Is James Cameron Right About Star Wars 7?
Can I share a secret with you all real quick? (*looks around room*) (*leans in*)
I’m not a huge Star Wars guy.
I know, I know, I’m the worst. Look, it’s not that I have anything against the Star Wars films (the original trilogy, anyways) – they’re perfectly serviceable sci-fi films that were obviously pretty extraordinary in terms of scope and world-building for their time – but like the latest Marvel event film and the music of Dave Matthews, I always seem to find myself on the outside of the crowd yelling “This? This is your God?!” while being pelted with rocks by everyone else who seems to be trapped in a state of blissful awe.
Luckily, it seems that none other than Avatar director James Cameron seems to share my opinion of Star Wars, or at least, JJ Abrams’ The Force Awakens. In a recent interview with Hannah Litchfield that *definitely* won’t be blown out of proportion by every media outlet that picks it up, Cameron admitted to being a bit underwhelmed by The Force Awakens:
“I don’t want to say too much about the film. I have to say that George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination, and this film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before and characters you had seen before, and it took a few baby steps forward with new characters. So for me, the jury’s out. I want to see where they go with it.”
Having just caught The Force Awakens a couple weeks ago, I’d have to agree with Cameron’s take - though I don’t necessarily mean it in the negative. To me, the biggest problem with the criticism that was aimed at Abrams’ Star Wars was its source: mainly, adults who thought that this movie was being made specifically for them.
Even as someone who loathes the idea of remakes, I understand that most of them are used as a way of introducing a new generation to a property that they might not have been drawn to otherwise, and that’s essentially what The Force Awakens was trying to do. Was it a tad repetitive when compared to A New Hope? Of course it was, but The Force Awakens was not created to pay lip-service to the legions of 30 or 40-something year-olds whose childhoods were all but defined by the original trilogy, as shocking as it might be for some of them to hear. It was created to press the reset button on the franchise and reintroduce the saga to a different, younger audience who might not know who (*gasp*) Harrison Ford or James Earl Jones are.
To me, The Force Awakens was a perfectly standard film with some predictably beautiful cinematography and predictably wooden performances, but most certainly not something to be held as either the gold standard of storytelling nor an absolute pile of trash from start to finish, a lens through which most diehard Star Wars fans seemed to view it. I guess I just don’t understand the obsessive aspect of Star Wars fandom, and the same goes for The Force Awakens. I can only imagine the shit that Rian Johnson is going to get if he doesn’t create anything shy of the greatest film ever made with the next chapter, but maybe the unfavorable rumors surrounding Rogue One will help take some pressure off his shoulders.
Probably not, though.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is currently in theaters. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be in theaters December 16, 2016. Star Wars: Episode VIII will open on December 15, 2017. Star Wars: Episode IX should arrive in 2019.