The Empire of the galaxy is trying to crush the rebellion and destroy the Republic, unless a droid can get a message to the only one who can help them.
Wait, isn’t that the original Star Wars? (episode IV for you fanatics)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is like one big homage to the original Star Wars. Or is it a remake?
And that’s coming from a fan of the original and Empire Strikes Back (except for the godless worldview :-).
All the other four movies were horrible boring pedantic wastes of precious time.
Oh, yeah, I know, I’m “an idiot” because this one will be the biggest box office phenomenon in movie history, so what do I know? But I think there are two main reasons why it is a hit:
#1. And pretty much the biggest reason. All of us want to see Han, Chewy, Luke and Leia again. Period. That alone will draw gazillions. But that doesn’t make it a great story.
#2. The original story was successful, so Abrams ditched the dead end self-indulgent narcissism of Lucas’ prequels and remade the original. Cleverly and ruthlessly calculated for marketing formulas.
The sad and ironic truth is that much of Hollywood’s success in sequels is simply retelling the same exact original story in a new context. People want more of the same, over and over again. And that is why many tentpole movies and other mainstream movies recycle the same stuff over and over again.
It’s not always bad. I mean that’s why genre movies work: formulas. Formula isn’t always bad. And I could give a million examples of great stories in history that are refurbished or rewritten versions of previous stories (Empire is arguably better than IV). So, I’m not saying it doesn’t work or that it’s all wrong. The goal is to reinterpret and add unique twists that clothe that success with a fresh take. Disguise the homage, don’t trumpet it.
In this case, I thought the redux was uninspiring and forgettable. Okay, I loved to see Han and Chewy again. Even though poor Han at his age can barely fight anymore. And a few lines were kinda funny. And I do love a story pitting a Republic against an Empire.
So, this movie replays so many things that were reminiscent of the original. And I’m sure Star Wars religious fanatics could list off more than these:
Spoiler Alert (But not really, because I already revealed everything in the headline)
- Luke on a desert planet who doesn’t realize his own greatness. New twist, he’s a girl, and he wants to get back home instead of leave home. Gender equality!
- An “almost love interest” between Lukess and her helper (like Luke and Leia). Wait for the second movie on this one too. But there is a twist: The taboo of them being brother and sister is replaced with an interracial romance.
- Lukess finds a droid that has a hologram message to get to Obi Wan Kenobi to save everyone. But this time, It’s to Leia. Help us, Leia Organa, you’re our only hope.
- Luke is now Obi Wan Kenobi. But he’s a little better at hiding than Obi was.
- The Millennium Falcon as a central hot rodster. The coolest spaceship in all movie history. Of course it has to be there. It’s all good. Except for the ridiculous fact that after years of unused storage, it can instantly jump into hyperspace at a moment’s notice. One of the original things that was cool about the original was how the ship had a lot of mechanical problems, so this new twist works against it.
- The Cantina scene with alien musicians playing jazz, and monster suits (ok, better CGI this time). New twist: Han doesn’t fire first! Han doesn’t fire at all.
- A Death Star that is just about ready to blow up a planet of the rebels. But this time, a unique twist! The Death Star is TEN TIMES BIGGER!
- A Darth Vader again. And he wears a helmet and speaks through a distorted speaker again. But the unique twist is, this time, he doesn’t HAVE to wear the helmet that allows him to speak through a 1960s quality audio microphone, he wears it JUST TO LOOK SCARY!! I kid you not. And there’s a double twist. The reason why he wears it to look scary is because he is not actually scary at all without the helmet. He’s just a soft metrosexual Millennium kid with long feminine flowing hair. Maybe he went to the dark side because he has gender dysphoria and blamed his parents.
- Luke flying down the canals of the Death Star to hit the one part of the ship that will blow it all up. Different guy this time. The twist, no “wombat” line.
- Oh yeah, they blow it up.
- A father/son good guy/bad guy confrontation where one falls from a great height. (Okay, that’s Empire, so an homage to the best of Empire too)
- A description about the Force uniting all things and through all things, blah blah blah. A virtual lift from the original script of Star Wars: A New Hope. I guess the twist is that they wanted to get away from that biological miti-chlorians or whatever that materialist construct was and back to the spooky spiritual version of the Force.
- There are lots more, but I don’t care to waste more time on this.
Probably the biggest disappointment was the feminist angle on the action genre. It just doesn’t work.
In homage to the gender confusion of our culture, Lukess is a girl, but given a male name, Ray.
The ridiculous absurdities that proceed to pile up by making a female action heroine are too much to bear, even for my suspension of disbelief, which is pretty dang tolerant.
MOVIE FANTASY: It’s all about “women are no different from men,” and “women can do anything men can do.” So of course, Lukess can be a scavenger just as well as the original Luke could! (Which was funny watching her struggling to drag a small pile of scavenged pieces. Even then, I bet the pieces were made of plastic). And she is a brilliant mechanic who can fix and fly anything. She doesn’t really need a man to save her. She learns the force instantly and can wield a light sabre with the skill of a trained Jedi, all without having to be trained (Wow, better than a man! Luke needed to be trained by Yoda for that!). She can fight and shoot and climb anywhere just like a man! The height of ridiculousness though was watching her equal another Jedi in a light sabre match, having never used a light sabre before, AND she was equal in strength as they wrestled for control. It was ludicrous, this skinny little woman in a physical standstill with an experienced Jedi two feet taller than her. Except for the fact that she was fighting a feminized metrosexual Millennial with soft flowing hair, so maybe it wasn’t all that far off the mark.
SCIENTIFIC FACT: The Army Rangers, the Marines, Air force, Fire departments and police departments all over the country are lowering or working on lowering their historically validated standards to allow women to be able to meet the “basic requirements” of serving in combat or other physical duties in civil service. Even then, most of the female Ranger cadets couldn’t make it. Hey, I thought gender was a social construct?! The latest study has proven that this lowers the fighting skill and quality of the forces and will result in many more dead soldiers and citizens. But that doesn’t matter. Science deniers care more about social engineering their Brave New World of ideology than about biological reality.
I guess our culture doesn’t worship science as god anymore.
So, while the notion of a female action heroine may be a fun, and often funny, and ironic twist for the movies, in the real world it is quite literally killing people.
20 comments on “Star Wars VII: Star Wars IV Redo with Female Feminist Luke”
There is nothing new under the sun.
Perfectly succinct commentary on TFA!
… I don’t get it Mr. Godawa… Why are you against female action heroes in someone else’s fiction when you have them in your own? I remember Enoch’s wife and daughter in law in your Nephilim novel, “Enoch Primordial” charging into battle alongside their men and holding their own against giants. You and “Star Wars” have different worldviews in other things but aren’t you in agreement here?
You make an insightful challenge, Juan. Yes, I do have some women warriors in my stories. That is partly to appeal to that element of modern day readers. But I do it with a subversive twist. Like I said, it’s fun for fiction, but it’s not really reality. But the most important thing to ask is what worldview is it in the service of? And in my stories, the bigger context is one of male leadership or headship. So I am trying to say that women can be strong within a Biblical paradigm of male leadership in marriage. In my Jesus Triumphant story I even show women being affirmed by Jesus amidst men who are a bit too chauvinist. So my work is very woman affirming, but within the context of a Biblical paradigm, not a modern day one of egalitarianism or feminism. This is why I believe that the proper response to feminism is NOT male abuse of power, but proper male leadership with strong women. It is too often assumed unfairly that the critique of feminism means you believe in oppressing women. It’s that logical fallacy, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” I hope this helps.
Good sir I was in no way trying to challenge you I merely did not understand a certain part and wished to ask a question.
I suppose your answer does clear things up Mr. Godawa but it was simply that the strident tone of your initial post made it seem as if you were against all female action heroes, even fictional ones thus engaging in an act of self contradiction.
Good day sir.
PS. I do remember your “Jesus Triumphant” novel. Oddly though… I found myself smiling at how seemingly feministic Saint Peter’s blockheadedness and Mary Magdalene’s knowing the truth was. See’ya. 😉
I didn’t take your comments in a bad vein at all. It was a fair challenge. No harm, no foul.
“Women can be strong within a Biblical paradigm of male leadership in marriage.” That is a seriously limited view of women and their leadership. What about unmarried women? I am single, and so is Rey. How about plain old, “Women can be strong” instead? Interpreting the Bible as a whole, we rely on all scripture to shed light on whatever subject we’re trying to understand. God created man and woman in his image, and we are co-heirs in Christ. The Bible includes stories about women who lead whether they’re married or not.
I agree with questioning the worldview in Star Wars and any film. But I disagree that “proper male leadership with strong women” is the best response to feminism. But there are better places to discuss that. I think the mainly male characteristics of action heroes are such ingrained stereotypes that it doesn’t matter whether the role is written for a man or woman. They all act the same. And yes, reality is different. Women are different and have their own unique characteristics that could be applied to roles for women starring as heroes in formulaic movies with that new twist/fresh take you wrote about. Problem is, it’s hard work and worse, a hard sell.
Anyway, my main problem with TFA is exactly what you and others have said – it’s a rehash and a wasted opportunity. How are we supposed to care about the new characters when we know so little about them? Is Disney going to do three movies then do three prequels to tell us how it all came about? Pffft! It’s just extremely poor story-telling and SO unsatisfying.
And I’m REALLY ticked off at the filmmakers for their complete failure to deliver on what’s in the trailers. If you hear Luke Skywalker’s voice in a trailer, you expect to hear it in the movie and have a right to expect it. If you see Leia receiving a light saber, you’re led to believe the scene will be in the film! Who ever heard of putting scenes in a trailer for the SEQUEL of the movie the trailer is supposed to be about?!! Unforgivable. Abrams, Kasdan and Arndt, “You chose poorly.”
Interesting article about where the original Star Wars found its inspiration: http://www.starwars.com/news/the-cinema-behind-star-wars-john-carter
Men and women have their undeniable differences.
Eve didn’t come from Adam’s head in order to rule over him.
Eve didn’t come from Adam’s foot in order to be ruled by him.
Eve came from Adam’s side in order to be his companion. His equal. After all: The whole reason that Adam was bummed out before God created Eve is because, in Eden, there was no one who was his equal.
“Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”
Also: Her name is “Rey.” Not “Ray.”
No disagreement with you, there. I do know it was Rey. I was making a phonetic point.
REY came off vulnerable to me not male. I didn’t say “weak”, vulnerable. She is spirited. But she’s struggling. So what if in reality she couldn’t actually drag all that crap. She didn’t look like it was easy. It looked difficult to me. And the point was it was so hard, it took all day and all her energy, and all she got was 3 bags of dried rations. I think we are not going to only follow her story but also Finn’s in the next episode(s).
I didn’t take her as a feminist character. I’m not one for sticking up for feminism either. I hated what was done to LOTR in adding leading roles and beefing up the female characters of Tolkien’s classic.
But Han and Leia having a daughter (is that who she’s supposed to be, or is she supposed to be Luke’s? or someone totally different?? anyway…) and she being the one to wield the force and her brother/cousin be the one to fall to the dark side is just as viable a story as any. (Yes, yes, all the things about her physically being able to do things, and how quickly did not follow the same logic used in the original, I chalked it up to time. I forgave it.) You said NOTHING about the freak female storm trooper captain of the guard – where is that in Star Wars Empire world? I thought that was definitely pushing feminism, but, she was still a great character. And I loved Finn’s response to her when he came back – Apparently she survives the trash compactor – another homage yes?
It was fine.
And I don’t just mean ok. I mean it was good! No. I mean it was great. Maybe it wasn’t episode 4, I mean it was because they did re-tell a lot of it, but stop it. Stop being so damn cynical and be grateful – YES grateful – in our lifetime we got to see a well-made Star Wars – the NEXT one, Episode VII. It’s good enough. We now know what’s happened to Han and Leia and their kid(s?) and Luke. We see what’s happened to the Republic. It didn’t go like we thought it would. Everybody didn’t live happily ever after. It’s not over.
Yes. – just like here. Now. What’s our Republic like? What are we still dealing with? Again? What new old enemy, weapon are we still struggling against? I have a kid, I thought I raised in the light. I wasn’t a perfect parent. But his struggle with the dark side – it’s of his own choosing. It’s just as “non-sensical” (to me) as Ben walking around wearing a homage to his grandfather’s mask and trying to “rule hell rather than serve heaven” – even though his grandfather repented. You have to be careful being flippant within this story when there are real people who struggle or outright own what you are criticizing in Ben’s character – and there are real parents who are broken over how to help them – and have felt that literary darksaber pierce their soul (small hand raised).
It wasn’t perfect. But it has wings. Let’s hope it flies. There is certainly plenty of fuel for the next generation to take it to great places if we will all let it – and Disney doesn’t ruin it.
I think upon a second viewing and a third we may all be able to better appreciate what was done with this film. I know the more I reflect upon it, the more I am.
I was disappointed with this movie. Sure, the effects were great but really – so what? This film was produced with political correctness as its core objective. JJ Abrams has basically said as much. So instead of restoring the Star Wars awesomeness that was set up by the first two movies (before it started going off the rails) it’s set course for grrrl power ..now with insta-force. I had hoped in vain, but those hopes have gone the way of those unfortunate Republic planets. Oh well, I’ll always be grateful for those first two movies. At least now I know this book has closed and not to waste any more hope.
I saw the movie yesterday and, like Godawa and others who left a comment here, I was disappointed. I agree with Godawa in everything and I would say my two main frustation points are the feminist ideology, which subtlety dominates and undermines the whole film, and the lack of creativity in reprising the fourth episode’s story without almost any significant new plot lines. About feminism in the movie, I would add that not only the main hero is a girl, which gets pretty absurd sometimes given her lack of physical strentgh, jedi experience and training, but also the main male characters in the movie are generally weak or in crisis. At the same time that Rey is mostly taking a stand with the resistance, solving mechanical problems and winning hand-to-hand combats, Finn is mostly in doubt, confused, afraid and getting beaten up. Luke, which was and is supposed to be again the main hero, is in exile hiding because he’s having an existential breakdown. And, lastly, Kylo Ren, which is expected to show particular strength as both a rushless villain and a commander, is shown to be weak and unsure of himself. The only male characters which show some strength, resolve and leadership are Han Solo, which is killed at the end, Snoke, which is a villain, and Poe Dameron, which is an important pilot, but still only a pilot.
You sound like Obi Wan as Luke flies off , “that [movie] was our last hope.” and I say, like Yoda, – “No, there is another…”
I think the trajectory set by the characters in this movie makes it extremely unlikely. The next two will almost certainly be just more of this one. I believe this movie has set itself up to be another pedestrian Star Trek The Next Generation-style movie series. The only ‘hope’ will be if someone buys it from Disney – again, I see that as extremely unlikely.
Lots of broken links at the end of this article.
Why are you people do dissapointed about a movie with female main character? Are you saying there shouldn’t be movies with female main characters? I wouldn’t even call Rey the main character, since there was too many characters and in just one episode we haven’t had enough time to get to know her. Maybe story will focus on another character next time.
Why you people still saying Rey was supposed to be weak? She freaking live on harsh planet all by her own since a childhood, climbing and carrying stuff all day long. She shloud be ripped! Meet any old woman in real life who live in harsh conditions like these, probably in mountins where everybody has to do lots of hard work. She will be stronger than most of young men from cities.
Yeah, sure. If a man and a woman do the same training, eat the same stuff etc. the man is gonna be stronger and it will take him less time. It just mean it’s easier for a man, not impossible for a woman. We see so much more soldiers and ripped men than women, because it’s harder for women to get so strong (more time, more resources). But we have examples that proves it is entairly possible.
Why should not be possible for Rey to win a battle against Kylo Ren? She was good enaugh in battle with her staff to survive at that planet. Kylo was not trained yet. We hear in the movie the master wants somebody to bring Kylo to him, so he could finish the training. More over she was calm and knew what she want to do. Kylo was confused.
Luke was supposed to be girl at first, anyway. (or in some version of draft)
It really is possible only now to introduce a movie like this. Won’t be possible any time sooner because of the state of society. Most of you are good example of people who would make it impossible to succeed. Just because for once it’s not all about people like them. I would really like you to appriciate how much movies focus on male and present them in best possible way. I would like you to imagine what would it be like to be born as a female otherwise in the same conditions you have been born. Me personaly, my heores were allways male characters. I wanted to be like them, because there was nobody else to be alike. Female characters sucks in most movies. Maybe you are just too used to be in the spotlight. It’s not an accusation. I want to help you see it from different angle.
Is it wrong for a little girl to dream about herself being strong and wise? Why? Because she never will be? How is it more appropriate for a boy when most of the boys will also not grow to be Hulk strong and Yoda wise? Is it unrealistic that female would use Force and lightsaber? How more realistic is that for male? Having Force in the story makes male and female characters more equal in fights than they would statisticaly be in real life, because Force does not rely on muscles (which is frankly the only differnce between male and female in terms of fight).
I enjoyed the movie. Even though the storyline was same with the 3rd episode. It was different enaugh. Much more comedic, which was caused by evolution of the “bad guys”. No absolute power. There was nobody to fear. Kylo was not trained, he only could use some of the force and use the lightsaber a little, definitely not like Vader. Nobody respected him. We can see it in the scene where stormtroopers decide to ignore his command and pretend they are not there at all. Or a stormtrooper leaving his job. When you think about it, it makes sense.
Maybe lots of dissapointment comes from missunderstanding. You expect the female character to be weak like Padmé (even though she was able to climb that huge pillar in 2nd episode, how many of you would have done it?) and Kylo to be powerfull as Vader, so it doesn’t make sense to you. You need to let go your prejudices to enjoy the movie. 🙂
* storyline was same with the 4th episode
You’ve missed the point. No-one has a problem with a strong female character. E.g. Everyone loves Sigourney Weaver in the Alien movies.
For the Marines link: http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/08/politics/women-in-combat-general-lower-standards/