I was struck with a sense of eerie familiarity as I watched The Shack. The faith-based movie released earlier this month is supposedly based on a bestselling novel about love and forgiveness. But when I started typing some of the memorable lines and character names from the movie into Google shortly after I left the screening, I discovered to my astonishment that almost the entire movie is directly plagiarized from Star Wars (1977).
The Shack stars Sam Worthenson as the farmboy Luke Skywalker. Octavia Spencer plays Han Solo, a down-on-her-luck smuggler that helps Luke escape from his hometown. Chloë Sevigny appears as Solo’s partner Chewbacca. Then there’s Garth Brooks as Luke’s mentor, the ex-pastor Obi-Wan Kenobi; Alice Braga as the enigmatic Christian prophet Yoda; William Faulkner as the movie’s antagonist, the masked satanist Darth Vader. Is any of this starting to sound a little bit TOO similar to Star Wars?
I’ll be the first to say it: The Shack is just Star Wars except every reference to the Force is turned into a reference to God and every mention of Jedi is changed to be about Christians. And believe me, Star Wars with all the spaceships turned into normal cars and no aliens or robots or strange planets at all is just a regular old boring movie.
Hollywood has never been known for its originality. Nearly every movie you can name is simply a variation on a story that’s worked dozens if not hundreds of other times. But The Shack takes the concept of a “tried and true formula” just a bit too far.
TL;DR – No one should waste their time watching The Shack. Just rewatch Star Wars instead.
What the rest of the critics are saying:
“While not without its flaws, The Shack features one pair of unforgettable supporting characters: R2-D2 and C-3PO.” – Cecil Shingleton, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
“I’ll admit to cheering out loud when Luke fired the proton torpedos through the door of The Shack leading the whole thing to explode in a fireball.” Millie DeVutin, Beliefnet
“There’s no breather in the picture, no lyricism; the only attempt at beauty is in the double sunset. It’s enjoyable on its own terms, but it’s exhausting, too: like taking a pack of kids to the circus.” – Joseph “Sheriff” Brodie, NPR
“Regardless of which path you come at it by, it’s a cleverly told lesson of love and forgiveness crossed with a swashbuckling adventure, and the most appealing Christian film I’ve seen in years.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
“Having the movie’s hero rescue a princess by swinging across a chasm on a rope was laying it on a bit too thick for my tastes.” – Bogosav Bogasav, Time
“Based on the sleeper bestseller by Canadian author William P. Young, The Shack offers an exciting take on contemporary, non-denominational Christianity in a setting the filmmakers imaginatively refer to as a ‘galaxy far, far away.’” – Rex Reed, Village Voice
“This was just Star Wars.” – Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com
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