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Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens opened with almost universal praise while smashing box office records. Unfortunately, it hasn’t all been lightsaber battles and heroics for the new movie.
After the onslaught of praise settled, some began to question the movie’s plot, its merchandise marketing, and even those involved with the previous six films spoke out against it. Everyone needs to say their piece and here are a few examples.
This article will include mild spoilers. You have been warned.
The old club speaks out
One of the more shocking criticisms came from George Lucas himself. Yes, the man that created Star Wars and all of its Death Star and asthma-filled robotic villainy.
Speaking to Charlie Rose, Lucas likens moving away from Star Wars to a breakup. It seems he wasn’t awfully happy about Disney wanting to make a film that appeals to the fans.
When reminded about having sold the franchise to Disney, Lucas replied with: “I sold them to the white slavers who take these things are… [laughs]”
Lucas has since apologised for the statement saying the remark was a “very inappropriate analogy.”
Another outspoken Star War alumni is Samuel L. Jackson, though fans will know him as Jedi Master Mace Windu from episodes I, II, and III. The man who is also sick of having snakes on planes didn’t seem too fond of the movie either. While chatting on Popcorn with Peter Travers, Jackson was asked if he saw the new movie and what he thought of it.
He responded with: “It’s done in the spirit of the Star Wars films.” He then went on to say:
I think the kids need to go to lightsabre fight school, you know. That’s just me thinking out load.
As noted by Travers, the answer was very diplomatic, but it’s pretty obvious that Jackson isn’t a fan.
The Force Awakens is just a remake
Some have drawn parallels between The Force Awakens and Episode IV: A New Hope. The similarities are severe enough that some are calling it a remake.
What Culture wrote an article on how the two movies are similar. The article draws on similarities between R2-D2 and BB-8 having information hidden and the similarities between Rey and Luke Skywalker amongst others.
You can understand why Abrams went down this path, of course; his job was to create something that embraced both the old and the new, and The Force Awakens is arguably a perfect amalgamation of the classic films paired with a modern blockbuster mentality. Still, those well-worn Episode IV parallels and story beats are in major abundance.
They weren’t the only ones drawing these conclusions between the two movies. Forbes writer Scott Mendelson said the film also rendered the original trilogy less enjoyable. The Verge’s Tasha Robinson had similar feelings while saying:
Let’s be clear: if anyone made this movie without the Star Wars name, no one would accept it for a moment. It’d be universally derided as the thinnest, most obvious plagiarism. But because it comes with George Lucas’ blessing, and because it’s so obviously made by Star Wars fans expressing their joy at being given the keys to the kingdom, and because it invites viewers to become kids seeing A New Hope for the first time again, the critical community has largely greeted it with a sigh of collective relief and welcome.
Mashable submitted its own article to those calling the movie a remake, which asks naysayers how well they know Darth Vader and if they’ve even seen the original movie.
Kylo Ren is an emo
A range of memes has emerged since The Force Awakens debuted showing an ’emo’ Kylo Ren. His actions and portrayal have been criticised. A parody Twitter account calling itself Emo Kylo Ren (@KyloR3n) was setup to lampoon that character.
i’m wearing this black armband in honor of darth vader remembrance day it’s every day
— Emo Kylo Ren (@KyloR3n) December 22, 2015
*draws Darth Vader on his hand in black sharpie* — Emo Kylo Ren (@KyloR3n) December 21, 2015
Where are the Rey toys?
There have been some questionable decisions with the Force Awakens’ toy merchandising. When the toys began to hit store shelves news emerged about Rey missing from the Star Wars Action Figure Set. The package included six male characters, one of which was protagonist Finn, but left out the other protagonist Rey.
Hasbro was then lambasted for not including her in the new Star Wars Monopoly set, which included Finn, Luke Skywalker, Kyl Ren, and Darth Vader. When asked why she wasn’t included, a Hasbro spokesperson responded saying Rey was “not included to avoid revealing a key plot line that she takes on Kylo Ren and joins the Rebel Alliance.” Having her image in the center of the Force Awakens poster may have proven otherwise.
The hashtag #WheresRey emerged on Twitter to poke fun at Hasbro and show fan’s displeasure at the decision. After a tremendous amount of fan backlash the toy company relented and decided to add her into the board game.
— Hasbro (@HasbroNews) January 6, 2016
Image via reddit.