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The Force Is With James Cameron

Breaking down his beef with ‘Star Wars’

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Getty Images

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In a recent interview with un-Googleable interlocutor Hannah Litchfield, Entourage actor James Cameron hit on everything from his inspirations (“I’ll go to see any Ridley Scott movie”), to his aesthetics (“As much as I love The Matrix, everything was kind of black and white and green” — true), to his [record scratch gun cock match swipe knuckles crack chef’s kiss extended guitar solo] PURE UNBRIDLED HATRED OF THE FORCE AWAKENS.

J.C.! Go in! Answering the hardball question of whether or not he’d seen J.J. Abrams’s smash-hit (read: loser) Star Wars sequel, Cameron supplemented his “Yes, I have … ” with 30 seconds of highly measured (read: flamethrowing) assessment — in which he banished J.J. Abrams to the kids’ table and then told the waiter that the kids’ table wasn’t hungry and never would be and was also full of sellout pieces of shit.

Here’s the full clip:

Actually, you know what — that’s a lot to digest. Let’s break this down piece by piece:

“George Lucas is a friend of mine … ”

Fuck George Lucas.

“ … and he and I were having a good conversation the other day about it.”

I Photoshopped a STAR WARS poster with a poop emoji over each “A” and texted it to him.

“I don’t want to say too much about the film … ”

I do and I will.

“ … ’cause I also have a lot of respect for J.J. Abrams … ”

I have no 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’ll never watch another Star Wars movie in my life.

“I have to say … ”

Under no circumstances do I have to say.

“ … that I felt that George’s group of six films … ”

[Spends 20 years training a pack of mosquitos to whisper, “Honestly, the Star Wars prequels weren’t that bad,” pours those mosquitos into a can of Diet Coke, pours that can of Diet Coke into a Super Soaker, points that Super Soaker at J.J. Abrams’s temple and shoots.]

“ … had more innovative visual imagination … ”

Lens-flare this shade, bitch.

“ … and this film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before … ”

It sucked.

“ … and characters you had seen before … ”

It sucked.

“ … and it took a few baby steps … ”

As in, the steps of a baby.

“ … forward … ”

“ … with new characters.”

I especially liked the character of BOFA.

“For me the jury’s still out.”

I’ve made up my mind.

“I want to see where they go with it.”

If the upcoming Star Wars sequels were stranded on the side of a desert road, dying of thirst, begging for help, and I drove by in the world’s first Vitaminwater–only delivery truck — that’s it, there’s nothing else, that’s just a fantasy I have.

Anyway, in a world where our white male franchise overlords tend to be pretty boringly friendly with each other, this is what passes for ether. And we’ll take it.

But how does it rate as an actual point?

On one hand, sure, it’s out of order: James Cameron has basically refashioned the Avatar franchise into his own personal coffin — Avatar 5, in stores 2023 — and it’s hard to take someone’s shots at authorial monotony too too seriously when they’re taking those shots while on a 20-minute lunch break from making seven years of sequels to a movie where benevolent Twitter eggs come to life and try to teach Sam Worthington a sexy lesson about late capitalism’s overleveraged chokehold on the environment.

Also, let’s not overthink this? The Force Awakens is good.

But on the other hand, yeah, I get it. With Titanic and Avatar, James Cameron — essentially out of thin air, and with skeptics armchair-snarking him the whole way — made the two highest-grossing movies of all time. With Aliens and Terminator 2 — when he absolutely could have played it safe, and most directors would have — he made two of the most adventurous and rules-bending sequels in history. Meanwhile, there’s J.J. Abrams, who has built a movie empire of his own out of … well, what exactly? Streamlining Mission: Impossible for people who would rather (I mean: fair) watch 24? Streamlining Star Trek for people who love generic action movies? Streamlining Star Wars for people who — OK, this one seems easy — like Star Wars? It’s smart business, of course, but it’s not exactly hurtling toward uncharted territory.

So James Cameron got pissed. Or at least vaguely annoyed. And he became a little passive-aggressive about it. But you know what? That’s all right by me. Because — look: Star Wars can have our money, and it can have our joy, and it can have our money, and it can have our childlike sense of wonder, and it can have our money, and it can have our holiday plans, and it can have our money, and it can have our literally infinitely unending supply of anticipation how do they do that why does it never end, and it can have our money, and it can have our bandwidth, and it can have our money, and it can have our crippling (but I’m sure it’s fine) nostalgia, and it can have our money, and it can have our takes, and it can have our money, and it can have our money, and it can have our money, and it can have our money — but it can’t have our third- or fourth-favorite eccentric visionary almost-billionaire crank’s respect.

Nope: That, they’ll have to earn. It’ll be good for them. See you in 2023.