It’s All Been Done Before

Remember that scene in Star Wars where the stormtrooper flies down with a rebel pilot, whips off his uniform and marches into Mos Eisley, where Luke lived and traded scrap parts for food rations, then joined him on a crazy adventure, stealing a ship from Jabba as the Empire started bombing Tattooine? Then he and the stormtrooper Tex, from TX-305, his designation, flew off into space to get intercepted by Obi-Wan in his gigantic freighter, but it turns out that the ship they’re flying was one that Obi-Wan used to own, maybe that shiny Naboo ship, I don’t know. The prequels didn’t have any other really memorable ships, but I digress. Anyway, they then get into a big fight with some pirates that Obi-Wan got into trouble with in the past.

So, they get through that whole situation, and Obi-Wan flies them off to a nice lush planet that looks like it might be in South America. There’s a bar there where they meet Yaddle, Yoda’s sister, who ends up giving Luke some other dude’s lightsaber, maybe Mace Windu’s or something. I don’t really remember because just like everyone who says the Force Awakens is just like the original Star Wars, I haven’t seen “A New Hope” in over a decade apparently. Anyway, this other surviving Jedi is away somewhere teaching new Jedi, but because Obi-Wan is a complete hack and has totally forgotten everything he knows about the force, he neglects to teach Luke pretty much anything, so he has to figure it all out on his own, but he knows that he’s a force-sensitve and he’s seen all these Jedi tricks before, so he tries them out himself.

So there’s this neat battle on the bar planet where the stormtrooper fights his former compatriots with the lightsaber, losing pretty badly while Obi-Wan and Chewy kick some ass, then… I guess one of Obi-Wan’s old flames that he kept secret comes down and they make out, while C3PO shows up for his cameo saying something goofy. Anyway, all that gets over, the rebellion comes together and they found out about the Death Star. Obi-Wan has seen big things that do bad things and makes it clear that there has to be some way to destroy it. So they set up a plan. Apparently there’s some kind of weakness in the Death Star but they’re going to need to go in and disable it, and the Tex is just the guy, since he was there when it was being built, so he knows his way around. They go there, Tex leads them to where they need to go to disable the protections, but Darth Vader is there waiting for them. He anguishes over his turn to the dark side, and ultimately, kills Obi-Wan with his lightsaber, letting him turn further to the dark side, even though he’s extremely conflicted about it. Then Vader gets shot in the gut, runs away, meets Luke and Tex on the Death Star. Tex goes first, since he still has Windu’s lightsaber, and holds his own pretty well, since Vader is badly damaged, but ultimately the force and Vader’s experience win out, leading Luke to reach out with the force to grab Windu’s lightsaber, pulling it to him, and he holds off Vader quite well. They end up getting separated as the Death Star starts to break apart and Luke has to take the silver Naboo ship out before the entire place explodes.

Later, Luke heads off to meet with Master Windu, who managed to survive being zapped and flung out the window by Sidious, and gives him back his lightsaber. Roll credits.

See how incredibly similar the plot is to The Force Awakens? It’s like they just completely ripped off the entire movie! Oh wait, that’s not the plot of Star Wars?  It’s actually really different? The hell you say! They meet up on a desert planet, go to a bar, and blow up a death machine in the sky though, so totally the same.  I get it; thematically, it’s very similar. It’s almost like the hero’s journey lives on through each iteration of Star Wars.

The Force Awakens had a lot of weaknesses, but being “exactly the same” is not one of them. The writers even mercilessly lampshade when things are just a bit too similar, but they’re not the same. The journey is different, the characters are different, and even the big bad is different. I actually had a hard time fitting the characters in with that fake recollection. Maybe I’m a little underskilled, but it’s not as easy of a task as one might think. I tried to fit characters in that matched the role they played in the story, but often, that wasn’t possible.

If you didn’t care for The Force Awakens, more power to you, but stop pretending you didn’t like it because it’s a complete retread of the original. You didn’t like it for other reasons.

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