6

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Is About J.J. Abrams Forgiving George Lucas For The Prequels

As we’ve already mentioned, the original Star Wars trilogy was a coded metaphor for George Lucas’ life — how a young idealistic man didn’t want to be dragged down by his father’s bad choices. So it’s fitting that in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams not only revisits the plot of the original Star Wars, but also its motivation. Only this time, the father is George Lucas, and his bad choices are the steaming piles of Bantha fodder that are the prequel trilogy. Right off the bat, the opening crawl lets us know that Luke (who remember, is Lucas’ fictional counterpart) is out of the picture. Like in real life, the guy who was a big deal decades ago isn’t a part of this movie.

LucasFilm

/Film
Threw it right on top of the corpse of Jar Jar Binks.

So why have the heroes of the original Star Wars been banished to strange planets / luxury Californian estates? Both Luke and Lucas tried to follow up their successes with another project and screwed up royally. Lucas made three craptacular movies, while Luke started a new Jedi Order but ended up teaching a new Space Hitler how to murder people with laser swords. Hard to say which is worse.


Lucas. It’s Lucas.

So following this logic, the First Order represents the prequels, which totally makes sense, as they both really, really suck. For one thing, they’re called “THE FIRST ORDER” — you know, as in I, II, Revenge Of The Sith? They’re also the only ones who reference the prequels, bringing up the clone armies you were hoping to forget about …

LucasFilm

And while a lot of the movie utilizes good old-fashioned practical effects, the big bad guy is a CGI blob who easily could have been from the prequels:

LucasFilm
At least the stupid name “Snoke,” for sure.

In this allegory, Rey is J.J. Abrams, the reluctant protagonist. It’s been well-documented that Abrams at first turned down the opportunity to make the movie. He had to be convinced to do it by producer Kathleen Kennedy. Similarly, Rey doesn’t want to accept her powers, but needs to be convinced by a wise older woman.

LucasFilm

LucasFilm
These “before and after” CGI shots are insane.

Rey’s partner in the movie is Finn, a Stormtrooper who renounces the First Order. Abrams’ partner? Lawrence Kasdan, who originally joined Lucas in co-writing The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. Seeing a limit to his loyalty, Kasdan ran away from the prequel scripts, stating, “I thought [Lucas] should take responsibility and make exactly the movie he wanted to make, and that’s exactly what he did,” which is a very nice way of saying “You’re not taking me down with you.”

LucasFilm
“But a reminder: I had nothing to do with them. OK?”

And even though the prequels murdered a ton of the good will Star Wars had built up (you know, like killing Han Solo did), the protagonist ultimately forgives Luke (Lucas) for crapping all over his own legacy.

LucasFilm

Mashable
In early drafts, Rey wagged her finger at Luke over drinks at Sizzler.

5

Fantastic Beasts And WhereTto Find Them

Is About J.K. Rowling Hawking

Harry Potter

In America

At this point, J.K. Rowling has more than enough money to retire in a castle made of gold and the bones of her enemies. But recently, she returned to the Potterverse with a new Harry Potter play and a movie prequel, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, based on a fake textbook she once wrote. This time, however, Rowling wouldn’t place her childhood fantasies in a magical boarding school, but rather her adult misery in one of the most frustrating places she’d ever been: the United States of America.

The movie tells the story of Newt Scamander, a floppy-haired wizard coming to America for the first time. Newt shows up with an ordinary suitcase that secretly houses a vast world full of exotic magical creatures. This is symbolic of Rowling’s imaginative book full of magical creatures — which, of course, she used to carry around in a suitcase.

Warner Bros.
Which may or may not have been magical.

Newt’s journey to America is a symbolic retelling of how Rowling herself first came to the states to hawk her book series, which was bought by an American publisher for a surprisingly high amount, and this is reflected in the movie by the fact that the first thing Newt does in America is head to the bank.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.
Looking inconspicuous and not at all like he’s about to rob the place.

Newt then meets an American wizard, who teaches him that Americans insist on different, dumbed-down expressions he needs to conform to — for instance, they refer to “Muggles” as “No-Majs” — as in, “no magic.”

Warner Bros.
“What’s a ‘wand’? Oh, you mean your glowy pointy stick?”

Similarly, Rowling had to have her first book translated into American English, most notably having to change the title and eponymous plot device from “Philosopher’s Stone” to “Sorcerer’s Stone,” because U.S. publishers thought Americans need to be reminded of the type of book they’re reading five words into the cover.

Bloomsbury, Scholastic
“I dun need no Plato to tell me whut magic’s all about.”

But his overseas counterparts aren’t the real American obstacle. Soon after arriving in the U.S., Newt encounters a group of rabidly anti-magic Christian fundamentalists who want to put a stop to American witchcraft.

Warner Bros.
Dressed here in their most intimidating Downton Abbey cosplay.

Which should sound familiar.

BBC

The Lewiston Maine Sun Journal

Chick Publications
Reminder that this is a book about children, elves, and broomstick sports.

One of the Christian kids is so repressed and unhappy that he literally transforms into a rampaging murder cloud — an event which people initially blame on Newt and his wacky animals. That’s Rowling flat-out stating that any problems with the youth of evangelicals are due to their own institutional bigotry, and not her stories about wizard schools and uninsurable sports.

An interesting read via Cracked: All Posts

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