Prey (2022) has impressed fans and critics alike since it premiered on Hulu and Disney+ in July, but now director Dan Trachtenberg has compared the film to Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), which can leave some fans with a bad taste in their mouths…
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It is no mystery that most Star Wars fans absolutely despise the sequel trilogy, however, it’s also fair to say that after seeing the last two entries in the series, they’ve become much more forgiving of the force awakens.
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) and Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) quickly became the most hated entries in the entire Star Wars franchise, and in comparison, the force awakens It’s not that bad
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In fact, the film, which was directed by JJ Abrams, is perhaps one of the strongest entries in the “Skywalker Saga” (although the sad truth is that there really isn’t as much competition as we might think).
However, it’s a solid effort with a lot of promise – what’s tragic is how all of that promise goes to waste with its sequels. But the force awakens is not without its flaws, and is often compared to the first Star Wars movie.
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One of the biggest criticisms is that it is essentially a carbon copy of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), with many characters and story elements too familiar for the Abrams-directed film to be a new entry.
We won’t get into the nitty-gritty of those similarities, but it’s really the overall plot in the force awakens which feels like a beat-for-beat repeat of the original film. Is this bad writing, or are sequels by their very nature “re-treads”?
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Well, a more recent example is the Predator prequel Preystarring Amber Midthunder as a Comanche warrior who must face off against a predator on the Great Plains of 1719 North America.
Structurally, it is very similar to the original 1987 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, which takes place in a South American rainforest. But perhaps this was on purpose, as many praise the film for “going back to basics”.
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Now, Prey director Dan Trachtenberg has championed the force awakensand has said that it is so similar to A new hope What Prey it is the original Predator. This is what she said in an interview with Radio 1 screen time podcast:
“I think some movies get smeared for being too fanatic,” the director said, “and it’s like it’s a fraction, sometimes one too many.”
Trachtenberg then mentioned the Star Wars film in question, saying:
“And even the force awakenshe continued, “I think people say, ‘Oh, it’s too retreaded,’ not all of them, but there was kind of a voice on the internet saying that. I think it’s just as similar to A new hope like our movie [Prey] it is [to Predator]structurally, we are very similar, like Rian [Johnson]was for The Empire Strikes Back, but maybe there was one thing too much. There was one extra thing, you know? So it’s all just…everything he wants to say, it’s very touchy.”
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the Prey the director makes a good case, and often fans and audiences confuse structure with rehearsal (we’re all to blame).
A sequel is also a difficult beast to navigate: make it too similar to the original and you’ll be criticized for being lazy, but make it too standalone and audiences will still have a problem.
Maybe Prey is more like Predator (1987) than we want to admit, or maybe Star Wars fans must cut the force awakens some slack. Either way, looking at how the other sequels turned out, is “stepping back in” that bad?
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According to 20th Century Studios and Hulu, here is the official synopsis for Prey:
Set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago during 1719, the film follows Naru, a fierce and highly skilled warrior, who has been raised in the shadow of some of the most legendary hunters to roam the Great Plains. So when danger threatens his camp, he sets out to protect the people from it. The prey he stalks and ultimately faces turns out to be a highly evolved alien with a technologically advanced arsenal, resulting in a fierce and terrifying showdown between the two adversaries.
— 20th Century Studios and Hulu
Prey it currently airs on Hulu in the US, Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ internationally.