With a worldwide box office of over $2 billion, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While the Star Wars sequel’s release was undoubtedly a monumental event, opinions on the film itself varied from intensely enthusiastic to supremely disappointed, with folks responding differently to Lucasfilm and director J.J. Abrams’ decision to consciously evoke not just the feeling of George Lucas’ original films, but also the structure and plotting.
Given the ubiquity of The Force Awakens, pretty much everyone has felt the need to weigh in with their specific thoughts on the film, so why not hear from the guy behind the two highest grossing films of all time, James Cameron? Yes indeed, video surfaced today (via IndieWire) from an interview in which Cameron gave his thoughts on The Force Awakens in a very James Cameron (ie. candid) way:
“Well George Lucas is a friend of mine and he and I were having a good conversation the other day about it. I don’t want to say too much about the film cause I also have a lot of respect for J.J. Abrams, and I want to see where they’re taking it next, to see what they’re doing with it. I have to say that I felt that George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination, and this film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before and characters you had seen before, and it took a few baby steps forward with new characters. So for me the jury’s out, I wanna see where they go with it.”
Folks might hone in on Cameron saying The Force Awakens lacked the “innovative visual imagination” of Lucas’ films, but it’s also important to note that he qualified his statement (twice) by saying he’s waiting to see where the new trilogy goes before giving his final judgment. Which is fair.
To be honest, it’s hard to argue with Cameron’s statement here—Lucas’ original trilogy pushed the boundaries of narrative feature filmmaking beyond what was being done at the time. Abrams’ film, while supremely entertaining and more or less satisfying, isn’t really breaking the mold of modern blockbuster filmmaking. Of course the flip side of the coin, Lucas once again pushed cinematic boundaries with the prequel trilogy, venturing further and further into entirely CG-geared filmmaking to far inferior results. So innovation doesn’t always equal superior quality.
But to be a fly on the wall while Lucas and Cameron were candidly discussing Star Wars: The Force Awakens…
Check out the video below.