Star Wars on Trial: The Force Awakens Edition: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time by David Brin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Thanks to Netgalley!
I'm not normally a reader of non-fiction unless I'm in a hardcore research mode, but I wanted this solely because I'm a fan of both David Brin and Matthew Woodring Stover. It really had nothing at all to do with the arguments one can fling at the SW universe, whether to attack or defend.
To do so is a very deep rabbit hole, indeed.
Fortunately, it turned out to be rather amusing to hear Stover intimate that Brin was a Sith Lord in disguise and to show that Stover is an unabashed apologist because he got paid for the novelization of Ep 6. (As well as a number of EU novels.)
But that isn't all! I genuinely enjoyed most of the coherent arguments and definitely enjoyed the incoherent ones. I think I'll always enjoy the reading of the movies as the revelation that we live in a real holographic universe and Lucas is just trying to show us the path, and that the Jedi are just exploiting the bugs in the software universe to hack and exploit it. Bingo! I can't enjoy the movies more than THAT interpretation. :)
But really, seeing the movies as a comedy in the old sense, that we enjoy them because it evokes a real sense of JOY? That resonates with me, too.
I couldn't care less that the movies are monsters of science inaccuracy. Even if I understand science, and I do, it doesn't always make for stories that resonate, and often put too much burden on any tale to make anyone want to read it, let alone watch a movie about it. Did anyone see Gravity? Did anyone see anything other than a bunch of action sequences and silence? Yeah, that's because it was scientifically accurate, and to bring anyone's attention to that fact would kill the tension. :)
But when it comes to the argument that women are consistently stripped of agency through the story arcs, I have to agree. Simply. Easily. Leia was treated poorly as a character, but Amadala's treatment was deplorable.
Fortunately for the rest of us who have actually seen the new movie, I rejoice in the new direction, and pray that Rey continues to be badass throughout the next two movies. Prove that the valid complaint had taken root and will grow into something truly marvellous. :)
This book came out right after Ep 6, and was given only a minor update *before* the release of Ep 7, so don't expect an cogent and relevant arguments either way that includes the new movie.
I would have LOVED that, but timing is everything, and this was aimed primarily at the fanboys and fangirls who love to think about the franchise, and the best time to capitalize on that is in the tension before the film.
Of course, now that the new movie is such a success, I hope to see more. :)
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