Author: Vlad Ulbricht
Having seen the first movie when it reached France as I was about 10, it left a vivid mark on my imagination, and I kind of treasured the little bit of fantasy it brought to me among probably millions of other people. I think the reason why episodes IV to VI became timeless classics is that they were simply fairy tales in sci-fi clothing. You had heroes and princesses actually doing their heroes and princesses things on the screen, but most of the coolest bits happened somewhere in the recesses of your own imagination. Struggle of good against evil. Quest for the father. Passage from childhood to adulthood through a series of trials and challenges. All the stuff chivalry stories are made off, presented in a minimalist way that stuck to the essential elements of the plot. All the rest, including top notch SFXs and the excellent Solo-R2D2-C3PO trio was just cleverly fleshing out this very strong backbone. Just a few lines from a dreamy-eyed Sir Alec Guinness about the clone wars while young and clumsy Luke had his pants burn by a floating tennis ball were enough to flare your imagination in depicting an epic struggle between dark empire forces and a few heroic Jedi knights overwhelmed by sheer force and treachery. A few words about Leia and Luke's past were enough to evoke the moving fate of orphans afraid to uncover the hidden truth about a father shrouded in menacing mystery. Stuff dreams are made of, really. Sadly oh so sadly, it looks like nowadays a blockbuster will never get the green light until some kind of quality insurance comity makes sure even the slowest 10% of your average audience will never be left wondering about anything that goes on for more than 2.5 seconds. I guess some marketing genius managed to convince the producers that leaving anything to the imagination of the customer seriously threatened the return on investment or something. The last 3 episodes were unfortunately born in this disastrous context and proceeded methodically with the extermination of the slightest bit of magic that populated the 3 previous movies. Everything is laid bare in front of our eyes like some specimens on a dissection table. No, not even that. More like pieces of hardware broken down into component parts on a sterilized workbench. So the Force is just something you catch like a flu. The mythical clone war is just 15 minutes of a ridiculous "plan 66". The mighty Vader is just a poor boy with an over-sized ego and an IQ reduced to 2 digits figures by an excess of testosterone (or midichlorians or whatnot for that matter). The mighty conflict that flares through the galaxy is just the outcome of desperately trivial political plots. The Jedi council a bunch of pathetically weak over-aged muppets. Yoda a preposterous 10 inches tall kung-fu master. The epic spirit of the first trilogy has been judged guilty of sales-threatening capital crime, quietly dragged behind the marketing barracks at dawn and shot in the back of the head. As if to make good for this assassination, the last 3 movies drown us into a squirming pool of special effect and fan service that go light years over the top. Hysterical scenes flashing past before you really could decide where to focus your gaze just make the cheesy plot-advancing ones look miserable. Here again I feel the invisible hand of the marketing staff, managing to cram about every single second or third rate characters from the previous trilogy into an already bloated plot, stretching even further the already badly mauled consistency of the scenario in the process. Frankly, what could this stupid "average viewer wants facts" assumption bring but bitter disappointment? The result is not only boring, but really, really sad.
2 hr 20 mins
$ 113,000,000.00 (Estimated)
$ 850,000,000.00 (USA)
$ 737,000,000.00 (Estimated in USA)