6 Ways The Force Awakens is a Worse Star Wars Movie Than Phantom Menace
FAIR WARNING: SPOILERS ABOUND!
We’re all aware that Phantom Menace was an abysmally unenjoyable film which brought shame to the Star Wars franchise and answered the hopes and dreams of its loyal fans, who had been waiting many years for a quality sequel, with the cinematic equivalent of shitting on their collective face: a watered-down version of the Star Wars universe with a boring story that makes no sense, full of idiotic and obnoxious characters like Jar Jar Binks. Oops, did I say Phantom Menace? I meant The Force Awakens. Oh, hey! I guess it applies to both, right? What, you don’t think so? Why? What’s wrong with you? Were you seduced by the Dark Side? You at least agree that Episode I is garbage, right? If not, then thanks for reading this article, George Lucas.
Anyway, garbage though Ep. I may be, what follow are the reasons why it’s still better than the pretend new Star Wars film they just came out with. But first, as always, without fail, the reasons that didn’t make the list: …huh. I got nothing this time; they actually all made it onto the list. If I had any fans, they might be kind of disappointed right now. Like how they might feel if they went to the movie theater to see the most anticipated sequel in the history of cinema and found out…
1. I’ve Already Seen This Movie
…it rips-off everything—EVERYTHING—the entire plot, characters, EVERY… FUCKING… THING… from the original film.
We’ve been watching Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope since before I was born, and have been waiting for a real sequel to Return of the Jedi for 32 years. That day is finally here and what do we get? Another fucking soft reboot!!! Episode I at least had an original plot. It was a really dumb plot rife with obnoxious characters, but it was a new one we hadn’t seen before. And Lucas told us Phantom Menace was a prequel, not a sequel. He didn't falsely claim it was a sequel and then pull a bait-and-switch to con me out of my money, like Disney and J.J. Abrams just did with Episode VII. Dubiously masquerading as a new Star Wars sequel, VII is actually a tarted-up, watered-down version of the original Star Wars film, which most of us have been watching at least once a year since bellbottoms were still in style. They took the movie we’ve probably watched more than any other movie, barely tweaked the order of events and called it “NEW!” See if you can tell what movie I’m talking about:
After the intro word crawl, we see a giant Star Destroyer fly by. Next, a masked man with a deep voice, all in black, speaks to a good guy about hidden secret plans the good guys found. Then, a captured good guy is interrogated by the masked man. Meanwhile, a good guy on a desert planet with moisture vaporators, wants to leave home but can’t because of family-related circumstances. Anyway, Masky and the other bad guys soon find out the secret plans are hidden in a pecker-headed droid and start searching for it on the desert planet. The good guys intercept it first, and must leave the planet on the Millennium Falcon with the stormtroopers right on their tail. There’s also a scene where they head to a cantina to meet with a character who can help them. But first, they meet a mentor character who tells them of the Jedi and the Force and becomes sort of a father-figure to the orphaned, desert-dwelling good guy. He is also a father-figure to Masky. And there's a lovable wookie named Chewbacca. Then, the commanding general of the stormtroopers demonstrates the full power of their new planet-sized, planet-shaped Super-Weapon (stylistically embellished with a single, characteristic trench and a circle) by showing that it can destroy entire planets. The good guys find themselves on the Super-Weapon, where they must stealthily deactivate something before they can escape, but then plans change as they decide to also rescue a girl who has been captured, to the annoyance of Han Solo. While on the Super-Weapon, the mentor/father-figure is killed by Masky as the other good guys watch in horror, and then escape on the Millenium Falcon. Then, while the Super-Weapon is preparing to destroy the good guys’ base, but is unable to fire yet, the good guys must use their newly-obtained information about the Super-Weapon’s secret/ridiculously easy-to-exploit weakness to destroy it before it can destroy them. Finally, the good guys follow a long trench in the Super-Weapon to reach it’s point of weakness. They make the shot and blow it up. The end.
I’ve just described the entire plot of the original Star Wars movie, Episode IV, which is also the entire plot of The Force Awakens, because God damn J.J. Abrams for his blasphemy. I’m kidding, God. I know he’s a pretty cool guy when he’s not making Star Wars movies. May he come to repentance for his sins.
Regardless, J.J. Abrams, and the rest of those responsible for this derivative drivel, just tricked us into paying for a 38-year-old movie we’ve seen hundreds of times and already own a better version of. Like a tricky bastard. Like an evil hack. Like, what the fuck? And why? We all still like, and watch, the original Star Wars every year. NONE of us wanted, or needed, a remake. And we were promised a sequel! I will take Episode I over this… FUCKING, GODDAMN EPISODE I!!! Simply because it’s an original story and not just a shittier version of Episode IV with some names and faces switched around.
So, check it: here are the goddamn characters in goddamn Episode VII: They combined Luke, Leia, and Han Solo into one character called, “Rey,” a godlike Force-wizard who somehow knows everything and Force-MacGyvers her way out of every problem with no explanation. She's a "strong" girl character who gets imprisoned on the new Death Star (Leia), knows a lot about starships and how to pilot/repair them and usually pilots the Millennium Falcon (Han) and comes from a desert planet and is strong but untrained in the Force (Luke). The desert planet she is from is exactly Tatooine, but they call it, “Jakku.” They combined all the minor Rebellion pilots like the “Stay on target!” guy, whose names weren’t important enough to remember, and called them “Poe.” The new R2-D2 is called, “BB-8,” and is hiding secret plans for the Rebellion (now, the “Resistance”), the new Obi-Wan is called, “Han Solo,” the Empire is now “First Order,” the Emperor, “Supreme Leader Snoke,” and Darth Vader is now “Kylo Ren.” As it turns out, disguising your remake as a sequel simultaneously makes its new plot: 1. extremely predictable, 2. a slap in the face of its fans and 3. a total waste of my money. I bet you all 100 bucks the next film reveals that Kylo Ren is Rey's brother,* just before someone's hand gets chopped off, just after someone gets frozen in some terribly renamed carbonite. If there was a way to shake hands on this over the internet, the next film would make me richer than it does J.J. Abrams. And more deserving of it, too.
*Aside from the already-stated, that this bullshit “new” trilogy is a blatant, unabashed rip-off of the original trilogy, Han is so overtly awkward and fatherly toward Rey the whole movie for no reason other than he’s so obviously Rey’s father. Plus, consider that “Kylo Ren” is an anagram for “Rey Klon,” so Kylo is probably Rey’s clone or they’re a genetic experiment or some shit, but close enough. The important thing is they share DNA and I FUCKING CALLED IT the first time I watched it, in 2015.)
VII even features a new goddamned Death Star with the uber-cheesy name, “Starkiller,” complete with it’s new goddamned secret weakness leaked to the Rebellion, named “Finn.” Oh yeah…
2. The Fucking Death Star, Again
We’ve been making fun of how dumb the Death Star is for decades. After the Empire makes that same stupid mistake twice, J.J. Abrams made a goddamn ‘nother one, gave it a cheesier name, and worst of all, even bragged about how awesome it made them with the infamous “Ours is Bigger” scene. (There’s an actual scene where they not only say out loud that the Starkiller Base is bigger than the Death Star, but they hilariously pull up a diagram on they’re holo-computers to show us onscreen, just to rub it in our faces how much cooler they think they are than the old movies.) Here’s a transcript of the scene where they actually make a joke out of the fact that they ripped off the Death Star.
MATT PARKMAN FROM HEROES: I’m not sure how to describe a weapon of this scale.
RESISTANCE GUY 2: It’s another Death Star.
POE: I wish that were the case, major. This was the Death Star.
(Pulls up the Death Star scale model, and then the bigger, Starkiller Base scale model.)
POE (continued): And this is Starkiller Base.
HAN: So, it’s big.
They might as well break all the way through the fourth wall that they apparently hate so much and have Han Solo quip, “What do they think this is, Return of the Jedi?” and then stare at the camera like fucking Ferris Bueller.
"Sorry, major, I'm afraid this battle won't be as easy as the Death Star. We can't just follow a straight trench and then fire at it's weak spot like the first time. Clearly, the Empire has learned its... HAHAHA, ha! Ahhh... Kidding, I'm kidding! Sorry, I couldn't help myself. The weakness is right there, follow the line, shoot- just like training. Ok, you guys have practiced this every day for the last 30 years- I'm pretty sure you got this, lol. See you all in a couple hours."
Episode I featured no Death Star because even the man who introduced us to midi-chlorians and Jar Jar Binks, in the same awful film, realized that making a third Death Star movie would be really, really stupid. In fact, Lucas instead had little Ani fly into the heart of the fortified Battle Droid HQ and blow it up from the inside. No secret weakness, no plan, he just got it done. This means today is a special day, by which I mean the “retarded” definition of special: I just said that little Ani in Episode I is more awesome than something else. You have no idea how much I hoped never to say that.