Korean Directors Take on STAR WARS

Park Chan-wook

Key Films: Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, 2002; Oldboy, 2003; Thirst, 2009

Episode VIII: Among the film’s dozen layered subplots, Rey and Luke open up a portal to hitherto unknown dimensions and encounter a series of polymorphous, polysexual, multi-gendered alien species. He pushes ILM and other companies to invent several entirely new techniques of special effects for the film. His episode features, among others, a lightsaber duel scene where six sabers are simultaneously handled by the combatants, and an R-rated sex scene between a droid and a human, which Park fights tooth and nail to keep in the film (in the end he compromises to leave the scene only in the Blu-ray Director’s Cut). It ends with the death scene of Luke that many count as the best acting given in the entire series. After a director’s cut pre-screening, a Disney executive tweets, “OMFG what did I just SEE?!?” and another Hollywood executive is instantly cured of his cocaine addiction.

Result: Some fans violently protest it, with signs that read, for one, “No sexual perversity in STAR WARS!” It goes on to win many Academy Awards anyway. Unlike Episode VII, 15 million people watch it in Korea, although 80% of the internet comments on the film are negative.


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