JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan took elements from the Prequel Trilogy that George Lucas wrote terribly and rewrote those elements well in The Force Awakens.
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
As of today The Force Awakens will overtake Avatar as the all time high grossing movie domestically and will overtake The Avengers as the fourth highest grossing movie of all time worldwide. This is all after 19 days in theaters and it still hasn’t been released in China. It’s also broken about 40 records so far, being the fastest to every money number imaginable, having the highest opening weekend, and was only a million short of being the highest grossing movie of 2015 with only being alive in 2015 for 14 days. But besides box office records, what does The Force Awakens mean for the film industry? Are there lessons in this seventh installment?
What does it all mean?
JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan made fun of George Lucas’ Writing
Let’s be honest, Rey in The Force Awakens is exactly how Anakin Skywalker should have been in The Phantom Menace, and on top of that Kylo Ren was exactly how Anakin should have been in Attack of the Clones. Rey, an incredible pilot, much like Luke and more importantly Anakin, who was touted as being the best starpilot in the galaxy is actually means best podracer on
Tatooine. Her skill with a ship and her vast engineering knowledge comes from scavenging destroyed ships. Both Rey and Anakin are slaves, in The Force Awakens Rey is a scavenger who searches downed imperial star destroyers for parts she trades for food. They never use the word slave, but she is trapped to Unkar Plutt, her only source of food portions. Anakin in The Phantom Menace is a retail worker in a junkyard store front who is a slave for a flying Jew named Watto. Seriously Watto is only one of many racist characters in Episode I. Seriously Lucas knew Anakin was a slave but didn’t know anything else except to have him work at a Pep Boys. Hayden Christensen played Anakin in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith as an angsty teen who hated sand, going so far as to kill Tusken Raiders aka sand people aka racist.I think Rey’s line when they are landing on Takodana, and she sees trees and leaves and grass for the first time, is making fun of the sand line in Episode II.
Here’s the famous “I don’t like sand” line in its full context:
Padme: We used to come here for school retreat. We would swim to that island every day. I love the water. We used to lie out on the sand and let the sun dry us and try to guess the names of the birds singing.
Anakin: I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth.
It’s still really stupid in context, it’s just Lucas trying to write how different their upbringings were, even though they’ve known each other now for ten years and Anakin has been around smooth things for the last ten years. And why is he commenting on how smooth everything is? Answer, because Lucas is a bad writer and wrote this on the couch one night between commercial breaks of C-SPAN. Here’s Rey’s line as she arrives on the lush green planet of Takodana from the VII script:
Han notices Rey looking out the windshield, almost in tears.
Rey: (quietly) ... I didn't know there was this much green in the whole galaxy...
Han watches her -- sees a vulnerability that touches him.
It’s an exhaustive moment of emotional outpour from Rey and even Han. This is her relating her childhood to the greater outside world, like Anakin talking about smooth things, except she’s tearing up seeing green.
Anakin killing the Tusken Raiders is the closest thing we have in Episode II to Anakin acting like Darth Vader. He’s angry, angsty, his mother has been raped and died in the hands of the Tusken Raiders. So he goes crazy and murders them all. This is a pretty good moment, but that’s it. Sometimes Anakin has temper tantrums throughout Attack of the Clones, but he’s not Vader. In The Force Awakens Kylo Ren wants to be Vader, when he gets into temper tantrums he uses his lightsaber, and destroys something, much like how Vader would throat hug and kill everyone on Empire Strikes Back. And Kylo getting all angsty is funny, unlike Anakin who is just plain boring and complaining about things that don’t matter to anyone. Kylo is throwing a tantrum over plot, while Anakin is throwing a tantrum over sand.
Abrams and Kasdan couldn’t rewrite Episode I and II but they could sure as hell take the same story element and make it fun and just great old fashioned storytelling.
Here's the list of upcoming films from Disney's:
The Finest Hours - January 29, 2016 The Jungle Book - April 15, 2016
Alice Through the Looking Glass - May 27, 2016
The BFG - July 1, 2016
Pete's Dragon - August 12, 2016
Beauty and the Beast - March 17, 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales July 7, 2017
Untitled Disney live-action fairy tale film - December 22, 2017
Untitled Disney live-action fairy tale film November 2, 2018
Untitled Disney live-action fairy tale film March 29, 2019
Untitled DisneyToon Studios film April 12, 2019
Untitled Disney live-action fairy tale film - November 8, 2019
Disney Animation Studios / Pixar Animation Studios:
Zootopia - March 4, 2016
Finding Dory - June 17, 2016
Moana - November 23, 2016
Cars 3 - June 16, 2017
Coco November 22, 2017
Gigantic - March 9, 2018
Toy Story 4 - June 15, 2018
The Incredibles 2 - June 21, 2019
Untitled Pixar film - March 13, 2020
Untitled Pixar film - June 19, 2020
Untitled Disney Animation film - November 25, 2020
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - December 16, 2016
Star Wars: Episode VIII - May 26, 2017
Untitled Han Solo Anthology Story - 2018
Star Wars: Episode IX - May 24, 2019
Untitled Boba Fett Anthology Story - 2020
Captain America: Civil War - May 6, 2016
Doctor Strange - November 4, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - May 5, 2017
Untitled Spider-Man film - July 28, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok - November 3, 2017
Black Panther - February 16, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 - May 4, 2018
Ant-Man and the Wasp - July 6, 2018
Captain Marvel - March 8, 2019
Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 - May 3, 2019
Inhumans - July 12, 2019
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