From our reader Jim Elliott:
With all the retroactive re-critiquing of the new Star Wars film running rampant that you addressed in your note this morning, I find myself asking, “What were y’all expecting?” This film was intended to do two things: As Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote, the film was our palate cleanser, rinsing our mind’s-eyes of the foul images of the prequel trilogy. And, most importantly, it was meant to awaken a worldwide taste for all things Star Wars, from Coffeemate creamers to 24-inch talking statues and everything in between. This is the inevitable result of Disney’s purchase. And it is not a bad thing, as we have seen.
Anyone who was expecting art—who thinks mass cinema still remains an art form as opposed to a medium?—was smoking dope. Disney made this very, very clear when they hired J.J. Abrams. What was Abrams’ most original work? Felicity? Abrams does three things very, very well: He collaborates, he shepherds, and he understands and harnesses the inner workings of his people (science fiction fans) like a frigging sorcerer.
Take the series that really brought Abrams to the fore: Alias.