Monday Morning Critic – Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer And Why Disney’s Plans For The Franchise Will Kill It’s Inherent Specialness


The big story this weekend was the new Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens trailer, which I thought was fairly impressive but nothing we haven’t seen before. I wasn’t all that impressed, as this was essentially the same trailer as Star Trek Into Darkness but with the Millennium Falcon instead of the Enterprise. What had started as a quick blurb and link to our post on it sprawled into a long take that felt better than the generic “Guardians of the Galaxy will never sniff a real Oscar” piece I had sketched out this week.

Modern trailers have become so good that it takes a lot to genuinely stand out. Generally it’s for being genuinely awful, as it’s much more difficult to tell a good film from a bad one these days based purely on trailers alone. Thus my underwhelmed reaction to Episode VII was the same as it has been for any number of films this year alone; indifference is expected once you see enough trailers I suppose. But the fact that this was just like a ton of other trailers, including the last one the director did before this film, isn’t the right opinion.

The right opinion is to fawn over it because it’s a Star Wars film. People fawned over The Phantom Menace when it came out in the late ’90s, thus there is precedent for it. And then people actually watched the film and realized it, like the rest of the prequels that followed, were raging dumpster fires of cinema that I find socially acceptable to deny existing.

The online reaction sounded something like “OMG THIS IS SO AMAZING NOW I’M GOING TO EAT SOME FUDGE.”

It was the same for Avatar as well, as people did say they had their “eyeballs raped” in many comment sections. It’s become the norm for people to profoundly overreact because it’s the correct thing to do as opposed to the honest one. People who genuinely dislike something, as opposed to those merely trolling the popular opinion, often get shouted down because people don’t know the difference. I was more impressed with the leaked Ted 2 trailer, unfinished special effects and all, than I was with The Force Awakens to be fair.

The Force Awakens did get me excited, at least from that opening. A minute in the iconic score was a cool moment, too, and overall it made me about 5% more excited to see the film when it comes out next winter. We’re a year away and we don’t have many details, just a lot of speculation, but there’s a sense of hope now that George Lucas is basically just another voice in the room as opposed to the deciding opinion. But we should be careful what we wish for because now Star Wars is on the verge of moving from an event to a genre … and that’s a bad thing.


Disney spent $4 billion on it, buying out George Lucas in part because of the changing tax laws that would wind up netting him less if he sold it in the years to follow, and now they’re about to change the way we look at Star Wars on the whole. With The Force Awakens we just experienced the final “big event” trailer in the franchise as now we’re moving from it being three films of historical note, three that made a ton of money and a veritable empire of cartoons and toys …. To being a massive marketing machine where the film’s box office grosses are one of several revenue streams generated on an annual basis for a franchise.

Enjoy The Force Awakens. Eventually Star Wars will find its way into having the same heft when a trailer is released as The Avengers sequel was. It was interesting, and exciting, but it didn’t feel special. And this is the last time a Star Wars film will really feel special. Now … now it’s just another franchise and genre.

Stuff for General George S. Pimpage, Esq

I saw Horrible Bosses 2 and Foxcatcher in theatres. One was a great film … the other not so much.
Variety had an interesting piece this week on the year’s biggest surprise in Guardians of the Galaxy, wondering whether or not it was worthy of an Oscar nomination.

My boy Mike Noyes finally completed his short film. Check it out.

And now on MMC … we listen to CM Punk effectively torch his pro wrestling career in the WWE.

If you want to pimp anything email it to me with a good reason why. It helps to bribe me with stuff, just saying ….

A Movie A Week – The Challenge


This week’s DVD – Daria (The Complete Series)

From the ashes of one of the late ‘90s cult cartoons, Beavis and Butt-Head, came arguably a better series that holds up significantly easier over time: Daria. A supporting character who was in a handful of episodes, Daria Morgendorffer would headline her own series that would last longer than the original series she starred in. If the revamp of Beavis and Butt-Head that lasted a season had done better there were talks to revive Daria in some form. I think it could’ve done well …. I remember the reaction when this fake trailer was released and wanting it to be a real movie.

Daria is a simple show: Daria (Tracy Grandstaff) is the unpopular girl at school who kind of takes a joy in it, being the outsider with acerbic wit. The show follows her and her teenage alienation through high school, ending as she gets ready for college, and revels in the wacky antics of her and her family.

This is the animated version of what My So Called Life could’ve been. It’s been a decade plus since the show aired and it actually is better than I remember it when it aired the first time.

Highest recommendation possible.

What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 tall boys of Red Fox and community college co-eds with low standards at the Fox and Hound

The Pyramid – Supernatural forces attack some explorers in a tomb or something.

Skip it – No one is going after this weekend, film wise, because the studios were thinking the latest Hunger Games sequel would peter out after three weeks or so.

Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings his trademarked irreverence and offensive hilarity to Twitter in 140 characters or less. Follow him @ScottSawitz .

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