KEYBOARD COMMANDO – Franchises like ‘Star Wars’ have the been-there, done-that feel to them

by Mac Olsen

In an era of social media and blogging, we can all become critics or proponents of one thing or another.
I do that here every week with my column entitled ‘The Keyboard Commando’. Sometimes this title may not be in keeping with the topics I write about, but it reflects my view of the world, politics, etc.
The title certainly applies to this week’s column because I take aim at ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, which is the seventh instalment of this movie franchise. Unlike other people, I didn’t buy into the media hype about this movie.
Sure, I saw the trailers for it and there were key scenes and plot points that are supposed to get you excited to see it. But, having seen the other six movies, I feel that is where the storyline should have ended.
There is nothing in this seventh movie to make it feel compelling or enduring. It has the feel of been-there, done-that and is really an anti-climactic story.
In an audio commentary from another of the ‘Star Wars’ movies, creator George Lucas said it was always meant to be a nine-part story, with the restoration of the Republic in the third trilogy. And that’s where this new movie, ‘The Force Awakens’, is supposedly leading.
But I think the storyline has a far more satisfactory ending with ‘Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi’, which is the sixth chapter the movie franchise.
For those who haven’t seen those movies, I won’t say any more than that, except to view them and decide for yourselves.
I can make the same argument about the forthcoming ‘Batman Versus Superman’ movie. Two trailers have been released about that movie, and I already have the impression that it will have also the feel of been-there, done-that.
The central theme of the movie is that those with extraordinary powers may become a threat to those who don’t. It’s fear of those who are different that leads to the call for controlling or killing them, for the well-being of society.
Well, this has already been explored extensively in the ‘X-Men’ movies, going back to the first one in 2001. Non-mutants are fearful of the mutants because of the powers they possess. Some non-mutants make calls to control or kill them.
And there’s another upcoming movie, ‘Captain America: Civil War’, which will delve into the discussion of whether those with extraordinary powers should be controlled.
So, while it may be presumptive to give a negative tone to ‘Batman Versus Superman’, my observations about it based on the trailers that have been released, justifies my been-there, done-that opinion.
Still, fans of ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Batman Versus Superman’ will go and see those movies regardless of the negative opinions and media hype.
That is their prerogative, of course. And ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ made $1 billion worldwide before the end of 2015.
Nonetheless, I expect some moviegoers will confirm the cynicism that I have about this movie, as well as and ‘Batman Versus Superman’.
Blog on, folks. Blog on.

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