A STAR RIP OFF???

Its TGIF again, Folks. Thank God! I’ve been thinking about the ad Wazobia TV has been running for some Turkish series, with much enthusiasm. The catch being that it was the first time a Turkish series will be aired in Nigerian. And I’m like duh. So what? I mean is the Turkish film industry that good, that our home base TV station is making so much fuss about showing casing their series. I beg to differ. I choose to believe naija’s got much better series than whatever it is they’re offering. But you know how it is in Nigeria, how we celebrate anything foreign over our own. Guess that explains the craze for subtitled telemundos, Zee World series… and now Turkish too. Uh?

Anyways, to our weekend movie. It was the most anticipated films of last year with pre and post record breaking ticket sales. It’s ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  Also known as Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, its a 2015 American epic space opera film directed, co-produced, and co-written by J. J. Abrams. Its the seventh installment in the main Star Wars film series, and stars Harrison FordMark HamillCarrie FisherAdam DriverDaisy RidleyJohn BoyegaOscar IsaacLupita Nyong’oAndy Serkis,Domhnall GleesonAnthony DanielsPeter Mayhew, and Max von Sydow. The Force Awakens is set 30 years after Return of the Jedi; it follows ReyFinn, and Poe Dameron‘s search for Luke Skywalker and their fight alongside the Resistance, led by veterans of the Rebel Alliance, against Kylo Ren and the First Order, a successor group to the Galactic Empire.

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The Force Awakens received five Academy Award nominations and four British Academy Film Award nominations, where it won Best Special Visual Effects. It became the most Saturn Award-nominated film in history, receiving fifteen nominations. Two sequels, Episode VIII and Episode IX, are scheduled for 2017 and 2019 respectively.

As of April 7, 2016, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has grossed $935.1 million in North America and $1.129 billion in other territories for a worldwide total of $2.064 billion. The Force Awakens earned 8.6% of the total 2015 releases in North America, which is second only to the 8.8% of 1997 box office earned by Titanic in 1997. The film is the highest-grossing release of 2015, the highest-grossing film in the franchise (surpassing The Phantom Menace), the highest-grossing film released by Walt Disney Studios, the highest-ever grossing film in North America (dethroning Avatar), and the third-highest-grossing film of all time.

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It was the 24th film in cinematic history to surpass $1 billion worldwide, standing as the fastest film to surpass the mark, doing so in 12 days. It was the third film in history to surpass $2 billion worldwide, doing so on its 53rd day of release. Deadline.com calculated the net profit of the film to be $923.8 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues for the film, making it the most profitable film of 2015 and the most profitable film in the last seven years.

The film suffered some negative publicity in February 2016, when it was reported that the Health and Safety Executive brought four criminal charges against Disney subsidiary Foodles Production (UK) Ltd for alleged health and safety breaches relating to the accident which caused Harrison Ford to fracture his leg, after a hydraulic door on the Millennium Falcon set fell on him while filming at Pinewood. Ford’s son Ben stated that Ford’s ankle would likely need a plate and screws.635851362894595191-xxx-forceawakens-add07-mov-78132648.jpg

Many critics praised the film and compared it favorably to the original trilogy. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 92% approval rating, based on 342 reviews, with a rating average of 8.2/10. The website’s critical consensus reads, “Packed with action and populated by both familiar faces and fresh blood, The Force Awakens successfully recalls the series’ former glory while injecting it with renewed energy.

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I say I have no idea what those critics are talking about. For me “The Force Awakens was a film that build up expectations that went nowhere. A real “Star Rip Off”. I spent hours watching a film, expecting some galactic battle that never happened. Not to mention there was nothing “special” about the special effects. It was basically the same Storm Raider and Darth Vader costumes and robotic props from the previous sequels. It just seems like Abrams made a movie based on what sold in the past. I have to agree with Scott Mendelson who felt it was so much “an exercise in fan service.”images-10.jpg.jpeg

Andrew O’Hehir wrote for Salon that it was “the work of a talented mimic or ventriloquist who can just about cover for the fact that he has nothing much to say”. And Brian Merchant wrote “The Force Awakens rehashed the well-trod, instead of exploring the new… that one of the creative enterprises of the 20th century had rendered an enjoyable, but mostly forgettable Hollywood reboot.”images-12.jpg.jpeg

Well said guys. I’ve definitely forgotten about the reboot. While I understand the need for directors to make their sequels, it isn’t fair to make a movie with some washed out narrative, just to stretch it into several sequels, at the expense of paying fans. Just glad I didn’t go to the cinema to watch… that. Would have demanded a refund immediately. Abrams must have loads of luck on his side and plenty of die-hard fans to have broken record sales.  Or how else could this version of ‘Star Wars’ have gotten so much universal acclaim?

Moving on, I did promise you a freebie today. What’s the question? Tell me the first ‘Star Wars’ movie in the franchise and the freebie is yours. Remember, it’s still the first person to send in a correct answer that gets the freebie. So get moving peeps. Bye!

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