In case you just returned from another galaxy far, far away, you know all the movie buzz is about the next installment of the Star Wars saga, due out on Dec. 18. Now the property of Disney Pictures, after George “Jar-Jar” Lucas sold his rights to his blockbusting, sci-fi film-changing franchise, the first official trailer for the new movie was released during the Monday Night Football game.
The question on everyone’s mind is: where’s Luke Skywalker. J.J. Abrams has been releasing teaser trailers for most of the year, mostly online, for fans to follow. Fans know Luke (Mark Hamill) is in the film. He voices over the second trailer and presumably it’s his arm reaching out to R2-D2.
The buzz is that he’s missing and new characters Rey (Daisey Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega), an ex-Storm Trooper, seek Han Solo’s help in finding him. Why? Well, that’s what the movie is all about. Rey and Finn apparently find a cast-off lightsaber that presumably belonged to Luke Skywalker.
A good guess is that they also find something called the Holochron. Fanboys and Girlgeeks know what the Holochron is because they’ve watched the animated series, The Clone Wars. We won’t give anything away here. However, it’s suspected that Luke has gone into seclusion, guarding this thing.
He’s also being hunted by someone who venerates the evil memory of Luke’s father, Anakin (Darth Vader). That would be Kylo Ren. He’s featured throughout all the trailers, the ones for the general public as well die-hard fans. There’s speculation that he and Rey are Han and Leia’s children, although Rey tells someone in a voiceover who sounds like Leia that she’s “no one.”
In the poster, there are hints of a new Death Star. As in the official trailer, Luke is nowhere to be seen, which adds to the mystery. Perhaps it’s payback for Mark Hamill getting second billing behind Harrison Ford. Fans went crazy when Ford appeared at the end of the second teaser trailer, with Chewbacca howling behind him. Someone told a fanboy on a fan website that the fans will go crazy when Luke appears in the movie.
Rest assured, Hamill’s name is not only on the Star Wars VII cast list, but on the Stars Wars VIII cast list as well. Rumor has it that Ford insisted that his character be killed off in this segment. Curse these egotistical actors and their everlasting yen to do a death scene. Leonard Nimoy insisted on the same thing for Star Trek: Wrath of Khan.
That didn’t work out too well for the Star Trek franchise. Suspecting that it might not, the director left a loophole for Mr. Spock to make a return. However, it took two films to raise him from the dead.
Star Wars fans, fanboys and the general audiences alike, eagerly await each sequel, hoping to capture the magic of the first film. They were grossly disappointed with the three prequels, though it’s hard to understand why. The prequels were about Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker. You didn’t have to be a Jedi Knight to have a bad feeling about these movies; that they weren’t going to end well. Fanboys got too hung up on Jar-Jar Binks. Adolescents have a low tolerance level for dorkiness. Critics in general complained about Hayden Christensen’s acting abilities. I thought he was all right. You can’t blame him for George Lucas’ notoriously comic book writing style.
The teen fans didn’t like the Ewoks, either. In the re-release of Return of the Jedi, the producers took away the Ewoks celebration song and replaced it with what was essentially elevator music in order to play down the cutesy factor that so repelled the Fan Boys. They also added celebration scenes from other planets in the franchise galaxy, which was pretty cool.
Something else is missing from Star Wars: The Force Awakens – the series number. J.J. Abrams is not of George Lucas’ generation and never sat through Saturday afternoon movie serials which were numbered. We must admit that the numbers are now confusing since the release of the prequels.
When you’re talking about the “first” movie, are you talking about the “original” Star Wars or Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace. The “original” SW was given the number IV and a title: “A New Hope.”
A new generational question is beginning to arise about Star Wars: How old were you when you saw the first (original) movie? I saw Star Wars when I was 18, in 1977 when the film first came out. I was just a bit younger than Luke and Leia were supposed to be, so watching them age will be a somewhat poignant experience for my generation.
I look forward to the movie with mixed feelings. The fact that Leia is seen crying in the trailer and the buzz that Han Solo will die does not bode well, IMHO. Looking at it astrologically, the film will be released under a retrograde Uranus. Uranus defines popularity. Such a planet in retrograde motion is not a promising aspect for any film. Eventually, it will progress to direct motion, in about seven years, by which time all the films will be made and whatever it is that will have made the film unpopular in the eyes of the original audiences will have resolved itself.
By comparison, the original Star Wars was “born” under the tremendously fortunate aspect of not one but two grand trines, guaranteeing that it couldn’t miss. At the time, people weren’t so sure. They weren’t asking “Where is Luke Skywalker?” They were asking, “Who is Luke Skywalker.”
Some thought the movie would be a bust, a small film with a largely young, unknown cast. Ford had been in American Graffiti, Hamill had done some television work, and Carrie Fisher was the daughter of film star Debbie Reynolds (can’t you just hear young audiences asking “Debbie Who? – Ohhh, Princess Leia’s mother!”)
The original Star Wars was the best, although its two sequels were great, filled with surprises and plot twists that kept fans yearning for the next movie. The return of the original movie’s cast is a tremendous draw for fans. Young or old, we still love them and people are already paying in advance for a seat in the theater on Dec. 18.
Who are Rey and Kylo Ren (the villain)? Are they Han and Leia’s kids? Are they Luke’s? Doesn’t Poe Dameron (which more or less means dark, hidden spirit) look an awful lot like Luke with dark hair? He’s the one who’s apparently captured and tortured by the villain.
And what are all those orbs hanging around Rey, Finn and Han Solo in the trailer? Fanboys ought to know and shame on them if they don’t.
But we’ll find out on December 18th and we’ll entertain ourselves for the next two months trying to figure it out – when we’re not busy trying to figure out why Hillary Clinton isn’t already in prison, why Liberals want us to think that killings would all stop if we just handed over our guns, and why we signed the nuke deal with Iran, insuring that New York and San Francisco are going to feel, if not the wrath of God, the wrath of the Muslims?
I’ve got a bad feeling about this…