Okay readers, it’s time to talk about Star Wars Episode VII.
This is the one movie I’m really looking forward to this year, now that I’ve seen Age of Ultron (twice). I was apprehensive when I first heard that Disney had bought Star Wars and they’d be making more movies…but then I realized that there was really nothing to worry about. After all, we already know two things about this movie (and its inevitable sequels):
1) It will not live up to the standards set by the original Star Wars trilogy.
2) It will be much, much better than the prequel trilogy.
Obviously, there’s no way for a 21st-century sequel to single-handedly revolutionize the sci-fi genre the way Star Wars did, or even to be as exciting and wonder-filled a story. After all, even Harrison Ford is starting to show his age. But on the other hand, the new movie would have to be a colossal failure to even approach the level of badness that the George Lucas-run prequels gave us. My most vivid memory from those movies is watching a “romantic” scene between Anakin and Padme near the beginning of Revenge of the Sith and thinking “I could write a better love scene than this.” I was thirteen at the time, and I really think I could have. Those movies had no soul.
At least, with The Force Awakens, it looks like the film-makers will be using some real props as opposed to bad CGI, they’ve cast at least three excellent actors, and the script will not be written by George Lucas. So it will automatically be better than any Star Wars movie made in my lifetime. But there are even more reasons to get excited. Let’s break it down by what we know so far:
“The Force Awakens” seemed like a pretty generic-sounding title to me at first, but now that we’ve seen the trailers and it’s been confirmed that the movie takes place several decades after Return of the Jedi, the word choice sounds quite promising. I’ve always wondered about the fate of the Jedi Order after the original trilogy. Like, sure, they’re free to do their thing now that the Empire is gone, but it seems Luke and Leia are the only Force-sensitive people left in the galaxy. And what exactly do Jedi do in times of peace, anyway? Given the title and the few glimpses of lightsaber wielding in the trailers, it seems likely that this movie will focus on a whole new generation of Jedi–some of whom will probably be Luke and Leia’s kids. Yay!
The Power Trio
Yes, it definitely appears that Han and Luke, at least, will have significant roles in the new movie. Carrie Fischer has been cast as well, though we haven’t seen her in the trailers yet. And may I say that today’s Mark Hamill looks %1000 better with a beard? I was worried Luke would look too much like a creepy uncle in the movie, but it seems my fears were in vain. Anyway, this means we finally get to find out what they all got up to after toppling the Empire. I’d especially like to know if Leia became a Jedi. And, of course, I’m just excited to see Han and Chewie onscreen again. Admit it – you got chills when they showed up at the end of the latest trailer. EVERYONE did.
There are many who will disagree, but I’m glad J.J. Abrams is directing this movie. Yes, I know, the die-hard Trekkies hated his Star Trek movies, but face it: at least he has a track record of successfully rebooting a popular sci-fi franchise in a way that appealed to mainstream audiences as much as the cult fanbase. And, judging by his other movies and TV shows, the guy actually wants to be Steven Spielberg. Choosing him to be in charge of the new Star Wars makes all kinds of sense. And I, for one, liked the new Star Trek movies. Who cares about a few gratuitous lens flares or a laser crossguard, as long as the story is fun?
I’m also pretty excited about the new characters being introduced in this movie–the guy in the Stormtrooper suit especially. One of my pet peeves about the old Star Wars movies (and lots of other action-based films, for that matter) is that the Stormtroopers are never treated like people–just faceless “bad guys” who exist to be blown away by the good guys. What do they look like under those helmets? Do they have families? Did they sign up for this job? Nobody ever thinks to ask. So I really hope this new guy is an actual former Stormtrooper who will answer some of those questions.
Even with two trailers out and just six months left to wait, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the future of Star Wars. All I know is, I can’t wait for Christmas!
Now excuse me while I watch the latest teaser a thousand more times.