Disney's Star Wars trilogy is oftentimes seen as a colossal failure but it's hard to discount the fact that it started off on a very promising note. 2015's The Force Awakens is lauded by fans as the trilogy's saving grace and for good reason. However, through the years, fans of the original trilogy have pointed out that it only achieved success for being a rip-off of A New Hope.
Since then, the comparisons have not gone away but a surprising filmmaker is now defending Episode VII from its biggest critics. In an interview with the Screen Time podcast (via Comic Book Resources), Prey director Dan Trachtenberg defended Episode VII from criticism that it's a rehash of the original Star Wars film.
He explains: "I think some movies get maligned for being too fan-servicey… and it's like, it's by a fraction, sometimes just one [reference] too many… I always think about JJ Abrams and lens flares. And, boy, we have had movies with tons of lens flares in them for years! Michael Bay, who’s a filmmaker people love to criticize for his -- him being overly aggressive visuals, those Transformers movies are filled with lens flares, never have we been, like, 'the Michael Bay lens flare.'"
He continued: "[People only notice it in Abrams' movies] because it's like, there's one more, one in a spot where it jumped out. And even Force Awakens, I think -- people are like, 'Oh it's too much of a retread,' not everyone but like, there was a voice on the internet saying that. I think it's just as similar to A New Hope as our movie is [to Predator], structurally, we're very similar, as Rian [Johnson's The Last Jedi] was to Empire Strikes Back, but perhaps there was one thing too many. There was one extra thing, you know? So it's all just -- all that's to say, it's very delicate."
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The criticism surrounding The Force Awakens is probably the reason why Disney tried its best to come up with an original story for the sequels but we all know how that turned out in the end. But I guess the House of Mouse should've just stuck with the formula and adopted elements from past films that actually worked.
The entire Skywalker saga is available for streaming exclusively on Disney+.