Star Wars: The Cash Cow Awakens – WARNING: Spoilers Ahead

Chewbacca and other 'Star Wars' favorites are back in 'The Force Awakens'

Chewbacca and other ‘Star Wars’ favorites are back in ‘The Force Awakens’

WARNING: Spoilers Ahead

The reviews are in. Critics, well most anyway, are raving: “A return to form,” ‘Reignites the soul,’ “It’s Back!”

Yes, there seems to be near universal acclaim that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” directed by JJ Abrams and starring Harrison Ford, is as good as it gets. The film will be the talk of the media and of the social media universe. It’ll be seen by millions, and it will make billions of dollars. Billions, not millions!

Based on current global trends the film will spawn $1.5 billion in theatrical grosses. Toss in the over-priced BluRay, Video on Demand and DVD market you can tack on another half billion. This does not even count the endless array of tchotchkes, dolls, (Oops I mean action figures), games, and sundry merchandising.

Accolades aside, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is calculated. Stoked by a relentless, manipulative marketing machine, it’s designed to pacify the juvenile mindset and transfer money from them to its evil overlord, the MausHaus, aka Disney, who in turn needs record grosses to pacify the true emperors, Wall Street.

Looking at the film itself, there are far too many similarities between the original “Star Wars.” It starts on a planet of sand. The initial character is an orphan with an innate sense of destiny. A lovable robot with a special message arrives on the scene. It is carrying a message of vital importance. The Empire is sending Storm Troopers out looking for it. There is a Darth Vader-type character. An evil Emperor who dominates the Dark side. There is a father-son dynamic torn asunder by competing sides of The Force. And it goes on….

Need a simple example of the bloated needs of this film? The new Death Star. Yes, there is a Death Star here too, except it’s bigger, better, more destructive. Hence the film is bigger, better, more destructive. It is nothing more than a shiner bauble for the easily distracted audience.

All of this makes :Star Wars: The Force Awakens” safe. The world is divided between good and evil. Heroes are loved. Beloved characters re-emerge. Villains are despised. Conflicts are resolved. Cliffhangers are in place for the next one. This is what the audience wants, safety, reassurance and comfort.

Please understand, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is a well done film. It is nicely acted, with great SFX and seamless editing. If it were a stand-alone film, it would warrant praise. But it is not a stand-alone film and its lofty place in our cultural mythology gives it grander status, higher expectations than one mere film. The opportunity to make a truly great film has been lost.
Disney is happy making the money. The audience is happy being reassured by a familiar plot and familiar characters. Yet, like the Emperor’s new clothes, it is naked, and in this case, a naked money grab. It is calculated. It is disappointing.

– By Garen Daly

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