In which Elvis chats with me about ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

I ran into Elvis in a spaghetti restaurant the other day He lives on Mars, disguised as a walrus – something that tells me he probably isn’t the real Elvis. But he talks sense, and he’d just seen the new Star Wars movie. As had I.

The Embassy Theatre, Wellington, December 2015 - where Sir Peter Jackson premiered 'The Hobbit' and the third 'The Lord of the Rings' movies.
The Embassy Theatre, Wellington, December 2015 – where Sir Peter Jackson premiered ‘The Hobbit’ and the third ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movies.

Elvis was devouring a plate of bolognaise when I sat down.

Elvis: {Hoof, hoof] The sauce is strong in this one. [swallows] So, what do you think of it?

Me: I always liked Star Wars.

Elvis: I mean this movie, not the first one – sorry, I mean fourth. You know, the 1977 flick.

Me: So do I. How does Star Wars go? Droid with secret needed by the good guys crash-lands on a desert planet, found by young loner with latent powers who’s taken off the planet in a tramp freighter named Millennium Falcon. After adventures dodging a bad guy who wears a mask and has dark powers, they reach the rebel base where they launch an attack against the giant bad guy planet-destroyer, a weapon that has an easily-reached vulnerability which they fly to down trenches while being pursued by enemy fighters. Star Wars.

Elvis: This movie’s different.

Me: How?

Elvis: The destroyer planet’s bigger.

Me: And?

Elvis: And Han is older.

Me: And?

'That's no moon'. Wait - yes it is. It's Mimas, orbiting Saturn.
‘That’s no moon’. Wait – yes it is. It’s Mimas, orbiting Saturn. Public domain, NASA/JPL.

Elvis: And there was that blatant bad guy Nazi rally sequence with the ‘First Order’.

Me: The bad guys were always Nazis – I mean the Imperial soldier goons were Stormtroopers. But it was a subtle play on evil – unlike this one.

Elvis: The hero was a girl this time.

Me: With an identical character arc as Luke’s in the original. And no apparent flaws other than wanting her parents. Good at everything including advanced Jedi mind-trick control of The Force without training. Really? Kind of a plot hole if you ask me.

Elvis: So you didn’t like it?

Me: On the contrary, it’s a great story and was a fun movie. It was just – well, I’d seen it about ten times before, or however many times I’ve seen the original.

Elvis: Well, they were looking for Luke.

Me: I guess that makes it different.

Elvis: At last!

Me: Just like Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

Elvis: But did you like it?

Me: Trek. I’m a huge fan.

Elvis: I mean Star Wars.

Me: Sure. Classic story. Always stands re-telling.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2016


12 thoughts on “In which Elvis chats with me about ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

    1. I liked it too – well-paced, exciting and all the right stuff. Excellent action-adventure sci-fi movie. l It was just, well, I’d kind of seen it before…🙂

  1. Spot on Matthew. They didn’t use “use the Force Luke” when they copied the trench run but I was half expecting them to. It’s a bit of fun I guess but I can’t see why it’s not coping a lot more flack. Most curious of all, the traditional personification of Evil, Darth, was replaced by a more modern troubled teen.

    1. I hadn’t thought of Kylo Ren that way – you’re right, of course he is! Even down to the tantrums! Not quite the same depth of bad guy as Darth Vader, though I guess they might use this as the start of a character arc across several movies. On the ‘flight down the trench’ sequence, did you ever see ‘Thumb Wars’ – brilliant take on the whole ‘trust the Force’ thing!

  2. If you enjoyed the movie why denigrate it. Enjoy it for entertainments sake. One note though it was on point to the book.

    1. Having read a lot of the original series I’m not sure where you worked out it follows the book? Han Solo was much affected by the death of the Wookie. From memory it took him a couple of books to get over it.

      As to pointing out the shortcomings, does that not give Directors incentive to do even better? I think criticism in Sci Fi has led to much stronger female roles and this is a fine example of that.

  3. I did like the new movie. But I liked it most when it was going off on its own direction. Nods to the original sure, but that much drawn from the original? On the other hand, I guess after the bloody nose of the prequel trilogy they need an easy movie to rebuild credentials, the way a boxer coming out of retirement has to take some sure-thing matches.

    I do kind of like the new movie’s implicit assumption that you know, in this universe, stuff kind of like the Original Movie is just happening all the time, and everywhere, to everybody, because the universe is just built that way. It’s kind of like imagining all the 30s serial heroes were in literally the same universe, and there’s always this invasion from Atlantis and Moon people setting off earthquake rays and foreign agents conspiring to steal radium-gun designs from the patent bureau and all that, all the time.

  4. I am becoming increasingly keen to see Kurosawa’s “The Hidden Fortress” just to see how closely Star Wars IV and VII parallel it, above and beyond the traditional Hero’s Journey arc. Boys’ Night In material?

      1. Haven’t I told you about Die Gnädige Frau’s viewing tastes? The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, etc.

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