By: Dominic Jones
When Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theatres back in December it was an international hit, finishing third in the all time box office list. One person who was less than excited about the film was the man who's films currently occupy the top two spots on the aforementioned list. An interview with director James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic, Terminator 2: Judgment Day) recently appeared on YouTube (and has since been removed) where shared his thoughts on the seventh instalment in the Star Wars saga.
The director was critical of the film's visual style, saying he felt it was lacking when it came to visuals. Cameron, who is a friend of Star Wars creator George Lucas, said,
"I have to say that I felt that George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination, and this film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before and characters you had seen before. And it took a few baby steps forward with new characters. So for me the jury’s out. I want to see where they go with it."
Here's the thing, Cameron's not wrong. The Force Awakens was a return to what made audiences fall in love with Star Wars back in 1977, especially when it came to story beats and visuals. That was the point. The Force Awakens had to set up a brand new story and to do that it had to tread over some familiar ground, both to give the characters a solid foundation from which they can go off in new and exciting directions, and also to make mainstream audiences excited about Star Wars again. And it succeeded, I would say, on both accounts.
Cameron alludes to the fact that he wants to see where all this is headed in the next two films, and that too is a fair assessment. The sequel trilogy may have had a familiar beginning, but it is crucial that its sequels explore new grounds (narratively and visually). If Episode VIII feels like a retelling of The Empire Strikes Back, then I'll be concerned too.
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