A Serious Defense For Funny

Today, I was chatting with a friend about this likes and dislikes of the new Star Wars movie. I shared a few of his frustrations (namely, the way the movie ended), but I disagreed with him very much on one point: that Star Wars Episode VII was too funny.

I’ve heard this from a few people; this idea that the new Star Wars movie was “too funny.” My friend even said that it was “too Disney.”

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I have to disagree. Yeah, it was funny. It was hilarious, but I do not think it was “too funny.”

What people fail to see is that Han Solo, R2-D2, and C-3PO were hilarious for their time. They are still hilarious! My friend said that the humor was “too obvious” and that the humor of the original movies was more muted.

I agree. Episode VII did have more obvious humor than Episode I – III, because that is the humor of the time.

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Humor and comedy are ever-changing virtues. Some jokes are timeless, but as a whole, humor changes with the time. If you go back and watch a comedy film from the early 1930’s, chances are that the jokes and comedic delivery will not resonate with you like it had with the original audience. That’s because over time comedic delivery has changed.

Take David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon for example. Both late-night talk-show hosts, both hilarious (for their time and their audience). I was raised on Letterman, so I think his dry delivery is hilarious, but for most people my age, David Letterman’s delivery goes right over their heads or is too boring. Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon represents the now of comedy. His delivery is fun, he shakes up the typical sit-down-and-chat with absurd party games, and young people love him. Most people from the Leno or Letterman era who watch Jimmy Fallon think he is too quick or that he is all over the place. That is because comedy changes.

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So, of course, Star Wars Episode VII is going to have different comedic delivery than Star Wars Episode IV. It’s a different time. Poe and Finn’s little one-liners are the humor of this generation, while C-3P0 bickering with Han Solo takes us back to the generation of humor before. Episode VII was repeatedly marketed as a Star Wars film for the next generation. It is only fitting that its humor be for younger audiences as well.

If you would like to read my movie review of the new Star Wars movie, click this link.

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Keep on keeping on, y’all.

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One thought on “A Serious Defense For Funny

  1. Oh, yes, there is definitely an element of humor throughout Star Wars. The characters primarily responsible for it are C3PO as the straight man and Han with his flippant sarcasm. In The Force Awakens, we still have Han but C3PO gets replaced by Finn. Since Finn usually has more at stake than Threepio ever did (and since he isn’t a prissy robot) it comes off feeling very different. But his contribution to the humor of the film is mostly to be the put-upon complainer who doesn’t get what’s going on. Frankly, I loved Finn and it all felt very “in-character” for him, so it didn’t take me out of the movie.

    Liked by 1 person

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