Start Wars: The Force Awakens… don’t call it a sequel, when it’s a remake

I liked the new Star Wars movie. As a fan of the original, I didn’t really have much of a choice about it. I mean, it’s pretty much the same film. I don’t fault Disney and J.J. Abrams for approaching it this way. In their shoes, I would have done the same thing. They essentially took everything that worked in the original Star Wars movie and used it again, and, in doing so, ensured that they’d get a decent return on the $4 billion they paid George Lucas for the franchise. There was a lot riding on this, and they, understandably, didn’t want to leave anything to chance. Which, again, I’m fine with. I just kind of resent being told that it’s a sequel, when it’s really a reboot… I’m sure that, in time, someone with more time than me will chart out all of the similarities between The Force Awakens and the original Start Wars. Here, though, are just a few points off the top of my head to get the ball rolling.


Oh, one last thing… Yes, when the rebels blew up the Starkiller Base, they saved the planets in the system being threatened by the First Order, but won’t life on those planets end anyway, seeing as how the Starkiller Base, by the time it was destroyed, had already depleted their sun? I mean, sure, these planets weren’t blown up, but, without a sun, won’t they wither and die anyway? [Tanks for nothing, Poe Dameron.]

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  1. Scott Trudeau
    Posted December 30, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Re: the sun … I don’t think the Starkiller Base was in the same system as the planets they were targeting. They said something about the base being able to fire it’s projectiles via hyperspace so my understanding is they’d park it near an uninhabited star system, deplete the star for its energy, then fire projectiles at targets via hyperspace. Not sure if that’s right, though.

    And otherwise, I agree with your sentiments. I enjoyed it for what it was, but it is clearly largely a remake to set the foundation for future franchise films & didn’t have its own story.

  2. Jcp2
    Posted December 30, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s actually more than a remake of Episode 4. It’s a mashup of 4, 5, and 6. Desert planet, check. Snow planet, check. Forest planet, check. Bottomless pits without railings, check. Light saber battle in the dark, check. But there are differences. Female lead. Minority lead. Possible bromance. No tiny and cute alien race. The same could be said for each Harry Potter movie.

  3. Meta
    Posted December 30, 2015 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Details on how Starkiller Base operates from Australia’s Business Insider:

    While the “science” behind that sort of weapon doesn’t exactly exist, the film’s novel, written by Alan Dean Foster and signed off on by Disney/Lucas Films, goes more in depth, explaining how the base was formed and what it’s purpose was.

    Starkiller Base was an altered planet, the book explains, which allowed it to be both a weapon and base.

    “Spectacular and isolated, with a mean surface temperature varying from merely cold to permanently arctic, the planet had been altered: its mountains tunneled into, its glaciers hacked, and its valleys modified until it no longer resembled its original naturally eroded form,” Foster wrote.

    Rather than suck power directly from stars, the weapon used the power from stars to collect dark energy, “known as quintessence,” which was held in a containment unit in Starkiller Base’s core until the weapon was ready to use and then shot through a hollow cylinder.

    “At incredible velocity and accelerating exponentially, the concentrated volume of quintessence escaped, transforming as it did so into a state known as phantom energy and following the artificial line of egress that had been provided. Assuming that the rotation and inclination of the planet had been taken into account, the released blast of concentrated phantom energy would travel along a perfectly linear path, punching a small Big Rip through hyperspace itself until it left the galaxy.”

    Read more:

  4. Posted December 30, 2015 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    I could be mistaken, as I’ve only seen the film once, but I thought, when our heroes were on Takodana, looking up at red line moving across the sky above them, toward its targets, that their sun was dimming.

  5. Jcp2
    Posted December 31, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    The novelization and the film are different with regards to how the Starkiller works. Rest assured, Mark, that you are not alone in plot hole querying.

  6. Jean Henry
    Posted December 31, 2015 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Plot holes in sci-fi are things men fall into– leading to a hyperspace of squabbles creating lingering internet buzz

  7. Alex
    Posted January 1, 2016 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Some things were different. Take, for instance, C3-PO. He had a red arm this time.

  8. anonymous
    Posted January 1, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Why did C3PO have a red arm?

    So they could sell C3PO toys to people who had them already!

  9. Anonymous
    Posted January 1, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, George Lucas agrees with you, Mark.

  10. Posted January 1, 2016 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Again, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that they decided to approach it as a remake while calling it a sequel. It’s makes perfect sense. As I said in the post, Disney’s got too much riding on it to leave anything to chance. They paid $4 billion for the rights, and they’re building theme parks. This has to work for them. So they pulled out all the stops and tried to create a blockbuster that would both appease the beleaguered fan, who was pissed about what the franchise had become, and lay the groundwork for what comes next, while not making people angry, which a straight-ahead remake would have done. The true test, though, will be the next film.

  11. iRobert
    Posted October 21, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I know where you can get some free lightsabers, if you’re interested.

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