‘The Force Awakens’ Is the Worst Thing Ever


The Force Awakens — aka the new Star Wars movie — may be the worst thing ever to have happened in the history of cinema. (I say “may” rather than “is” because, of course, only a Sith deals in absolutes).

Obviously there have been many more terrible movies — The Phantom Menace, Ishtar, Battlefield Earth, Grown Ups II, Love Actually, etc. — but never before has there been a movie where the generally favourable reception by critics and audiences alike has been quite so dramatically at odds with the actual product.

There is no question about it: The Force Awakens comprehensively sucks. Yet mysteriously almost no one has come round to admitting it. Until now.

Warning: There WILL be plot spoilers. But if you haven’t seen it, I’m doing you a favour. Now you needn’t go.

1. Et Tu, Nolte?

All the critics have been extravagantly kind about it. Even our fearless John Nolte found some almost nice things to say. (Well, he didn’t stamp on it as you would a bubonic cockroach, just damned it with very faint praise). I can think of only two possible explanations. Either Disney has deeper pockets than we imagined, or all those people who conspiracy theorize about the mind-warping effects of chemtrails were right all along.

2. Basically it’s an extended propaganda promo for women in the military

In the original Star Wars movie, the ONLY interesting characteristic about the ineffably dull Luke Skywalker was his battle to overcome his innate milquetoastness and somehow become the saviour of the universe. With the new heroine, Rey, we don’t even get that small consolation. Basically she is AMAZING from the off.

Why is she amazing? Girl power, of course. Girls can just do the most incredible shit that boys never could. They can fly ageing space cruisers they’ve never once flown before, mastering the controls in seconds to the point where, just a minute later, they can steer them through near-impossible dog fight manoeuvres. They’re good in hand-to-hand combat situations too. They’re so naturally brilliant — because they’re girls, obv. —  that they don’t even need to undergo lengthy training sessions on Dagobah in the use of The Force. (Bollocks this is).

And they’re great mechanics, too, because, again, girls are like that: their minds are so geared to engineering and spacecraft maintenance and stuff, they can teach guys like Han Solo a thing or two, just you listen. Oh, and they’re also fluent in robot. Some critics of the old school might argue that a heroine who can overcome every obstacle without difficulty is a heroine without interest or entertainment value or, indeed, plausibility. But that’s just sexism.

3. We’ll need a bigger Death Star

Oops. Did I just give away The Force Awakens’ climax? Why I think I just might have. Which gives you an idea of just how unimaginative and formulaic this re-boot of the original Star Wars actually is. Seriously, this is the most shocking and dramatic moment in the entire movie: when they reveal that the ultimate Boss our heroes must confront is like the Death Star… only bigger! You pinch yourself in disbelief and nearly fall out of your seat as you mutter: “No. It cannot be. Surely there must be something more complicated, more exciting than that?” But no. That’s it.

4. No Jar-Jar Binks

Until you’ve seen The Force Awakens, you will not unreasonably imagine that the absence of Jar-Jar Binks is its greatest selling point. By the end you’ll be praying for his appearance, even if only in a fleeting walk-on cameo. Anything to distract from the wearisome predictability of this epic snoozefest.

5. Princess Leia is transitioning

It’s not actually specified in the script, but it’s pretty obvious from Princess Leia’s new leather jerkin look (and her ridiculous made-up Caitlyn-style name General Organa) why it is that she and Han Solo are no longer an item. “You changed your hair,” notices Han who — typical male — has only picked up on about 0.05 percent of the full story.

6. They totally wasted Brienne of Tarth

If you’re going to cast Gwendoline Christie as a Stormtrooper officer, at least have her take off her mask at some point so we can go: “Look! It’s her from Game of Thrones.”

7. The scene that ruins everything

Sci-fi above all is about suspension of disbelief, about the joys of pure escapism. So much effort has gone into creating this galaxy far, far away — and for much of the film you buy into it: the alien creatures, the amazing spaceships that can warp speed blind from one side of the galaxy to the other without bumping into even the tiniest rock, the desert planet and the tree-y, snow-y planet which look likes ours yet so very different. But then, about three-quarters of the way in is a scene so ludicrously implausible that all the magic is lost.

It happens during the X-wing fighter attack on the Bigger Death Star (or whatever it’s called). In one of the X-wing fighters, the co-pilot — or “back seat driver” as she should be more correctly called — is clearly identifiable as female. Yet at no stage during the attack is her fighter’s progress marred by poor map-reading, irksome injunctions to turn the windscreen wipers on or off and the music down, expressed anxieties about whether the fuel and oil levels have been checked recently, or indeed even low-level nagging and bickering and suggestions that the stubborn driver stop and ask for directions.

Extraordinarily, not only does the X-wing fighter fail to crash, but it actually reaches its target on time and delivers its payload accurately. Everyone knows that even in a galaxy far, far away, such a scenario would be quite beyond the realms of possibility.

8. “George, you can type this shit, but you can’t say it.”

This reboot’s fidelity to the qualities of the original screenplay is impressive indeed.

9. Token

Token. That’s what John Boyega’s character would be called if this were South Park. But he’s not. He’s called — oh, whatever, I forget and I’m not going to look it up.

The tragic thing is that Boyega is actually one of Britain’s most charismatic young actors — check him out in the infinitely superior sci-fi movie Attack The Block. In The Force Awakenshowever, Boyega has only two functions: 1.) be black 2.) be scaredy-cat and useless so that the Rey character (see above) can show how feisty and amazing and not-scared-of-anything and omnicompetent girls are by comparison.

Director JJ Abrams has congratulated himself on the diversity of his casting. I’d say the creation of a  character whose only real jobs are to be black and benignly lame has set the diversity clock back to the pre-Civil-War era.


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