2016-01-06 Andrius Grigorjevas

STAR WARS: STORYTELLING FORCE ASLEEP

So I have recently managed to watch STAR WARS: FORCE AWAKENS. A thing of this proportion certainly tells something about the state of storytelling in Hollywood and it is not all rosy.

Warning, spoilers ahead!

THE GOOD POINTS

1. THE HERO – finally, a heroine that doesn’t need a helping hand
2. THE JOKES – wink, wink, nudge nudge works beautifully. Jokes tailored to the most lazy minds out there.
3. EFFECTS – finally, all the plastic effects that have been present in all of the three Star Wars prequels are gone now.

THE BAD POINTS

1. THE UNIVERSAL CONFLICT

universal conflict

The movie follows the traditional cannon and combines at least four different levels of conflict:
1) conflict on personal level – vengeance
2) family conflict – teenage rebellion this time around
3) the Republic and the Order (former Empire)
4) the Light and the Dark side of the force – with the Dark Side having the upper hand (pun not intended)

There are no news here. Every single conflict is transposed from the original movies.

2. DIFFERENT TIMES – SAME BATTLES

different times

Death Star, but a bigger one. I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears when they revealed the main conflict scenario.

3.THE EMPTY EMPTY UNIVERSE

empty universe

So many races packed in one movie and yet none of them matter. They all blend into the background. So many planets and places and none of them matter as you go everywhere in a matter of seconds – the concept of journey is alien to the Star Wars universe. In that sense it is a really tiny galaxy. Even claustrophobic. And mid-way in the film you realize that the Empire (sorry, First Order) lackeys are always a phone-call away.

4. NOTHING FANTASTIC

unfantastic

There is so much going on and yet there isn’t a single fantastic occurrence in the whole film, there are no revelations regarding the force. The only wonder we are left with is guessing at the family relationships between the different characters.

OVERALL

Nostalgic storytelling is an interesting topic in itself, but STAR WARS outdoes itself by faithfully mimicking the internal structure of the original trilogy. Even though on the surface it seems that the story has moved forward, actually it hasn’t. Star Wars follows the same circular time logic that was present in Superman comics, i. e. whatever Superman was doing or whoever he was fighting, every new issue would start with everything going back to point zero with nothing ever moving forward. Let’s hope this fate doesn’t befall the Star Wars universe that resolves around the eternal dis-balance of the force.

SEMIOSEARCH

communication field and its problems never cease to amaze me - the truly brilliant thing is that there are no final answers. I don't understand anything, but I guess nobody does (there just a moderate degree of success in pretending that they do). If you have challenges, questions, topics, themes or projects - contact me and maybe we can crack them together. Andrius