Viewing posts tagged force awakens

Forward, to the Past! - Episode III: Rebel Yell

Or ‘American History X-Wing’


Yes, it’s the third and concluding episode in my trilogy of posts about Star Wars. I’m going to be making all sorts of generalisations about ‘America’ in this post. Please bear in mind, I don’t mean them to apply to all American people. Far from it. I’m talking about mainstream historical narratives, and the culture industries, and ideology, and so on. Also, in keeping with tradition, I’ve included an unnecessary and irritating (but also rather cute, if you’re honest) teddy bear. Oh, and in twenty years time I’ll come back and reissue these posts with crappy extra passages edited in for no good reason.


Three political categories dominate the Star Wars galaxy: Republic, Empire, and Rebellion. This is the arrangement in The Force Awakens just as much as in the original trilogy. Indeed, it is the apparent impossibility of telling a Star Wars story in which the galaxy is arranged any other way which determines the inevitability that The Force Awakens will be, and has to be, a ‘structre’ (as covered in previous episodes).

Galactic politics is in a constant state of fluctuation, but the fluctuation is between these ...

Forward, to the Past! - Episode II: Cuckballs

Yes, it’s the second part of the trilogy. This time, I just made some notes and gave them to Irvin Kershner to write-up for me. Of course, he’s dead… which might explain why is take is a little darker than mine.

In Star Wars, we don’t see anyone on Alderaan die. We hear Obi-Wan say that their voices cried out in terror, but we never hear those voices ourselves. The only other acknowledgement of them in the film is Leia’s remark that “we have no time for our sorrows”, but even this is in response to someone saying that they “feared the worst” when they heard about Alderaan… meaning, in effect, that the murder of billions of people made them worried in case a Princess had been killed too. Of course, the context is that they’re worried about Leia because they think she has the Death Star plans, but it’s still a startling formulation. I confess to liking Leia’s pragmatic refusal to prioritise her own feelings. She never does the ‘girly’ thing (which would of course be to break down in tears). Even so, it’s worrying that she is given the task of comforting Luke about Obi-Wan’s death so soon ...

Forward, to the Past! - Episode I: Back to the Future

The first part of a new Shabgraff trilogy of posts about Star Wars. Yes, yes, I’m as surprised and upset as you are. Contains spoilers for The Force Awakens.


There is a spectre haunting my local Odeon. Actually, I think a better word to describe The Force Awakens is one I’ve just invented (by serendipitous typo): ‘structre’. The Force Awakens is a structre. The spectre of a dead structure. In this case, a phantom narrative.

The new film mirrors the original movie (which I will rudely insist upon referring to as Star Wars rather than ‘A New Hope’ or ‘Episode IV’) very closely, in structure. The First Order’s attack on Jakku mirrors the Star Destroyer attacking Leia’s ship; Finn and Poe’s escape to a crash landing on a sand planet mirrors Threepio and Artoo’s escape to Tatooine. When Han is killed by Ren as Rey watches, it’s impossible not to be reminded of Luke watching Darth Vader kill Ben Kenobi. A young budding hero (and, presumably, Jedi to be) watches powerless as her newly-found but instantly-beloved older mentor is struck down, by lightsabre, by an evil dude in black. Etc. This is all ...

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