Star Wars: The Force Awakens (1)

Day 7. 28 pages, 10,989 words.

So I did actually get Star Wars tickets in the end, thanks to the inestimable dreameling, and so I feel I can finally afford to begin to get excited about this new movie, which has indeed been a long time coming (even right here on this blog). And I will do my best to not be a dick about the fact that I’ll be going to see it on the 16th of December, not the 18th like most other muggles.

So sure, let’s talk about it. Not that I haven’t talked about this quite a lot before, but okay. Now I actually have tickets printed, shit is getting real. More real than it was at, say, this time three years ago.

Three years ago? Really? Shit.

I don’t remember feeling this positive about the prequel trailers. I remember being excited by the idea of the Episode I trailer, and thinking that it had a lot of BSTs and other pretty stuff, but … enh, it’s hard to say. I can’t trust my recollections, because they have been coloured by moderate-to-strong disappointment and general disinterest in the prequel trilogy.

But this movie, on a gut-reaction level, has me feeling way more hopeful about this being a good movie. And a lot of that is obviously to do with the success of the Star Trek reboot.

This isn’t a reboot, though. It’s important to note that this is straight-up sequel, and very much in the style of the originals. It’s not fixing anything that ain’t broke. At least as far as the approximately five minutes of footage I have seen in the various teasers and trailers. This is Star Wars, and it makes me wish I was a bigger Star Wars fanboy. Still, what I have will have to do.

As to deeper frame-by-frame, what can I say? I am intrigued by what I’m seeing here and have no idea how it will fit together. Bad guy planning on rebuilding Darth Vader’s legacy[1]. One character facing a story arc leading him from Stormtrooper to Rebel / New Republic fighter and possibly Jedi. Another character arcing from desert scavenger[2] to … uh, something else. Han and Leia and Chewie and R2-D2, and that new droid who sits on a ball. Hooray!

[1] Although think about how Vader died. Depending on who is talking, or what he knows, “finishing what Vader started” could mean rebuilding the Empire or throwing the Emperor down a big metal space-hole. It could even just mean “Sith apprentice killing his Lord”.

[2] I have it on good authority that this isn’t Tatooine, but some other desert planet.

Well, there’s nothing much I can say about any of this that wasn’t already said in this great analysis:

So. That video actually draws on way more insider Star Wars knowledge than I have, talking about groups and ships and planets and characters and events I know nothing about. I’m coming at this from a position of casual knowledge of Episodes IV, V and VI, single-time-viewed knowledge of Episodes I, II and III, and a Zahn sequel trilogy I have read a few times but which I don’t think is going to be a part of this. I don’t know much about the Expanded Universe and I think all that stuff was dropped anyway.

Amusingly, I seem to start all those blog posts by saying “I don’t have much to say about this”. Maybe I should stop saying that. It’s clearly a lie, every time I say I don’t have much to say I end up saying quite a lot.

Yes, I have basically lowest-common-denominator knowledge of the story and characters. Somehow, though, I have faith that this time, Star Wars will have my back.

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7 Responses to Star Wars: The Force Awakens (1)

  1. aaronthepatriot says:

    My background is similar to yours, more lowest-common-denominator. I guess I will see this in the new year, because I ain’t buying tickets 2 months in advance. But I’m sure it’ll be around in my Dinner theater (Alamo Drafthouse Cinema…awesome) until it stops getting ticket sales. So, like until 2017.

    I have to differ about “finishing what Vader started”. He didn’t start throwing the emperor down the hole, he finished that. Finished overthrowing his Sith lord. So that doesn’t work, LOL, but it was funny of you to say.

    • stchucky says:

      My thought was that what Vader started was a trend of the Sith apprentice overthrowing the Sith Lord. Which could quite easily translate to Kylo Ren overthrowing his Sith Lord. Assuming a) he’s Sith at all, and b) that he has a master.

      Furthermore, Vader’s act of rebellion against the Emperor may well have begun and ended with Palpatine’s death, but if the Empire is still around, Vader’s “work” is still ongoing.

      By far the bigger problem is that it’s highly unlikely Kylo Ren was there, so he wouldn’t know that was what happened. So yes, it’s far more likely that he’s talking about some fantastic misassumption about Vader’s calling. Like “killing all younglings” or “finding Padmé” or “winning that pod race”, I don’t know.

      Guess we’ll see.

  2. dreameling says:

    But this movie, on a gut-reaction level, has me feeling way more hopeful about this being a good movie. And a lot of that is obviously to do with the success of the Star Trek reboot.

    This. Gut. Although it’s not the Star Trek reboot specifically for me so much as: (a) Abrams has proven to be a pretty good director (all of his movies have been good, if not excellent), (b) Lucas is not in charge anymore, and (c) Disney’s done good work with other franchises and they obviously do not want to fuck this cash cow up (related to point (b)).

    One character facing a story arc leading him from Stormtrooper to Rebel / New Republic fighter and possibly Jedi.

    John Boyega’s Finn struck me as some sort of spy or alternatively a dude-in-the-wrong-place in the trailers, but you may be correct: Wikipedia describes the character as “a redeemed First Order stormtrooper”. I don’t know why, but I don’t get the Jedi vibe from him, even though he wields a lightsaber in the trailers. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out that the lightsaber isn’t his and that he has no Jedi training. From the few fraction-of-a-second glimpses in the trailer, it looked like Kylo Ren was just gonna slice through him.

    Or maybe he trained with Kylo Ren for a while, and he’s not a redeemed stormtrooper, but a redeemed Sith-in-training?

    Another character arcing from desert scavenger to … uh, something else.

    I so hope that Daisy Ridley’s Rey will end up a Jedi. I want a lead-role female Jedi in Star Wars. I want my daughter to be able to watch Star Wars and have someone to relate to who belongs to the coolest character class in that storyverse. We have enough lead-role dudes wielding lightsabers already.

    and that new droid who sits on a ball. Hooray!

    And you can have the little bugger for Christmas!

    http://store.sphero.com/products/bb-8-by-sphero

    I have it on good authority that this isn’t Tatooine, but some other desert planet.

    It’s called Jakku. Another in a series of Star Wars names that unfortunately borrow from Finnish. “Jakku” meaning “jacket” or “blazer”. Masters of Teräs Käsi (“Steel Hand”) was, of course, much worse.

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Star_Wars:_Masters_of_Ter%C3%A4s_K%C3%A4si

    *shudder*

    I’m coming at this from a position of casual knowledge of Episodes IV, V and VI, single-time-viewed knowledge of Episodes I, II and III, and a Zahn sequel trilogy I have read a few times but which I don’t think is going to be a part of this.

    I guess I qualify as a Star Wars (movie) fanboy. I’ve seen the original trilogy literally dozens and dozens of times [1], I own multiple copies on VHS and DVD, and I naturally caught the re-release in the theaters. I’ve seen the prequels a few times, twice in the theaters and a few times on DVD. I liked the second Clone Wars animated series; never saw the first one. I love the Knights of the Old Republic single-player video games, and I thought the Dark Horse graphic novels set in the same era were OK. Not much other Expanded Universe experience, though.

    [1] Return of the Jedi was the first VHS I ever rented, way back in the mid-80s.

    [Chucky] Yes, I have basically lowest-common-denominator knowledge of the story and characters. Somehow, though, I have faith that this time, Star Wars will have my back.

    [Aaron] My background is similar to yours, more lowest-common-denominator.

    The company I keep.

    My thought was that what Vader started was a trend of the Sith apprentice overthrowing the Sith Lord. Which could quite easily translate to Kylo Ren overthrowing his Sith Lord. Assuming a) he’s Sith at all, and b) that he has a master.

    Ren certainly looks like a Sith, but who knows. According to Wikipedia, he’s a Knight of Ren, whatever that means. And Andy Serkis plays his motion-captured dark-side Master, Supreme Leader Snoke. (Oh yeah, that’s a badass name right there.)

  3. Pingback: Interlude: Rogue One, Part One | Hatboy's Hatstand

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