Star Wars.  Just five weeks to blog about it.

Let me start off by saying that what JJ Abrams has done with Star Wars is a triumph, certainly in comparison with the previous Lucas-driven drivel, his cracking storylines about galactic taxes (or something) and obsession that no frame can have enough furry CGI vermin.

I took the scrolling yellow text, fading to infinity, as a given.  And then the star destroyer filling the screen, then dwarfing the audience, then dwarfing Exeter itself.  That filled me with the belief that we were back on the right track.

And then a rollercoaster ride.  Brilliant.

But, alongside the childlike grin, I started to get a strange feeling.  The unhappy young adult trapped on a planet at the arse end of the universe from which he/she escapes on the Millennium Falcon, shepherding a droid with information encoded within it that has to be got to the right people...  A baddy in a black mask...  The spherical death machine in space, which still has an unguarded letterbox to post shit through...  Even an obligatory cantina scene.

Hold on.  This isn't a continuation of the story; this is a bloody reboot, a remake.

And, as if to really highlight the point, the ending...  What do you think that's setting us up for?  Okay, so it's more windswept island than swamp but, really, do I need to draw you a diagram? 

I know I'm not the first to point any of this out - there's a line of us as long as the ones outside the cinemas back in '77.  When, exactly, did JJ do anything truly original?  Super 8?  Since then it's been oh-so-clever remakes.  There are meant to be an infinite number of stories in the universe (or is it seven?) - so why repeat them?

But maybe the last laugh is on JJ.  I've said several times before in these postings that those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.  At my most paranoid I've wondered whether we'll be rebooting the Great War in ten years time, with our current tweens and teens, conscripted boots on the ground, in the Holy Land against the massed ranks of ISIS.

Maybe that's his point.  What comes around, goes around.  A long, long time ago stories were told for the first time, but not the last.

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