Further, J. J. Abrams made a brilliant move in bringing back the father/son Greek drama conflict that animated the original trilogy, except reversing who was good and who was bad, that is, making the father good and the son bad. That was brilliant.
And though I just hated Han Solo being killed by his son, I would have hated Han Solo killed by just about anyone else even more, because the son killing the father is also perfect classic Greek tragedy, and Shakespearean too, while we\'re on it.
J. J. Abrams had already shown in his Star Trek reboot that he knows how to weave in iconic, central characters from the original series. Indeed, Han in The Force Awakens had an even more crucial role than the older Spock in Abrams\' 2009 Star Trek, and that\'s saying a lot. Harrison Ford is a powerful and subtle actor - a rare combination - and he brought that to this swan song in Star Wars, bringing Han\'s swagger, sense of humor, and soul in fine proportion to the role.
Women played a much bigger and better role than in the original trilogy, especially Rey (well played by Daisy Ridley) and her wielding of the light saber and keen sense of right and wrong, and Leia, who I actually thought was a lot better in The Force Awakens than in the original trilogy. And/or, maybe Carrie Fisher is a much better actress now. The combination of Leia and Rey set up - what, an aunt and niece dynamic? - that compliments the father and son motif, and has the saving grace of both being on the side of light.
By the way, though I\'ve been talking about the original trilogy, let me point out that unlike many dyspeptic critics, I loved the second, prequel trilogy, too, and I recommend anyone starting out on these movies should see all six, in the order in which they were originally released, before seeing The Force Awakens.
Other things: the new robot was great, it was fun to see the old ones again, and I would have liked to hear Luke at least say a word when he meets Rey at the end (whom I\'m assuming his daughter). Max von Sydow could have been on the screen longer, as an Obi wan Kenobi kind of character - he was on so briefly that I can\'t even recall his name.
This movie was so good that I wish it was twice as long. I was glad to see Hillary Clinton say "the force be with you: at the end of the Democratic debate on Saturday, because you could say she\'s Leia and Trump was Snoke or maybe General Hux, or someone in between. Right, I\'m mixing politics into this, and if you don\'t like it, too bad, it\'s definitely something Han Solo would have done, may he rest in peace.
Star Wars, when first movie came out, brought science fiction out of the cult and into the mainstream, as I told AM New York and AP and Roy Green on his radio show. The Force Awakens continues this grand tradition of science fiction as a Shakespearean form of our time, and hey those special effects and aliens in Maz\'s cantina\'s were a real delight, too.
Labels: Carrie Fisher, Donald Trump, Harrison Ford, Hilary Clinton, J. J. Abrams, Max von Sydow, movies, Roy Green, Star Trek, Star Wars
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The Plot to Save Socrates on 10 Perfect Summer Reads Authored by NYU Alums
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Paul Levinson, PhD, is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City. His 8 nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), Cellphone (2004), and New New Media (2009, 2nd edition 2012), have been the subject of major articles in the New York Times, Wired, the Christian Science Monitor, and have been translated into 12 languages. His science fiction novels include The Silk Code (1999, ebook 2012), Borrowed Tides (2001), TheConsciousness Plague (2002, 2013), The Pixel Eye (2003), The Plot To SaveSocrates (2006, ebook 2012), and Unburning Alexandria (2013). His short stories have been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, Edgar, and Sturgeon Awards. Paul Levinson appears on "The O'Reilly Factor" (Fox News), "The CBS Evening News," “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” (PBS), “Nightline” (ABC), NPR, and numerous national and international TV and radio programs. His 1972 album, Twice Upon a Rhyme, was re-issued in 2009 (CD) and 2010 (remastered vinyl). He reviews the best of television in his InfiniteRegress.tv blog, and was listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Top 10 Academic Twitterers” in 2009.
Chronicle of Higher Education puts Paul Levinson in Top 10 (#7) of Academic "High Flyers" on Twitter ... Online University Data puts PL in "Top 50 Online University Professors on Twitter Worth Following"...
Dear Paul, I just dreamed of airships flying between raindrops. I just returned from 2042 CE, where I sold my hardcover copy of The Plot to Save Socrates for seventy million Neo-Euros, because it had your response to this e-mail from way back in 2007 scotch-taped onto the inside of the cover. A Paul Levinson collector paid top Neo-Euro, because of the authentic archaic e-mail printout from you. It turns out that not many of your e-mails from before your tenure as CEO of HBO/Cinemax and terms as United Nations Secretary General will survive that far into the future. So, please respond to this e-mail, to help found my great-grandchildren\'s fortune. My Will will stipulate that they must share with your great grandchidren. Thanks! Tom
President, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, 1998-2001
I’m proud to be on the May 8 page of this calendar, with the following quote:
"What begins as a seemingly innocent campaign against indecency … always segues in short order into political censorship."
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"the only people who have proof of their sanity are those who have been discharged from mental institutions"— Marshall McLuhan
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winner Locus Award for Best First Science Fiction Novel, 2000
"Forensic detective Phil D’Amato is one of my favorite characters" --Connie Willis
"A superb and often amusing account of one of the greatest revolutions in human history" --Arthur C. Clarke
100 rare + unreleased tracks were on sale April 18-21, 2011. All proceeds went to help Japan! Thanks for your generosity! Tracks included Tori Amos, Sara Bareilles, Josh Ritter ... and Paul Levinson singing "Sunshine\'s Mine"!
Twice Upon a Rhyme reviewed in Jan-Feb 2011 Shindig Magazine
Paul Levinson appears on "The O\'Reilly Factor" (Fox News), "The CBS Evening News," "Nightline" (ABC), the "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" (PBS), "The Dylan Ratigan Show" (MSNBC) and frequently on NPR and all-news radio...