“These people, their lives…they’re in a galaxy far, far away…it’s a journey that people can relate to” — 23 year-old Daisy Ridley (i.e., Rey) offering a generic, somewhat worrisome thought about Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens in the Vanity Fair video piece. What I find worrisome is a sense of what Ridley may (I say “may”) be implying when she says “people.” Millenials and fanboys, I fear she means. A chill just went down my backbone. I sincerely hope my suspicions are neurotic rather than intuitive. I really want Awakens to work in a classical way.
I shouldn’t have to remind anyone that that the converted, fluttery-voiced devotionals (i.e., the children of Harry Knowles) mean nothing — they’ll be there no matter what. This movie has to knock my demanding, somewhat grumpy socks off…that’s what’ll count at the end of the day. I will be one of the first canaries to go down into the Force Awakens coal mine, and if I die, the movie dies with me in a sense.
If The Force Awakens doesn’t have the oxygen we all want and need…if it doesn’t reach in and touch long-view, been-around-the-block guys like myself, hard guys who’ve been on the long ride (a fraternity that includes, of course, director J.J. Abrams and co-scenarist Larry Kasdan) and have acquired the perspective that separates the wheat from the chaff…if Awakens doesn’t do that thing, it won’t linger. It’ll just be a super-popular film and then it’ll be up to Rian Johnson to save the day.
Either you understand that The Empire Strikes Back is, was and will probably always be the summit of the franchise, or you don’t.