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Dec 13, 2003
I thought Mad Max: Fury Road was

so you should probably ignore anything else I say

I've chewed on this movie since I saw it on its Thursday night release. I, the mid-level Star Wars fan that I am, got excited by the prospects for a new release, given that it seemed like Star Wars had finally moved past the 1, 2, 3 timeline. I was a fan of 4 5 and 6, hated 1 and 2, and thought that 3 was decent to moderately good. I've always been a huge Trekkie, and I liked/disliked what J.J. Abrams did with the re-boot. So I was curious to see what he'd do here.

It's the same scale as what was done with Star Trek, like most people before me have said. But I think the audience of the movie will grade it on some sort of a bell curve, dependent upon your interest in the franchise.

You have 3 distinct groups:

Group 1 are the people who have little to no knowledge of the Star Wars saga, except that they see commercials and know that it's coming, and likely get dragged along or go willingly to the theater. They comprise about 10% of the market, in my opinion.
Group 2 are the people who have seen 4, 5, and 6, saw Episode 1 and thought it was awful, casually watched 2 and 3 and were excited about seeing a 'fixer' movie that could add life to the franchise again. They comprise about 80% of the market, in my opinion.
Group 3 are the hardcore Star Wars fans, the ones who idolize George Lucas, post about Star Wars online, have the video games, have likely purchase Star Wars books, etc. They comprise about 10% of the market, in my opinion.

I went to see the movie with my gf and a goon friend of mine and my gf was Group 1, for sure. She'd never seen the movies, didn't really care about them, just got excited because I was. She walked out totally confused/lost, didn't understand the references to the past movies/why people were clapping when certain characters were shown, asked why there was a huge dog on the screen shooting a crossbow that fired lasers instead of bolts (solid question, actually) and complained that it was long and not really focused, kind of all over the place. She gave it 2/5.

Me and the goon came out ecstatic, loved the nostalgia, talked about it like we were in high school again, both agreed that it was infinitely better than anything from 1-3, and agreed we'd see it again. We're both definitely in Group 2. We did acknowledge some of the weak points, but overall we both agreed we'd give it a solid 4-4.5 out of 5.

I've read some reviews online and it seems like the Group 3 folks were really let down. They're coming out of the movie saying things like it's a complete duplication of Episode 4, it's unoriginal, it's painfully repetitive of past themes, etc. To that group, that makes this movie a disappointment and they're giving it a 2/5, where a solid point is derived from the nostalgia aspect of it and the rest of it is that they're rationalizing that "well hey, at least I got to see another Star Wars movie in the theaters, so that's good." This group hates that Rey can use mind control and manipulate the force in about 5 minutes of learning she has it (because that flies in the face of anything from before) and they hate the BIGGER! SHINIER! part that DKWildz references in his pretty on-point review that I'd expect from someone that is probably more invested in the franchise. They're much more concerned about the technical and political aspects of the film because they are much more invested in the Star Wars universe than the average viewer.

So Disney really covered their bases here, and that's exactly what they were trying to do. Regardless of what we 'think' J.J. Abrams approach entailed, the goal of Disney was to appeal to as many people as possible and to bring new consumers into the fold by creating a wide enough trough of appeal, and by rebooting. It's going to fail on the Group 1 people, and it's going to anger the Group 3 people (but that doesn't matter because they're still going to see the next one and will likely buy SOMETHING from the juggernaut of retail for their kids) so realistically, they're capturing about 90% of the audience and ensuring they'll be around next time.

I understand the mindset of the Group 3 folk, though, completely. As a total Group 3 Trekkie, I walked out of the first Star Trek reboot saying a lot of the same things that they are (minus the repetitive plot). I was annoyed at a lot of the changes, the cheese, and the disregard for the technical aspects of it (seriously, those Klingons looked ridiculous, and the Super Ship in the 2nd movie was a joke). But the Star Trek reboot had some solid actors, was entertaining, and at least got me my favorite franchise back on the map and entertained me for almost 2 hours, and I can honestly say the same about this movie. It's absolutely worth a shot if you're in Group 2 or 3, and if you're in Group 1, if one of your friends, significant others, or family says 'You might want to watch some of the other ones first' you should absolutely take them up on the offer, with the exception of Episodes 1 and 2, of course


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