New Star Wars movie not evil enough, Vatican paper says

Technically Incorrect: A review in L'Osservatore Romano, a paper known as the Vatican mouthpiece, finds there simply isn't enough badness in the new Star Wars movie.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Star Wars meanie Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, is not mean enough for a Vatican newspaper.


Religion and Star Wars share similar levels of hope and irrationality.

They express themselves with complex symbolism and attract elemental, deep-seated devotion.

Sometimes, though, one ends up criticizing the other.

L'Osservatore Romano, a newspaper recognized as a Vatican loudspeaker, has expressed deep concern about "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

A review published in the paper last week called "The Force Awakens" confused and worried that there wasn't enough sin in the J.J. Abrams-directed movie.

"The new director's set-up fails most spectacularly in its representation of evil, meaning the negative characters," the paper mused, according to a LA Times translation. "Darth Vader and, above all, the Emperor Palpatine were two of the most efficient villains in that genre of American cinema."

I'm not entirely convinced that the greatest characteristic of a villain is to be efficient. I rather imagined true villainy should scare the trousers off of people.

Still, the paper wasn't impressed with Adam Driver, who plays villan Kylo Ren in the movie. "The counterpart of Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, wears a mask merely to emulate his predecessor."

It pours even greater scorn on the new uber-bad wolf. "The character who needs to substitute the emperor Palpatine as the incarnation of supreme evil represents the most serious defect of the film," the paper said. "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."

This is not a sentence I will likely write very often in my life: The Vatican is right.

When Kylo takes off his mask to reveal the slightly twisted boy who cavorts with Lena Dunham in HBO series "Girls," he looks like a teen who's borrowed dad's car without telling him.

You might tell me that this is the point of the character. I might tell you that what follows makes his character even more drip-dried.

As for Snoke, the new alleged supervillain is about as frightening as the balloons that waft down Manhattan on Thanksgiving Day.

It might be that in subsequent episodes of this modern day Epistle to the Nerds, these villains will become darker and more intimidating.

The Vatican likely hopes so. Pope Francis has been very keen since his ascension to underline the existence of an entity he has variously described as "Satan," "the Accuser," "the Evil One," "the Father of Lies," "the Ancient Serpent," "the Tempter," "the Seducer" and "the Great Dragon."

Currently, though, many might fear our serpent-like politicians more than these "Star Wars" satans. Perhaps Disney should get David Cronenberg, known for his horror films, to direct Episode VIII.