I almost sort of didn't hate "The Force Awakens" this time. But instead of being annoyed at what a derivative ripoff of "Star Wars" it is, I was annoyed by the dumb story choices and all the ways you can now see in hindsight the ball would be dropped in the sequels.
Just to give an example of the ball dropping: in TFA, Rey is summoned by Anakin and Luke's lightsaber. Then at the end of "Rise of Skywalker" comes that infamous punchline, "Rey Skywalker." Now, the lightsaber chose Rey. "It calls to you," Maz Kanata says in TFA.
Rey, therefore, has earned the right to call herself "Skywalker." The Force has chosen her to inherit the Skywalker legacy. Yet Abrams is such a poor storyteller that it never occurs to him to connect the two things. And that's why the sequel trilogy is so bad.
And this was a thing Abrams came up with himself. It would've made perfect sense for him to refer back to the way Rey gets the lightsaber in TFA at the end of ROS, especially since the movie ends with her burying it. But nope. No follow through, no connections, nothing.
There is a good movie in TFA somewhere. Shot-for-shot remake of the opening of "Star Wars" though it is, the opening of TFA is quite strong; the village assault is a good set-piece. Finn and Poe's escape from the star destroyer is good, too.
TFA goes off the rails the minute Han Solo and Chewbacca show up, and it goes off the rails the minute they show up because of how they show up. They're thrown into the movie, forced into story instead of being allowed to appear as a natural progression of the plot.
I explained why Han Solo's presence in TFA doesn't work here. I stand by every word.
The entire last act of "The Force Awakens" is a travesty. The whole thing is a ripoff, but early on it feels more like homage. The end is straight imitation, like they stopped trying even to pretend they weren't just remaking "Star Wars." The Starkiller Base attack is a joke.
Also - and I've said it before - even after being shot in the side, Kylo Ren should've still wiped the floor with Rey. Luke Skywalker was training with Yoda and still got his ass kicked by Darth Vader. Rey's never held a lightsaber before and she still beats Kylo Ren? Yeah, no.
I kinda like "Rise of Skywalker." (Yes, I'm the one guy who does). I have a suspicion I'm really not going to like it now. I hadn't seen TFA in a few years, and neither it nor "The Last Jedi" since ROS was released. I suspect my views will change seeing them together now.
Every time Adam Driver took his helmet off in "The Force Awakens," he reminded me of Timotheeeeeee in the "Dune" trailer.
Disney has done and is doing some good things with "Star Wars." But the sequel trilogy was the centerpiece of its custodianship of the franchise and they should never be forgiven for how they botched it. Never, ever, ever.
As a postscript to my latest musings on "The Force Awakens," if you've never seen this video, spend four minutes watching it. There's a fine line between homage and imitation. But JJ Abrams never found it and was always on the wrong side of it. vimeo.com/160263943
One reason I didn't like "Rogue One" is because it continued the pastiche approach begun in TFA. Being derivative was, as it turned out, not even close to the biggest flaw of the Disney films and, especially, the sequels. But no one knew that at the time.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Varad Mehta

Varad Mehta Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @varadmehta

6 Jul
Note how he never says it is right to teach CRT, only that is wrong not to. This reasoning exemplifies the basic incoherence of his argument.
The fundamental incoherence of French's argument, however, is truly revealed in this passage: "A wiser response to problematic elements of what is being labeled critical race theory would be twofold: propose better curriculums and enforce existing civil rights laws."
First, there is no logical reason that an alternative curriculum to CRT would be "better." Or that one is necessary. Removing CRT from the existing curriculum would, from the perspective of its opponents, would alone make it better. Which would satisfy French's first proposal.
Read 12 tweets
6 Jul
It's hard to believe the footage that makes up "Summer of Soul (. . . or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised") sat untouched for a half-century. But it did. Better late than never. It's a remarkable find and finally getting the due it deserves. Definitely worth seeing.
The music alone makes it worth the price of admission: Nina Simone, the Staple Singers, Sly and the Family Stone, David Ruffin, the Fifth Dimension, Mahalia Jackson, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Hugh Masekela, the Edwin Hawkins Singers, Stevie Wonder, et al.
The interviews with attendees of the Harlem Cultural Festival concerts (most of whom obviously were children in 1969) are very good and give a sense of what it was like to be there. My favorite part was the reaction of surviving artists watching the footage for the first time.
Read 6 tweets
4 Jul
"Just 50% of Americans approve of his job performance overall, a comparatively weak score nearing his six-month mark in office."

Another live-caller poll, another middling job approval number for Joe Biden. abcnews.go.com/Politics/vacci…
"His 50%-42% job approval rating is the fourth-lowest out of the last 14 presidents at about five months in office in polls by ABC and the Post and Gallup previously . . . It's an unusually low rating in a time of strong economic growth." abcnews.go.com/Politics/vacci…
Biden has consistently strong ratings on handling the pandemic, around 2 to 1 approval. But as in other polls, he's double digits underwater on crime and immigration. So what happens to his overall approval next year when COVID isn't nearly as important? abcnews.go.com/Politics/vacci… Image
Read 4 tweets
4 Jul
Was awakened more than once this morning to very loud tapping and rapping sounds coming from outside my window. TAP TAP TAP RAPRAPRAPRAP TAP TAP RAPRAP TAP RAPRAPRAP. Went to investigate. Not one, but two woodpeckers were hammering away at the wooden molding under the roof.
I'm not sure what possessed them start attacking the house now. My best guess is that they are trying to carpenter bee larvae. But why now? The carpenter bees have been trying to make nests under the roof forever. Did the woodpeckers just notice or something?
I mean, this was LOUD. Which made it obnoxious. Especially at 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday. I like woodpeckers, but not quite as much now.
Read 4 tweets
4 Jul
🚨🚨🚨 “Inspector Morse” is on TV.
Was flipping through the cable guide and stumbled across it on one of the PBS channels. It’s the one where the Japanese student is murdered upstairs while Morse is having dinner at an Oxford college.
Didn’t think they still showed it on TV, just on BritBox.
Read 4 tweets
3 Jul
"The gaps are too big and the trend too consistent to ignore the obvious conclusion that over the past two decades Democrats have moved left far more than Republicans have moved right."

This conclusion and the data supporting it are unobjectionable, but that won't stop anyone.
"Moving to the left may help galvanize the progressive base—which is good!—but if it's not done with empathy and tact it risks outrunning the vast middle part of the country, which progressive activists seem completely uninterested in talking to." jabberwocking.com/if-you-hate-th…
"And for God's sake, please don't insult my intelligence by pretending that wokeness and cancel culture are all just figments of the conservative imagination."

Drum's going to get mail. So much mail. jabberwocking.com/if-you-hate-th…
Read 5 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!