Weird Ways The New 'Scream' Feels Exactly Like A 'Star Wars' Movie
This article contains SPOILERS for Scream (2022).
At the risk of running out of cinematic horror conventions to comment on, the newest Scream movie turns its meta-focus on the rules of legacy sequels; franchise reboots that are still tethered to the original series’ continuity to some degree – like Creed, Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Jurassic World, allowing for the original cast members to pass the torch to a new group of actors, while also collecting a healthy paycheck for sometimes, like, a day’s worth of work.
Obviously this is a big trend in horror right now with the new Halloween movies, and now Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Exorcist seemingly following suit. But of course, the legacy sequels that loom largest in our pop-culture minds, as mentioned in Scream, are the recent Star Wars movies, starring a likeable young new cast of characters and their haggard, spirit-crushed predecessors. But, weirdly, Scream doesn’t just make a passing reference to the Star Wars sequel trilogy, it mirrors specific story beats at almost every turn – just with way more stabbings.
As some critics have pointed out, the entirety of Scream works as sort of a commentary on the Star Wars franchise, starting with the fact that our female protagonist Sam turns out to be the daughter of Billy Loomis, the killer from the original movie. Which feels extremely similar to The Rise of Skywalker’s revelation that Rey is the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine – or rather the daughter of one of his botched (yet nevertheless somehow sexually active) clones. Both struggle to cement their identities as heroes, independent of their villainous lineage.
And the original Scream trio functions here much like the original three Star Wars heroes do in the sequel trilogy; Dewey, like Han, is estranged from Gale (Leia) and has basically become an aimless derelict who is still revered by the younger generation, who know all about his past adventures.
And just as Han was killed in The Force Awakens, Dewey is tragically murdered early in the story -- by someone with a mask and a black cape, no less.
Sidney Prescott is the Luke Skywalker of the story; she lives as far away from the town of Woodsboro as possible (understandably) but gets dragged into the story following the death of her friend. And when Sam impulsively opts to leave, Sidney tries to warn her, ultimately to no avail – much like Luke does with Rey in The Last Jedi. Even the very end of the movie has a similar vibe to the final moments of The Rise of Skywalker; with the Luke and Leia of Scream, Sidney and Gale, watching over Sam.
It seems doubtful that any of this was done by accident; one of the film’s many pointed jabs at toxic fan culture is the brief mention of a controversial new Stab reboot that was helmed by The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson – a joke that very nearly included a cameo from Johnson himself. Thankfully, the Scream filmmakers refrained from sending any characters on an extended errand to a faraway casino.
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Top Image: Paramount Pictures