"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.