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Caseless critic

The New Yorker has a fairly vacuous piece by a "critic" trashing the current Star Wars movie.

Now for context - I view the opinions of "critics" with a huge amount of skepticism after recently going to see two different movies ("Sideways" and "Adaptation") about which the critics positively raved - both of which were without doubt the worst movies I have ever seen. In both cases I walked into an otherwise empty theatre, and in both cases walked out halfway though - something I had never done before - leaving a completely empty theatre.

There is no doubt that "Star Wars" is space opera - vividly imagined, very well executed - but not meant to be mistaken for a philosophical piece. Taken as such, the "Star Wars" series is an outstanding work.

One notion the critic has trouble with is a relatively sanitary future, and a lack of obession with bodily functions. There are many possible alternate futures. Science fiction at it's best imagines something different and paints the differences as vividly as possible. In a future with a long history of pervasive automation and mixture of alien species, it should not be hard to imagine public and private spaces well-cleansed. It also makes sense that sex and other bodily functions are by convention segregated from public view (and largely irrelevant to the story).

While the critic's article contains a great number of words, I find very little imagination. Rather it seems the critic has some fixed internal standard of how the world and it's stories should work. Science fiction - at it's best - is about breaking those boundaries and imagining fundamentally different futures.

For all the colorful phrases, I find this critic's collection of words remarkably shallow.