Vatican Paper Slams ‘Star Wars’ Calling It ‘Confused And Hazy’

Star Wars The Force Awakens
Courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm

ROME – Amid a chorus of overwhelmingly stellar reviews around the planet for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano begs to differ, calling the film “confused and hazy” and, even worse, opining that it “fails most spectacularly” in its representation of evil.

The newspaper owned by the Holy See also wrote that the latest installment in the franchise is not a proper sequel but more of a reboot.

“Not a classy reboot however, like Nolan’s Batman, but a twisted update which fits today’s tastes and a public more accustomed to sitting in front of a computer than in a cinema,” the anonymous reviewer said, adding the film seems to draw from the “sloppiest current action films derived from the world of videogames.”

The L’Osservatore Romano review also laments too many close-ups, and even faults the “much-publicized” return to in-camera effects, saying they are “often anonymous and lacking in dramatic value.”

As to why the pic supposedly fails spectacularly in its representation of evil, the caustic critic claims that “Darth Vader and above all the Emperor Palpatine were two of the most effective villains in [the sci-fi] genre of American cinema.” But the film’s new villain, the Darth Vader-inspired Kylo Ren, is slammed as “insipid;” while Supreme Leader Snoke – the Emperor Palpatine-like character, is called “the most serious defect of the film,” with his representation described as “awkward and tacky.”

These isolated observations certainly have not impacted box office for ”The Force” in Italy, where the film has grossed over $10 million to date, in line with expectations, after scoring the country’s top December opening frame ever.

L’Osservatore Romano is not new to going against the grain in its reviews of record-breaking Hollywood blockbusters. It slammed “Avatar” as “sentimental hokum.”

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  1. John Lee says:

    Religion and the most popular movie of the day, the perfect topic to get the most clicks

  2. H.Johnson says:

    I left the Catholic Church long ago. They and most of organized religion are about money, power and control. They all seem to use the same “salvation” scam to keep you filling their coffers and fearing eternal damnation if you don’t do as you’re told. The Catholics have always had a list of “acceptable” movies…just more of the control thing. There is a God and I doubt that what organized religion has become, was never his plan.

    • Ken Themar says:

      Um, it’s not banning the movie. The newspaper’s just reviewing it. You don’t have to go all anti-Catholic on this article just because a writer who just happens to write for a certain newspaper doesn’t like the movie.

    • Larz0 says:

      So, you’re saying you loved the new Star Wars?

  3. Nanny Mo says:

    But you liked Harry Potter. Thank God for Martin Luther!

  4. It’s a truth that very few realize, and my comment will likely be deleted, but the papacy is playing a gigantic roll in leading the United States to national ruin. It was protestantism that was the secret of America’s prosperity. Our Constitutional freedoms are protestant freedoms.

    • doc363 says:

      Our constitutional freedoms are just that. They extend to all religions. There is no state religion and there are no special considerations. Those who wrote it were very clear and quite wise on that point. That’s the definition of religious freedom.

      • John R Schuh says:

        The First Amendment prohibited Congress from Establishing a Church, which is to say something like the Church of England. At the same time, it protected the liberties of the several state churches, such as those of Massachusetts and Connecticut. These churches were afterwards disestablished. Hence in the United States all churches are voluntary bodies. No public officials are required to be a member of any such organization.

  5. Mack Hall says:

    The Vatican is a city-state; city-states do not review movies. Republics do not review movies. Monarchies do not review movies. Socialist states do not review movies. INDIVIDUALS review movies.

  6. I must agree with the Vatican news paper.. The folks getting paid to make these movies are paid top dollar and the best they can do is yet another orb like planet destroyer. The Dark side in this movie is extremely weak, with a blundering 1st level Sith apprentice if that… Then with no training whatsoever, the young girl is able to perform Jedi mind tricks and sooooo much more. The movie will do well in the box office because so many of us wanted to see the original stars come together and see what was next for them but any true Star Wars fan will feel deprived of what could have been.

  7. Just another example of why I left the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican has no business posting a movie review or being involved in politics in any way. Stick to teaching religion and stay out of ten secular world.

  8. John R Schuh says:

    Most priests aren’t gay. Back in the ‘50s, the main problems were whiskey and babes.

  9. w5cbx says:

    This movie is boring. Nine tenths of it is simply fighting between people and between space ships. Even the timing by the protagonists is off key. A protracted opportunity to sleep.

  10. Mark Tuttle says:

    Unless it is a religious movie, I find it very difficult to take a movie review by the Vatican seriously. The Vatican is certainly entitled to their opinion but in this case it is a matter of does anyone really care about their opinion about Star Wars?

    • John R Schuh says:

      Why wouldn’t someone like the Vatican take note of a cultural phenomenon like “Star Wars”? The thing just surpassed more than a billion dollars in world-wide take, for this new film alone. Further, the “new-agey” tone of the film, is taken seriously by many folks. Long ago an interviewer asked Alec Guinness about its religious significance, and as serious Catholic,replied it was not religious as he understood it. We do live in a secular age, where there masters of culture, do their level best to denigrate any form of “superstition.” But if one creates a cultural vacuum, something else will runs in to fill it.

      • John R Schuh says:

        Well the quasi-religious universe of George Lucas certainly does not. Of course, it is actually a slicker version of the world of the “Flash Gordon” serials of the ’30. That’s why I liked the first trilogy so well. A pop corn movie of the first rank. “Hamlet”it is not.

      • John Lee says:

        I don’t think the Vatican’s filling it very well

  11. Robert Ivancsics says:

    I was under the impression that I was the only one on the planet who did not like this movie. It’s great to see that there are others out there. And many are echoing what I thought.

    First off, unlike the very first one in ’77, there was absolutely no set up, no explanation of what happened in the previous 30 years. Apparently this First Order is an offshoot of the Empire, but who they are is a mystery. Then there’s the Resistance, but who are they resisting? The First Order? But what then is this Republic then that is only mentioned as they are being destroyed? If the Republic as rebuilt, then how can there be a resistance? Who the heck is Skookie and where did he come from? Confusing.

    The people here who called it a reboot nailed it. We had the Emperor and his protege now we have Snookie and his protege. We had Darth and Luke (father and son), then we had Luke and Leia (brother and sister) now we have Rey and Kylo (cousins – that’s right ! we all know he is a Solo, but he is also a Skywalker) We had a small Death Star with a hole big enough for a missile, then we had a bigger D.S. with a bigger hole you could fly a ship into, now were have a Death Planet with a hole big enough to fly a battle cruiser in. (just how dimwitted is the Dark Side anyway?)

    But wait !! it’s protected by a force field that had to be disarmed on the surface by Han and Chewy with bombs only after hot-wiring the door and…wait, which movie am I talking about again?

    Then we have Luke trying to teach a young Jedi who turned bad, Hey, just like Obi and little Darth.

    I could go on, but you get the point.

    Now about those special effects. There are good SE and bad SE.. Good SE is the first 3 Star Wars movies and the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit and others. Bad SE is basically everything else today including most of the Super Hero movies. (does anyone really think the Hulk is believable?) The very 1st Star Wars SE were very crisp and sharp and to a certain point, realistic. #7 SE are fuzzy, blurry and have a 2 dimensional feel to them. And that stupid jiggly hand held camera effect – note to Hollywood, the Blair Witch Project was nearly 20 years ago, give it up already.

    There was some positive and some potential. I really liked Finn and the guy who played his. The jury is out on Rey. She has great potential, but she had nothing to work with. No background, no meaningful dialog, no depth. Poe seems O.K., but the only problem with the actor is that he is so generic. He looks like every other male actor out there today. Nothing about him stands out. Also the same short comings as Rey.

    That all aside, the main problem (among many) is that too much was crammed into this movie. A lot of this could have been put into a second movie with this one having more time to delve into the new characters and explore this New Republic/First Order power structure.

    When a family member asked me about it, the best thing I said was “I own the first 3 movies and I could watch them over and over. I own the second 3 movies and I watch them maybe every couple years. I have no desire to ever own this one.”

    My opinion. The Vatican’s opinion. The opinion of many hear. But apparently a very minority view.

  12. URsew Rite says:

    Such a waste. So much money and no new plot imagination. I’m bowing out of spending on theater money for any new Disney rehashes, Harrison Ford cha-ching to the bank with smiles

  13. URsew Rite says:

    Vatican is spot on. Star Wars rehash, down to the bar, Death Star etc. Spot on Vatican….

  14. Jim Lively says:

    It takes evil to know evil….

  15. 85wzen says:

    Well they aren’t dealing with any Evil as they call it, it’s just outside of their purview and they think alot… not like they have or will live it…

  16. Why in the hell did they go to see it?
    This reminds me of back in the 50’s, all a Bishop, or the Vatican had to do was to tell people not to read a book, or see a movie, for it to become an immediate success!

  17. Toby Belch says:

    Nobody cares what the Vatican thinks.

  18. Robert Cane says:

    Does anyone who would watch this shit even matter in the who scheme of things.

  19. Craig Hobson says:

    ” Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano begs to differ, calling the film “confused and hazy” and, even worse, opining that it “fails most spectacularly” in its representation of evil.” does the Vatican really want to go down that road, “Confused and Hazy”, you could say the very same thing about the bible. At least Star Wars doesn’t claim to be truth.

    • Onlashuk SHUGAHARRA says:

      If more people would come into the knowledge and understanding that the Bible was never-ever meant to be taken LITERALLY then the words that are in that book would be of extraordinary help for all occasions, matters and/or circumstances. As long as the VATICAN and its offspring teach it in the dead, “Letter that kills,” then those who take to the “grave” misunderstandings that are taught to them will indeed be bereft of the true meaning of those words. Yes, the meaning of those words has been hidden to keep them safe from those that truly are not YET ready to learn and act upon what they mean. This is not for the sake of condemnation, but for the sake of protecting that knowledge until the one desiring to know and understand them reaches, “The time appointed of the Father,” according to The Way and Will that He has declared for that destination to be reached. No 501c3 religious organization and certified church will teach the hidden meanings of the Bible because that would leave them with the one thing that scares the pants off of them……empty pews, and therefore, empty offering plates.

  20. Jam Bo says:

    The movie was boring: same old, same old … and I’m not talking about the old Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher!! Same basic story we’ve seen before too many times in this film series.

    This movie has all the special effects we’re used to, just without the charm of characters, dialogue, acting, or fun.

    I particularly liked how a lame Storm Trooper fights the Evil Apprentice for more than five minutes … with a borrowed Light Saber!! Yeah, that’s believable. Same with the Death Star: it can blow up an entire planet, but the new Empire (whatever they’re called now) didn’t learn the lesson to protect it from about 30 X-Wing Fighters!!

    Save your money and just put the very first movie into your device and watch that (the one from the 70s).

    • John Lee says:

      You and a whole lotta other peeps forgot all about that big laser-blasted HOLE in the side of the same said Evil Apprentice

      If it weren’t for the use of the Force that Evil Apprentice would’ve, you know, died before that fight started

    • John R Schuh says:

      Good grief, the Gnostic are out and about! This is about as deep as “Stars Wars.”

      • Kyle says:

        He had been trained in combat, even hand to hand and melee combat since birth and Kylo Ren had also bee gut shot by an extremely powerful blaster. The fight lasted less then tw minutes and… the stor trooper ended up losing badly. I like that in this film the force users are not completely op.

  21. jan vones says:


    The Vatican was right about Avatar, a total waste of time. I’m happy to have read this before wasting the price of a ticket.

  22. Bitsko says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks that Kylo Ren is just a whiny emo, and that the movie itself is nothing more than a soulless rehash of the first 3 movies. I thought it stank out loud.

  23. I’d have to agree with l’O-R on this one.
    I think the filmmakers wanted to make Kylo Ren a tortured soul, torn between some weird admiration of his grandpa on the one hand and his parents on the other. But such a conflicted psyche requires some degree of character development, which was pretty much absent in the film. Besides, he wasn’t at all threatening or scary on film at all.
    As for Snoke–why, even the name is silly; it sounds like the name for a hobbit. And his appearance was more ridiculous than intimidating.

  24. Don Johnson says:

    I agree with the reviewer. The Force Awakens is just another Marvel movie in the sense that it has tons of just unbearable and sloppy action, explosions, etc., etc. Meaningless after a while. The plot and character development are just miserable. The movie reflects the lack of quality and value that permeates our society right now. Marketing is wonderful however.

  25. Alex says:

    I’m waiting for after the Holidays to see this, but the few people I’ve talked to who have seen it liked it. They say it isn’t as good as episodes 4 5 and 6, but WAY better then 1 2 and 3. But many of you may be right, most critics are not fans of sci-fi but may be afraid to trash it. OR, the Vatican critic may hate sci-fi and isn’t afraid to admit it, the flick may really suck.

  26. tesla says:

    star wars was unwatcheable it was absolutely horrible and i walked out of the movie midway.

  27. I wonder; who is this “reviewer?” Is it even Catholic? Or just some degenerate Italian Communist who is annoyed because people prefer “Star Wars” to “Das Kapital?”

  28. jc says:

    john candy had the best version with their space winnebago and big helmet as the villian

  29. Confused and hazy?Sounds like the Sociallist Pope’s position on unfettered third world immigration.

  30. John Henrick says:

    I’m not a movie fan and have never seen Star Wars, even the original. I question why the Vatican is commenting on it. They’d do well to straighten up their church before they criticize others. And they need to stay out of the global warming discussion, too. They’re religious people, not scientists.

    • L’Osservatore Romano is a newspaper. They do all the things newspapers do, including write movie reviews. I’m not sure why you think their scope should be more constricted than your typical high school newsletters (which, I’m sure, have movie reviews too)



  32. Jason Thorpe says:

    Luckily, opinions coming out of the Vatican are still just as easily ignored as anything else.

  33. I’ll buck the trend in these comments. I think the review is right. The main characters are a mess. A superhuman female that made ZERO mistakes and really didn’t need a rescue and a retread action sequence/finale that at the time seemed to be straight from an XBox game.

    Much better than Man of Steele in the reboot genre – about par as compared to JJ’s Star Trek reboot. The look is right, but the depth of the original (and I mean Ep. IV and Empire) is beyond them.

  34. Bruce says:

    Without James Earl Jones and Sir Alec Guiness? Not worth a viewing.

  35. John says:

    i agree 100 percent. i thought the ren character was whiney, if darth vader was around he would have killed him. no imagination. just a compilation of the 4,5,6.

  36. Frankly who cares what the vatican has to say about anything, even for a religious opinion! they are out of touch for centuries from reality!

  37. davidkachel says:

    I too wonder about why the Vatican is reviewing movies, but as it happens, then are completely correct. What a sad attempt. The new actors: horrible! Disney has no business producing Star Wars movies.

  38. loutheleaf says:

    Can we leave aside, for a second, the Vatican’s obvious credibility problem, and consider whether they may have this one right? Kylo Ren is no Darth Vader. Not even close. The new emperor is a cartoon. Rey is actually the strong suit of the movie, but she’s too derivative, even with the detail of being female. Anakin and Luke had the same background, rising out of a desert planet into prominence. Han and Chewy seem to be there for nostalgia, and don’t add anything of substance. And how many times can you really get worked up about seeing the Death Star blown up? Back when I saw the first one, people gasped in shock when they blew up Alderaan. Now, when the new Death Planet blew up a planet, it was met with yawns. It’s all been done before. So was the way they blew it up. I’m afraid there will be five more Death Star blowups in the coming sequels, and I’ll say it. I don’t see anything original in the current movie, and have difficulty imagining this rehash carry the franchise through Disney’s planned sequels.

    If they were serious about doing a new generation, they would detach from the old movies, and set the scene hundreds of years later, after the memory of everyone and everything was gone. Go through the discovery of the force, of the Sith, the battle between good and evil. What a missed opportunity.

    • Even in the early episodes, at least the death star had to be in the same solar system to blow up a planet. In this one, it seems the gun can be light years away, but the projectiles are still going slow enough that the doomed unfortunates can see their impending destruction. The physics were as bad as a movie I saw years ago where a submarine below the ice cap was destroyed by bombs causing the ice to FALL and hit the submarine. Ice floats. And interstellar distances are immense.

    • Onlashuk SHUGAHARRA says:

      Perhaps this is all because when a people fail to learn from the past, history is repeated until the lesson(s) is/are learned. I have a personal saying, “The past is to learn from, not to be lived in, thus be controlled by. Draw from your past, but DO NOT allow your past to draw from you.” If we fail to learn from our past mistakes are we not subject to repeat the lesson until we do learn, and thereby also learn what to do with the past and especially the future by and through the power of THIS very present moment? I certainly do think so. But, no one else is obligated to. Nevertheless, I do stand well upon this foundation.

  39. Judy says:

    And out come the anti-Catholic bigots. If the author had simply stated that L’Osservatore Romano had panned the film, there would be actual discussion. Oh, but it (loosely) involves the Catholic Church, so here is that chance for the perfect people to score that point with the most clever reference to how corrupt the Church is.
    Newsflash: Any institution in which humans participate will experience scandal and corruption. Red Cross, Salvation Army, the Amish, Boy Scouts, league sports,public schools (huge sex offender problem there being handled exactly as the Church did), professional sports, governments, PTA’s, families (porn, infidelity, drug abuse, molestation), etc…
    Merry Christmas!

    • Silver Falcon says:

      The Red Cross, Salvation Army, the Amish, Boy Scouts etc. never conducted an Inquisition that lasted for hundreds of years, torturing and murdering thousands of people. Funny how when you criticize religion you get accused of being a bigot when it is the religious who are the most bigoted on earth.

      • John R Schuh says:

        The Roman Inquisition did not in fact “torture and murder” thousands of people. Even the Spanish Inquisition, which acted behalf of the Spanish Crown to root out “secret Jews” and Moriscos, was less brutal that legend would have it. The Roman inquisition focused its opinion mainly on wayward priests and other suspected of heresy. Only the most obstinate –bigots, in other words– suffered torture and punishment.

    • Great stuff Judy, Merry Christmas.

    • albert8184 says:

      Yeah Judy, but the Catholic Church is often its own worst enemy. This new pope of yours… he often is accused of being on the same side as the globalist Left secularists who despise the church. But… maybe it’s some master plan of his to help the church weather the changing times?

  40. Rick Sander says:

    I was in Catholic grade school during 70s and remember the many ways the church would try to remain relevant, many times dissing hit movies. It reminds of how a has-been celeb will comment on some important issue to get some web hits.

  41. pompey says:

    I am quite surprised that the Vatican still believes that people care what they think….about anything much less a motion picture…

    • Onlashuk SHUGAHARRA says:

      I am not as much concerned with what they think as much as I am with what they are saying and doing. After all, the VATICAN does run the entire world from behind the corporation HOLY SEE and its governing body the CURIA. From there they claim to own the whole entire world through the private trust UNAM SANCTIUM. This includes all the worlds resources including the people and their souls, not to mention the entire IMF/WORLD BANK banking system. Now, people laugh at this, and are for the most part completely dismissive of it. However, the record of what the VATICAN has done stands as a truth in the commercial world of death, decay and destruction through their chief weapon of DEBT. Nevertheless, it is the people’s of the many different countries that keep that system functioning because they do with every purchase, loan, and/or tax-payment made thereby endorse that system. So then, the world is what it is because the people continue to volunteer for the world to be administrated by and through the entities that the VATICAN controls. Therefore, until the people have a change of heart and mind, the world will indeed remain just as it is. So then, one can either choose to submit, they can choose to forsake the ways of the world……peacefully……and go a different path. No matter what is chosen, the acts and deeds of a man/woman will reveal the truth of where there heart actually is. So then, choose wisely.

      • albert8184 says:

        I think you got it backwards. It’s the BIS system that probably owns the Vatican and controls the central banking system of the world. The pope doesn’t act like a guy who has that much power. And Hitler wasn’t the only guy who didn’t seem scared of the Vatican. Quite the opposite. Interesting comment you make though. Usually people assign this to the Jews.

      • I wonder how many got what you wrote..well said and truthful!

  42. Onlashuk SHUGAHARRA says:

    Well, for the most part, this is true. However, since it is important to keep your friends close, but your enemy’s closer, then perhaps it makes sense to always keep a watchful eye on the VATICAN to observe their actions and discern the objectives desired from those actions. Now, I am not endorsing the VATICAN. Certainly NOT! But, I am encouraging learning more about who and what they are and represent. For the VATICAN does not do anything without purpose in accordance with their objectives. By these things one can see the how’s and why’s of how they have come to run the world through the private trust of UNUM SANCTUM and the chief corporation of all corporations the HOLY SEE, along with understanding banking; the IMF, World Bank and the Bank of International Settlements. Learning about these things will reveal a lot about why the world is the way that it is and what options one has to assert their God-given liberty to be without the VATICAN and the influences it projects into the world to protect its interests.

  43. ken henson says:

    This is a relief. I was afraid the Vatican was going to push that Birth of Jesus thing again this Christmas.

  44. rogerdata says:

    And since when did we need the idiots at the Vatican to tell us what movies are good or bad? How about this… was he inquisition evil or was it good?

  45. the one and only says:

    Why is the Vatican even doing movie reviews? That’s like a baseball player criticizing how a chef cooks.

  46. Kurt Frommd says:

    I challenge the Vatican to make a better Star Wars movie

  47. Why is the Vatican commenting on Star Wars? Got nothing better to do, like feed the poor from your great coffers.

  48. mikey0 says:

    So don’t watch it. Jeez!

  49. midfkfee says:

    No one takes the Pope seriously any more. He cares about movies, communism, and fake global warming more than he does about God.

    • Judy says:

      You do understand that this is the paper of the Vatican City and not the pope, right? It is a sovereign state with its own newspaper, post office, etc… It’s not like the pope is sitting there writing a movie review. I’m not a fan of Pope Francis, but I do understand that any newspaper can review a movie. And Avatar was a crappy movie also.

  50. me says:

    I do have to agree that the story also seemed to be a reboot. I made the same comment after viewing the movie.

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