Anthony Lane for The New Yorker:
Second, and of far graver concern, is the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, from Walt Disney Studios, that they are, with immediate effect, pulling “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” from release. It was scheduled for next Christmas, but, as of now, may loiter in limbo for all eternity. Details are sketchy, but it appears that the Emperor Palpatine, whose death was recorded in “The Return of the Jedi,” has issued a violent denunciation of anyone who shows, watches, or in any way discusses even a fraction of the upcoming work. How Palpatine was able to launch this threat, and what form it will assume in practice, is currently unclear, but few theatre owners will feel willing to take the risk. Palpatine himself has explained that, though deceased, he tunnelled back through a wormhole in the space-time continuum in order to make this declaration. Interestingly, he claims to have met Matthew McConaughey coming in the opposite direction, and reveals that “Matt says hi.” Conspiracy theorists have already dismissed the Emperor’s words as empty rhetoric, pointing out that, if the movie were truly to be jeopardized, the only organization capable of inflicting such damage would be the Ewok Liberation Front—not to be confused, of course, with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Ewoks. They have the technology, and, heaven knows, the motive. George R. R. Martin has responded immediately by stating not only that the new “Star Wars” will be screened, come what may, at his cinema in Santa Fe but that the concession stands will be staffed by certified Jedis. Battle will be joined, of that we can be sure; only a year to go. Happy 2015.