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Vatican’s newspaper slams ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ in review

Published Dec 21st, 2015 7:15AM EST
Star Wars Force Awakens Vatican Review
Image: Screenshot / YouTube

There’s no doubt about it, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is definitely one of the best movies of the year, and indeed the most anticipated film of 2015. The movie smashed through many records already, and it’s expected to have grossed half a billion in ticket sales worldwide during the opening weekend.

Movie reviews praised J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars vision, the new characters, and storyline – check out an extensive collection of spoiler-free reviews at this link, as well as BGR’s Star Wars review.

But that doesn’t mean everybody liked it.

One of the prominent publications that seem to have hated Star Wars Episode VII is Vatican’s newspaper, which slammed the movie in a review. Watch out, some spoilers may be ahead.

DON’T MISS: What you need to know before seeing ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

This doesn’t mean the Catholic Church hates the Star Wars universe just because L’Osservatore Romano doesn’t like the movie. Even though Pope Benedict did appoint the editor of the paper in 2007, the newspaper did have interesting reviews for many other films.

Pope Benedict instructed the newspaper to spice itself up, the L.A. Times reports, saying that films like Skyfall or Mad Max, Fury Road were lauded in L’Osservatore.

The Star Wars review seems to be a lively one indeed. The review says the movie is more “a reboot than sequel.”

“Not a classy reboot, however, like Nolan’s Batman, but an update twisted to suit today’s tastes and a public more accustomed to sitting in front of a computer than in a cinema,” the review says. Other reviewers have indeed indicated that The Force Awakens does recycle plenty of original Star Wars elements – having seen the movie, I can definitely attest to that, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting.

“The only merit of J.J. Abrams film is to show, by contrast, how the direction of the previous films was elegant, balanced and above all appropriate,” the reviews goes on to say, seemingly suggesting that even the prequel trilogy that many fans criticized.

“The new director’s set-up fails most spectacularly in its representation of evil, meaning the negative characters,” the newspaper wrote about Abrams’ creation. “Darth Vader and above all the Emperor Palpatine were two of the most efficient villains in that genre of American cinema.”

“The counterpart of Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, wears a mask merely to emulate his predecessor while the character who needs to substitute the Emperor Palpatine as the incarnation of supreme evil represents the most serious defect of the film,” the review wrote. “Without revealing anything about the character, all we will say is that it is the clumsiest and tackiest result you can obtain from computer graphics.”

On the other hand, Star Wars isn’t the only movie the Vatican paper criticized in reviews. Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings” got a similar treatment, for its special effects that add nothing new to the biblical story.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.