I’m going to discuss the film at length in the next podcast, but here’s a point dependent on my memory:
A gulf in tone lies between the reviews about The Force Awakens and those that greeted The Phantom Menace sixteen years ago. Then, the critics were numb and bored with the exercise of finding something to say about the film. It wasn’t a question of the movie getting a good review or a bad review; it was as much of a chore to review the film as it was to view it.
Now, even the critics who have never felt the charm of Star Wars are unable to resist this one. They point out the weaknesses – and those are fair. I don’t feel obligated to defend The Force Awakens from these critiques, as I did – fanboy in denial that I was – with The Phantom Menace.
Because ten years ago, when I walked out, shrugging my shoulders, from a late-night viewing of Revenge of the Sith, I thought that was it. Star Wars was dead. But the old girl just jumped back to life, and that in itself is a joy that no one can deny.