‘Star Wars’-Themed Church Service to Highlight ‘Parallels’

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fans’ first glimpse of Star Wars: The Force Awakens: ‘A sacred experience’.

Overnight she’s become a global star — a gorgeous young British actress who enjoyed a private education at a Home Counties boarding school and up until now thought getting a small part in Casualty on the BBC was hitting the big time. As the clock struck one minute past midnight, tens of thousands of fans who had queued to be among the first in the world to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens were glued to their seats. Odeon cinemas said they had sold 60,000 tickets for the 113 midnight screenings, and over 700,000 tickets overall, for the long-awaited film’s opening weekend.

At the Imax screening in London, the capital’s biggest midnight showing of the film, Nicholas Ravery, 26, said he had made sure he got tickets to a midnight screening to ensure he avoided spoilers. “I’ve been off Facebook and the internet for three days to make sure this film is a complete surprise,” he said. “I’ve watched Star Wars since I was a kid. It was the first movie I ever saw.” Ravery said he was confident that the franchise was in safe hands with director JJ Abrams, and said he couldn’t remember the last time he had been so excited to watch a film. “They were also very smart to hide all the important plot point, which never happens. The short answer was, “No.” There may come a day when I force myself to absorb all the Star Wars films, if only for the sake of completism, but it felt like my brain was turning to mush. Despite the millions of people who seem to be addicted to this story, despite the billions of dollars hoovered up at the box office, these films are so superficial it makes one despair for our poor, febrile civilisation. Whereas now the biggest action film in Hollywood now is centred around a female – and I think it will mean the new generation of Star Wars fans [is] going to be equally male and female.”

It’s received wisdom that the first three films were better than the next three, but all feature a numbing repetition of spaceship battles, duels with light sabres, and mass slaughter by-and-of stormtroopers in white, completely useless, plastic armour. When we’re not watching those typical Hollywood brawls in which a handful of Our Heroes massacre hundreds of incompetent enemies, we’re savouring a galaxy of rubber-faced or furry-faced aliens that look as if they were designed by Patricia Piccinini, with the same cloying mixture of cuteness and ugliness. It was awful.’ To prepare for the movie Daisy worked out for five hours a day, five days a week, and dropped carbs from her diet, instead favouring ‘fish, legumes and spirulina shakes’.

The school specialises in music, musical theatre and drama and counts Downton stars Lily James, Jessica Brown Findlay and X Factor’s Ella Henderson among its most recent alumnae. Everybody seems to communicate in English, or to understand every other language, including the growlings of the Wookiee​, and the beeps and pops of the mini-robots.

Under the name ‘Demonchild Daisy’, she posted a picture of herself draped around a man with the words ‘Made in England’ written on her body in lipstick. Daisy has been dating public school-educated actor Charlie Hamblett, who played Mickey Yates in the television mini series Babylon in 2014, for several years.

Even the first episode of 1977 starts with the Princess Leia’s ship being raided by Darth Vader and his minions long before we know anything about these characters or the worlds they inhabit. It’s hard to date once you’re a big Star Wars star because you don’t want to give people the ability to say: “I had sex with Princess Leia.”’ This has entailed getting rid of some of the more pointless characters (there is nothing as irritating as Jar Jar Binks​), bringing back old favourites, and unearthing new talent. In a calculated echo of the opening scenes of the 1977 film, Resistance pilot Poe Dameron​ (Oscar Isaac) conceals the map in a midget droid, BB-8, who avoids capture. As the First Order attack the planet, Rey, Finn and BB-8 escape in a battered plane that turns out to be the Millenium Falcon, the legendary spaceship belonging to Han Solo (Harrison Ford), the smuggler who played a starring role in the early films.

The tragic irony is that Kylo Ren is actually the son of Han Solo and Princess – now General – Leia​ (Carrie Fisher), even though he is devoted to the Dark Side. In line with the enlightened times in which we live, it seems that a young woman and a black man will be the ones to carry that baton forward into chapters VIII and IX.

Rey has more than a touch of Katniss Everdeen​ in her character, while Spielberg’s Indiana Jones movies are also somewhere in the mix – not least in the judicious use of Harrison Ford. With box office in excess of $US200 million ($278 million) for its opening weekend, nothing can derail this juggernaut, which will probably become the highest-grossing movie of all time.

Abrams and Michael Arndt​, based on characters by George Lucas; starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Andy Serkis​, Lupita Nyong’o​.

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