By Stefano Terry
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Written by J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, and Oscar Isaac
I was born in 1979, two years after George Lucas released Star Wars, his little indie film that would change cinema for generations to come. The Empire Strikes Back released just a year later, with Return of the Jedi releasing three years after, in 1983. I was a bit too young to be introduced to that long ago far away galaxy at the time. It wasn’t until I was 6 years old that I was able to sit down in front of the television, with three VHS tapes ready to be popped into the VCR, and have a marathon session of the Star Wars Trilogy. I found A New Hope kind of boring, Empire too scary, and Jedi just right. Even so, a Star Wars fan for life was born that day. I loved the world. I loved the characters. I loved the aliens and the adventure, and as I got older and revisited the films time and time again throughout my youth and adulthood, I grew to love the simplicity of it all (not to mention my constant flip flopping between which one I love more, Empire or Jedi).
Star Wars isn’t about convoluted plots that require endless scenes of exposition. It’s not about the nuanced gray area where humanity resides. Star Wars isn’t David Lynch. Or Christopher Nolan. It’s not pondering existential crises, or waxing poetic on what the essence of a true hero is. Oh, there are definitely some elements of that in all seven released Star Wars movies, but at the end of the day, Star Wars is about as black and white as an Oreo cookie. The good guys are good. The bad guys are bad, and in the end, good will triumph over evil. Some may think that that somehow diminishes the accomplishments of Star Wars narratively, or from a character development perspective. That by stripping the narrative down to those black and white elements, we are losing nuance and depth. I disagree. We all know how delicious Oreo Cookies are.