We and "Star Wars"
– Have you seen the latest version of the ‘Star Wars’?
– No. And I am not going to.
– Because it’s bullshit.
Kanan is a bit above 40, I’m 34, and this difference is pretty tangible. American and European fans of this saga are already turning sixty and only we, the Soviet ‘starwar’-loversare a little above 30.
Wikipedia would says that the first night performance of the first episode of the film saga took place in May 1977. And we watched it in 1990 year. That’s when the Soviet Union signed contract with several filmproducers at once and, on the wave of glasnost (publicity) allowed showing all the famous movies in its territory.
Thus, three films were released since 1977; in 1986 – a Mel Brooks parody, the film director’s rancho became a place of pilgrimage, the whole toy industry was developed. And we watched this film (at least in good quality) only in 1990.
In those times, the ‘Nizami’ cinema showed about 20-30 hit films per week, and in order to show all the masterpieces that we’d missed, they showed each film once or twice. And it was the same way throughout the Soviet Union.
And we аt war; the cinema houses showed ‘Star Wars’ against the background of tanks in the streets.
We, the Soviet children, who were accustomed to the ‘Moscow-Cassiopeia’ special effects, suddenly watched the film that, at least at that time, was the pinnacle of the world of visual effects.
But those, who were older, had perceived this film a little bit differently, their tastes were more mature. I don’t know anyone in Baku, who is about 50 years, who would liked this double trilogy.
Kenan is 40, his friend- Ismail is 60 and he does not like Star Wars at all. Why? Because this film was not shown here in the times of their youth. My arguments about Lucas (the ‘Wars’ author) inheriting Kurosawa’s career, which the author made no secret himself, have been challenged. Ismail likes Kurosawa. He was shown in the days of his youth, more over, Kurosawa’s ‘Dersu Uzala’ was shot at “Mosfilm.
And here are other friends.
Fuad’s FB page reads: ‘Those, who have not watched the ‘Star Wars’, like this post, so that would know, whom to bring together on one ship and drown.’ Fuad is a bit above 30.
And there are plenty of such people. And all of them are of my generation, not older.
We have some difficulties with this franchise-religion. There are no specialized toy stores. John Williams (a composer of this first blockbuster), who is performing symphonic concerts throughout the world, never traveled to the former socialist countries. Here in Baku, we don’t have those flash mobs in appropriate costumes, that are so common to other places.
I’ve written all this following the first night performance, held in Baku, like elsewhere in the world, on December 17. A new film of the cosmo-opera – ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, was released. For me and many of my friends this is the major event of the year, perhaps the only positive thing that happened this year amidst falling manat, unemployment, burnt down high-rise buildings and oil platform, and other troubles.
J.J. Abrams has always been a master of stamps and cliches. But if in his great debut film ‘Armageddon’ they served for a good cause,giving the film a kind of comedial feature, it was vice versa here.
In the ‘Force Awakens’ cliche is one of the three main artistic techniques. There is much talk about the dark and light side of the Force, confining common and hackneyed phrases that could be hardly compared with Obi-Wan and Yoda teaching, that gave rise to officially registered ‘Jediism religion.’
The second artistic technique is nostalgia. It is here in bulk, and even more than necessary. The characters frequently cite their hackneyed phrases, making play of internet memes; there is even an episode repeating the escape from boulder from the first film of Indiana Jones trilogy (starring Harrison Ford, who performed as Han Solo in the Star Wars). The old film characters appear here on time, predictably and pompously. They are sort of rubbed in the audience face with a concomitant pathetic whisper: ‘Come on, nostalgize!’
The third technique – ‘doing everything as in the first film, but in larger scale.’ In fact, the structure of the ‘Force Awakens’ story almost fully repeats the first film of the legend – ‘A New Hope’ (1977).
Here they seek to kill Han for debts again, but this time it is not just one headhunter, but ‘they stood in silence in a row, there were eight of them.’ Waste is collected on the deserted planet – there is more waste, while the planet is still dry and hopeless. Finally, there is the Death Star here too, but it is five times larger than the previous one and it destroys not just one, but rather five planets. Everything is just like in ‘A New Hope’, but here is five at a price of one!
Very often, all three techniques (nostalgia, cliche and exploitation) occur simultaneously. Alike Luke in the old film, his successor – Rey is handed over an old light sabre, which is followed by the remark: ‘This sabre belonged to him. To Luke Skywalker, himself.’
In a similar episode, in 1977, a brilliant actor, Alec Guinness says: ‘This is an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.’
Perhaps, that’s all. But the film is worth watching anyway, once you are fans.