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Vatican critic says Star Wars: The Force Awakens' villains not evil enough

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Story by Jack Foley

A FILM critic for Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has described the new villains in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as not being evil enough.

The anonymous writer feels that the characters of Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, and Supreme Leader Snoke, Andy Serkis via motion capture, are pale imitations of the franchise’s former adversaries, Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine.

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

The reviewer goes on to state: “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.

“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.”

L’Osservatore Romano has been owned by the Holy See since 1861. But while it used to be renowned for pointing out films [or any artistic show] that struggled to display typically Christian values (even going so far as to describe La Dolce Vita as ‘an incitement to evil crime and vice’, it has become more relaxed in recent times.

Indeed, it praised James Bond’s Skyfall for its “extremely beautiful girls”.

Thus far, JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens has impressed most critics, with several leading UK newspapers – including The Guardian and The Telegraph – awarding it five stars.

But some fans have expressed disappointment at plot holes, while others have also suggested that Driver’s Kylo Ren lacks the outright evil qualities that made Darth Vader such an iconic figure in the history of the franchise.

Next story: Star Wars: The Force Awakens secures biggest US opening of all-time