Saturday, November 29, 2014

Interstellar and Star Wars

I saw Interstellar at my local multiplex recently. Director Christopher Nolan had impressed me with Inception in 2010 as an original film which was far more engaging and challenging to the mind than most big budget movies. I also appreciate the Dark Knight trilogy which he has directed - even if my Batman fanboy friends don't enjoy them as true Batman stories.

Interstellar was, as one friend of mine put it, a movie that sticks in your head. It follows a farmer in the US, 50 or so years in the future from now. The biggest industry in that time is farming, since the world had run out of food (apparently resulting in world wars). Matthew McConaughey deftly portrays a father who needs to go very far to save humanity from disappearing.

I agree, Interstellar does indeed stick in your mind. From a passionate speech on the powerful value of love from Oscar- winner Anne Hathaway, to the courageous, colourful and fast paced climax, the film puts pictures - and music from Hans Zimmer - in your memory.

Which brings me to Star Wars. With the teaser trailer for Episode VII: The Force Awakens online this week, it makes me draw a comparison between the two. Interstellar accesses deep emotions and covers epic themes of humanity, family and destiny. To me, Star Wars should do the same thing. Anakin's descent into the dark side and ultimate redemption has set a benchmark for the types of stories the Star Wars films should cover. But I wonder if the producers at Disney are on the same wavelength as me?

I'm not a Disney basher... all the time. I find many of their family movies heartwarming and entertaining (see my review for Saving Mr Banks, for an example). One thing I find, though, is that Disney likes to make money. So much so, they don't keep the integrity of their characters throughout all licensed products. You can find Belle from Beauty and the Beast presented with 5 different faces along different product lines of toys, books and DVDs. I just hope that they respect the Star Wars fans better than they respect young girls who buy princesses and fairies.

Back to Interstellar. Upon the credits rolling, I felt inspired. Inspired that stories can change me - change the world. I hope that we see more such movies - and maybe some called Star Wars.