Jennifer Holberg is away today, stuck in an airport or snowbank somewhere. We welcome back Twelve Hall-of-Famer, Jeff Munroe. Jeff is the Vice President of Operations and Advancement at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. Thanks, Jeff!
Spoiler alert–if you haven’t seen this movie yet, I guess you’re not the type that goes out to watch movies. I’m also guessing you don’t really care that the following article might spill the beans about the plot of a movie you are trying your best to avoid.
• George Lucas is receiving a Kennedy Center Honor sometime this week for his contributions to American popular culture. I’m thinking this is backwards. George Lucas needs to be giving the American people (and the rest of the world) honors for our donations to him. As near as I can tell, he made his last positive contribution to Star Wars in 1977. Look this up, people.
• My favorite pre-Star Wars action was that a co-worker’s young son got the name of the new bad guy Kylo Ren mixed up with the name of a Western Theological Seminary professor and stomped around his house with his light saber proclaiming, “I am Han-luen.”
• Is it just me or did Mark Hamill/Luke Skywalker look really, really bad at the end of the movie? It must not just be me because I read someplace that Luke looked like he’d spent the last thirty years sleeping under a park bench. I thought that was harsh, but I sympathize with the sentiment. And by the way, if he’s spent years living on that piece of rock in the middle of the ocean, what does he eat? And where does he sleep? And what does he do with himself all day?
• Am I super nerd for knowing the guy who played the supreme leader bad guy hologram is also the same guy who was Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies?
• Favorite new character: Rey. Least favorite new character: Poe. Second most favorite new character: Maz. Third favorite new character: BB-8.
• Am I a super nerd for knowing the stormtrooper that Rey did the Jedi mind trick on was played by Daniel Craig? That’s right, James Bond is in the new Star Wars movie.
• What’s eating Kylo Ren? I am not buying him. The hologram guy is much scarier.
• Where was Jar Jar?
• How can Star Wars be a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away and mirror our advances technologically? Or am I thinking too much?
• Technology isn’t the only thing that has changed since 1977. Think of the difference between Leia in her gold bikini and the way Rey kicks butt in this movie.
• I guarantee Harrison Ford/Han Solo will be back.
• Did you know Bill Hader of Saturday Night Live fame did noises for BB-8? Imagine being him and trying to explain to your kids that you’re in Star Wars.
• J.J. Abrams re-created scene after scene from the original movie and in doing so made the “New Order” bad guys look like Nazis (again). Why not be bold and make them like ISIS, or Putin, or Dick Cheney?
• Finally, what’s it say about us that the biggest blockbuster of all time is a recycling of a story from 1977 that was actually a recycling of Buck Rogers who first appeared in 1928? I’ll tell you what it says: humanity is hooked on stories that have mythical dimensions to them. Read a little Joseph Campbell or Carl Jung about heroes, mentors, and quests. Or just go to the movies and enjoy. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a lot of fun. Thanks J. J. Abrams for redeeming one of our favorite stories.