Sunday, December 20, 2015


hey there

yes, as means of an introduction, it is indeed still quite mild here, look you see. but exceptionally windy. hence me being inside typing this rather than outside, doing whatever it is that i might be doing outside. alas, all i have to write about is something that a good many people have already written about. what the heck, i might as well throw my views in, or as it were out there.

yeah, Episode VII is for some reason the number one subject of discussion in the world at the moment. it is the only kind of war on anything that people want to discuss, despite the wars on terror, climate change and quality footwear being at the forefront of what our beloved, most trusted politicians are doing to make the world awesome for us.

in the majority of cases, or if you like your fancy words it is predominantly that people are speaking of, if not discussing, all this Episode VII business in positive, good terms, like it is a very excellent thing. i disagree somewhat. i suspect, over time, others shall agree with me to disagree, but we shall see.

of course i cannot make a statement such as the one i just have without justifying it our qualifying it, lest i sound like a complete toss. in order that i might, then, sound at best only like a partial toss, this blog post is going to be all about explaining why i don't think Episode VII was all that good, and further why i am baffled about the revival of it.

obviously the film is not presently out on DVD, Blu Ray,  VHS or pirate download thing, so you must please bear with me with the poor quality pictures taken off screen of it.

related to the above is, of course, the problem that the excitement around the revival of Episode VII is such that fans cannot contain themselves in the cinema, whooping and cheering and applauding from the moment the film starts.

i suspect that this is, weirdly, exactly why the revival of Episode VII is so popular. people are unable to hear it properly in the cinema, so they are just imagining that what it is they are seeing must be good. let's have a look at why it isn't.

they have left it too long between episodes to be relevant

the gap between Episode VI and Episode VII is something like five years, man. that's half a decade. most of the world has already moved on, and no longer cares for an ancient relic of cinema. well, except for all them people who have paid loads of money to go and see it.

it's essentially the same story told for the seventh time

that's a bit harsh, i suppose. it's easy to forget how fresh, original and exciting the first one of the films was. it is all the easier to forget when you consider the fact that Epsiode II through to VI basically rehashed the exact same story, in at least three cases to the extent of having the same bad guy and the same ultimate weapon, or whatever it was.

and that's not all that remains essentially the same.

it's the same old actors posting in the same old performances

the clever marketing made people think that bringing back some of the actors from the original films (more on that later) was a very, very good thing. the sad reality, of course, is that most of the original actors didn't do anything of consequence after Episode VI, and it was with good reason that they didn't get much other work. i mean, just look at them.

that you cannot picture any of these actors in anything other than the roles they played in the original trilogy and the controversial second one says it all. why are we all so excited about throwing money at actors for doing what is, ultimately, the only thing they can actually do?

they didn't bring back the right original actors

i believe that Episode VII could easily have been a success if they had brought back some actual favourites of the fans. they didn't. i mean, imagine if they made another Space Wars film and didn't have Lando or Lobot in it? what a mess that would be.

i don't know this as fact, but i would suspect that at the time of making Episode VII Steve Guttenberg was not doing all that much - surely a deal could have been brokered to have him appear in it, even if it was, after all this time, just to kill him off.

poor "new" villains

i say "new", but in truth the baddies in Episode VII are just a rehash of the earlier six. here, have a look.
outside of the big baddie of the first episode, and maybe the well organized mob at the heart of Episode II, all villains in all episodes have been bumbling idiots. this has made it very handy for the heroes, also predominantly bumbling idiots, to catch them and emerge victorious. this is all well and good for the ease of simplistic morality telling, but it's all getting quite tired.

this screenshot here is of some of the baddies off of Episode VII. you know they are the baddies because, as was the case in previous films, they are wearing that kind of hat, very specific kinds of jackets and, of course, gloves.

whilst i understand a degree of repetition is required to ensure some sort of thematic consistency and continuity across the arc of the series, would it really have killed them to mix it up a bit and throw a new force of evil at us for Episode VII? it gets boring watching the same enemy being beaten again and again.

a lack of proper merchandising and promotion

you have to ask why exactly did they go to the trouble of reviving the concept and making Episode VII with some of the original actors and then not bother promoting it or advertising it properly. despite what you might think, Episode VII only opened in a very small number of movie theatres on initial release, limiting the chance of success and cutting the prospects of fans who might be interested in seeing it.

also, with all the fuss and the song and dance, the marketing and merchandising possibilities were not properly exploited by the studio. you might think that there is, or was, a lot of promotion, but none of it was in the right direction.

take, for example, the vehicles of Episode VII. no matter what hysterical, out of proportion complaints have been made over the years about the previous six films, there was universal love for the vehicles. can you, however, get a branded Episode VII vehicle like the ones in this picture? of course you cannot.

to me, personally, the vehicles were always the least interesting part of the story. many, however, seem to think they are the best bit. one particular triumph, i have to admit, of Episode VII was the sequence you can see a picture of here, which was all quite an exciting chase and battle sort of thing. and yet the kids are unable to go into a shop and get a replica of the vehicles used in the sequence. oh, sure, you can get something that looks similar and just pretend, but alas the generation coming through today lacks the imagination to do this.

wasteful use of renowned and celebrated European actors

getting a well known, highly regarded actor of a non-American status to be in a film briefly has always been a fast and easy way to get cheap credibility for a movie. more often than not, however, it turns out that their talents are just wasted. Episode VII is sadly no different in this regard.

yeah, that's right. they got an established European actor - one that had played a Bond villain, no less - to be in Episode VII and all they did was shove him in brown and give him a stick.

unsatisfactory ending

one of the biggest concerns about Episode VII, even amongst the most dedicated fans, was that it would not be a "complete" film like the other six were. there was a suspicion it would be, at best, only half a story, with no satisfactory ending. this is sadly exactly what happened.

as you can see in the above clip, Episode VII does not so much end as it does just stop, with the story presumably to be concluded in Episode VIII. so you end up with people paying the full movie ticket price for only half a film. that sucks, man.

handing over to a new generation

a justification for bringing back some of the original actors for Episode VII was given as being so that they may have a "respectful" handover of the saga to a new generation of actors. an example of this is in the picture below, maybe. 

would it not really have been better to let a new generation find their own stories to tell, rather than having the continuation of one told six times already forced on them as some sort of burden of continuance? just like Guardians Of The Galaxy showed how making any more Space Wars films would be a waste of time as there are suitable new stories with new characters for the kids of today, it should have been the case that Police Academy was left alone and not forced on a new generation.

i understand that both the box office and quite possibly your more positive feelings about Episode VII : Mission To Moscow are likely to be at odds with my interpretation, but all the same thank you for taking the time to read my point of view.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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