It is a bit of a running joke amongst my family and friends that if something is popular, then I hate it.  And not just “hate it” in the normal sense, but have to go on impassioned rants and explain why it is objectively terrible.  It all started with someone asking me if I loved Seinfeld and me going off on a rant about how it is literally the worst TV show ever made.  Now, people just mention Seinfeld to see if I will rise to the bait.  Since then, I have voiced my opinions on Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy (an incomprehensible mess), Louis CK (he is literally destroying comedy), and Apple (Steve Jobs employed slave labor so you can enjoy your overpriced piece of junk).

I have recently been trying to hold back and not be that snob pissing on people’s enjoyment and just naysaying for the sake of it. But after a month or so of excited statuses being posted and being inundated with questions of, “Are you excited about it?” I must finally break my silence and once again become a black cloud –

The new Star Wars movie is going to be terrible.  And it is going to disappoint everyone.

There.  I said it. It is out in the open.

Now, let me say, I have been a huge fan of Star Wars for as long as I can remember.  I remember being a kid and playing Star Wars: Dark Forces on our first computer, back when you had to insert floppy disks and enter the command/prompt for the game to start.  I know the name and have researched the backstory of the only Imperial officer to appear in more than one movie in the original trilogy (Admiral Piett…why didn’t you intensify forward fire sooner!?).  To this day, I still have spirited discussions with my old roommate about which Lightsaber combat form is superior (obviously, it is Form V: The Way of the Krayt Dragon).

I love Star Wars, but I just know this newest movie is going to be nothing but a disappointment if you are a fan of Star Wars.  Here is why—J.J. Abrams.

Abrams seems like the sort of director everyone thinks is good, but no one knows why.  Everything he touches seems super shiny and amazing, but if you dig just a little beneath the surface…it turns to ash.

In the Star Trek reboots, he assembled an amazing cast playing interesting characters and then focused on the two worst actors/characters (Kirk and Spock).  You know why The Original Series worked so well?  Because it wasn’t just Kirk and Spock!  In TOS, it was a triumvirate—Kirk, Spock, and Dr. “Bones” McCoy—and they all balanced each other out.  Kirk was the confident braggadocio in need of guidance; Spock was the logician; and Bones was the wry/self-effacing conscience.  In TOS, there was so much interplay between the three of them, so much camaraderie.  In the reboots, Bones is a secondary/tertiary character, and Spock is so subservient to Kirk that it is sickening.

My point is twofold: 1) Abrams doesn’t know how to write the dynamic between more than two characters at a time, and 2) Abrams shunts off interesting characters to bit roles.

In Star Wars, it appears to be the same—Abrams has a stellar cast assembled, but I just know he is going to under-utilize all the truly interesting characters (played by the best actors).  At his disposal he has actors like Oscar Isaac (have you watched Ex Machina?  This dude is amazing!), Domhnall Gleeson (his bit parts in both Never Let Me Go and Dredd were the best parts), Andy Serkis (*Gollum*Gollum*), and I already know he is going to relegate them to bit roles.  Instead, it is going to all focus on Daisy Ridley (whom I have never seen in anything) and John Boyega (who was fantastic in Attack the Block), and it is going to be the same tired story we’ve seen before.  We’ve already had six movies of young and inexperienced Jedi being tempted by the Dark Side, not succumbing, and being heroes.

It is going to be the same movie we have watched before but with new faces (and old faces we’ve seen before) and polished up with more lens flares and crisp scene cuts.  There is no way it can meet the expectations of fans because while it is going to be a decent action film, it won’t be Star Wars.  Anyone who is a fan will find some reason why it is terrible.  We’ve been feasting on the video games, the expanded universe novels, and everything else that has created such a rich universe.  This movie is going to add nothing.

I sincerely hope I am wrong.  I hope this movie is amazing and blows my mind.  But anything less than “mind-blowingly fantastic” just isn’t going to cut it for me.

Paul Menn
Paul ('10) lives in Grand Rapids with his wife, Emma ('10), and cat, HandsomeMarcoCat. He loves board games, Babylon 5, and honey-curry chicken. Everything else is negotiable.

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