Freaking out over the Force

Freaking out over the Force
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PHOTO: Walt Disney

Star Wars sucks.

That is, if you're British journalist and TV personality Piers Morgan.

Or as I prefer to call him, Piers "The-Force-Is-Certainly-Not-With-You" Morgan.

The 50-year-old US editor-at-large of the UK's Daily Mail newspaper wrote a scathing column on Tuesday about the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, which premiered on Monday night (US time).

The clip has attracted more than 26 million views on YouTube.

He declared that "Star Wars has sucked for 40 overrated, overhyped, preposterous years".

This without seeing any of the six Star Wars movies, the first of which was released in 1977, because he finds them too cheesy.

He wrote: "I, peering through my dispassionate, uncontaminated eyes, laughed out loud during the trailer and not for any good reasons.

"The only Force (the trailer) reawakened in me is one of even firmer resolution not to go and see this latest diabolical affront to my sophisticated celluloid senses.

"You can stick this... fantastically silly nonsense up your R2-D2."

To die-hard Star Wars fans like me, Morgan deserves to be frozen in carbonite for daring to question the galaxy far, far away.

IT HURTS

Every time someone tells me he doesn't like Star Wars or has never seen any of the films, it's like a lightsaber to the gut.

I think a Wookie dies every time someone says "I hate Star Wars".

I know why some people don't get the hype. Like the Force, it's something you were born with, or not.

On the other hand, the Force continues to be with millions of fans like us.

And it's not just because we like the funny names and Muppet-like aliens.

Star Wars is about being a rebel, fighting for freedom and confronting your father.

It's life and death set against the backdrop of space.

I grew up loving the movies and had a huge crush on Luke Skywalker. My cousin named his sons after Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. Star Wars goes way beyond the movie series. It's a way of life, a cultural phenomenon.

One of my kendo senseis (Japanese fencing teachers) played a Jedi extra in a prequel.

That means I've been trained by an actual Jedi, which makes me a sort of Jedi-in-exile.

So, Piers Morgan, if you have more to say about the futility of Star Wars, I'll be planning my counter-attack.

And when the time comes, may the Force be with you.

MOVIE TICKETS

A local Walt Disney spokesman confirmed that Singapore fans can buy advance tickets for The Force Awakens from Nov 16, ahead of its Dec 17 release date.

Official movie marathons, however, have not been confirmed.

In the US nad UK, advance ticket sales for The Force Awakens have smashed records and many early screenings are sold out.

According to US retailer Fandango, the JJ Abrams-directed sequel pre-sold more than eight times as many tickets as 2012's The Hunger Games, the previous record holder.

IMAX domestic theatres sold about US$6.5 million (S$9 million) in tickets in less than 24 hours, smashing its previous record of less than US$1 million for one-day advance sales, the company said.

Disney said that a record 200,000-plus tickets were sold in the UK in 24 hours, beating Skyfall, Spectre, The Hunger Games and 50 Shades Of Grey.

GO ONBOARD R2-D2 PLANE

Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) unveiled the first commercial aircraft with Star Wars designs, part of a planned series of three. It was inspired by the R2-D2 robot and has Star Wars-themed head rests and dining ware in the cabin.

Singapore fans will be able to see the aircraft at Changi Airport when it lands here on Nov 12.

A three-hour fan event will be held on the plane on Nov 14, with a Star Wars movie screening, in-flight meal and limited edition Star Wars merchandise goodie bags .

Visit ANA's website and Changi Airport's Facebook page from now until Oct 25 for a chance to win. Twenty pairs of tickets are available.

Five things to ask about the trailer

1) Where's Luke Skywalker?

Mark Hamill, who had a voiceover in the second official teaser for the film, is noticeably absent here.

The poster art shows Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). They share a cosy hug, but where is the original Jedi boy Luke? Is he the mysterious hooded character laying a hand on R2-D2 ?

2) What happened to the Jedi?

Scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) says, "There are stories about what happened," to which Han Solo replies, "It's all true... The Dark Side... the Jedi... they're real."

Since the story is set 30 years after Return Of The Jedi, is this a world where the Sith and Jedi have truly been forgotten?

How did that happen?

3) How does Finn go from battered to badass?

He looks utterly destroyed at the start, but by the end, the Jedi-in-training is battling villain Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) with his own lightsaber.

4) What made Kylo Ren turn to the Dark Side?

For the uninitiated, the wielder of the red lightsaber that looks like it could stab its owner by accident is truly menacing. He tortures Resistance X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and promises Darth Vader, "I will finish what you started".

5) What's his backstory?

What is Lupita Nyong'o's character like?

Rumour has it the Oscar-winning Kenyan actress will star as Maz Kanata, an alien pirate.

lisat@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on October 22, 2015.
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