Moody’s Thoughts: Star Wars

BY ANDREW MOODY

In our current bipolar political climate, I believe there are two types of people. Firstly, those who loved Rian Johnson’s 8th instalment of the Star Wars franchise The Last Jedi (soon to be released on Netflix), and those sane people who believe that the Star Wars franchise must, for its own sake, end now.

Taxi Driver screenwriter Paul Schrader once lamented, “Star Wars was the film that ate the heart and soul of Hollywood. It created the big budget comic book mentality.”

For anybody who finds each new Hollywood superhero film an unbearable waste of £18, I can only agree.

George Lucas defended himself back in 1977: “I wanted to make a kid’s film that would instill a kind of basic morality. Everybody’s forgetting to tell the kids ‘this is right, and this is wrong’.”

In the age of Hollywood racial and feminist progressive politics, and the quote-unquote Resistance against the deranged fuhrer Trump, I can only argue that The Last Jedi is the worst written, acted and directed of the franchise so far, and it has, in The Phantom Menace and the Clone Wars, some stiff competition.

The Last Jedi opens, as all Star Wars movies before, with the caption “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”, as John William’s instantly recognisable, glorious score blasts through the Dolby sound system, and the soapy, scrolling text explains where we are now in the story (which began forty years ago), for anybody who hasn’t been paying attention. Not that it matters of course, since the majority of the screenplay (which gets my vote for the Golden Raspberry actually) consists of paper thin caricatures explaining, at least three or four times, just so people at the back understand, what’s going on in the next meaningless CGI battle.

Since we live in the age of Hollywood progressiveness, each “good” character has to be either a woman, an ethnic minority, or, in the case of Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) shorter than Laura Dern, the inexplicably purple-haired new commander of the resistance, who tells Isaac off a couple of times, then later, has a mother’s meeting with Carrie Fisher about how he’s a good boy really.

Benicio Del Toro, complete with a stutter (just to make him distinctive enough to earn an action figure) and only there because he adds some Oscar “class” to proceedings, plays some kind of thief/vagabond who double crosses two “good” characters, then (because he’s anti-Trump too) is also working with the Resistance.

Apparently the New Order, headed by an impressively wooden Domhnall Gleeson are the bad guys, (and you won’t find any women or people of colour on this side of the force) can now chase ships through hyperspace or something – cue for some spectacular, if emotionally hollow CGI magic. Meanwhile, Daisy Ridley as Rey, who despite having only had minimal use of a light-sabre is instantly painted as very definitely the most talented Jedi ever ever ever (since she’s a girl), has some kind of psychic, Twilight-like relationship with the conflicted, but sensitive, sexy young bad guy (Adam Driver), who killed his father Han Solo in the previous film, and thinks about killing his mother, Leia, (who manages to survive being blasted into space sans suit, and floats, ethereally, back to the Resistance ship) but doesn’t hit the button.

Only true Feminist icons can survive the vacuum of space, obviously. There are a few moments when the audience is cued to remember Han Solo, and how great he was with some nostalgic, “sad” music and the “good” characters smiling wistfully – presumably wishing they’d been allowed to be in the one with Harrison Ford.

Follow Andrew Moody on Twitter @VoguishFiction

 

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