Thursday, December 4, 2014

Yes, Virginia... There is A Star Wars Coming Next Year

Unless you’re Amish,or a graduate student desperately attempting to finish up those last two papers that are due next week and are at least 50% of your grade, you’ve probably heard that a little trailer for a little film was released last week. If you’re Amish and reading this, then I just have to ask… why? Get back to your field. You’re not supposed to be reading the internet, and it’s probably best if you don’t.

Anyway, it’s big news that 88 seconds of confusing footage that is the trailer for the new Star Wars movie was finally released last week. After literally years of speculating, we got to see our first footage of what will make up the next chapter of the Star Wars Universe, featuring new droids, implications that the Empire made some changes to their stormtooper policies over the course of 30 years, and a lightsaber that looks like it can take off an arm. 

Sorry, Luke… too soon?

Now, with anything that’s released nowadays, we’ve already seen it all. A scene by scene breakdown that attempts to contextualize (grad school word… yay!) a bunch of images that don’t have any context yet. We’ve gotten complaints. So, so many complaints. A Black Stormtrooper? (it worked in Blazing Saddles…) Despite the fact that it’s set 30 years later, and we don’t know why he’s wearing a stormtrooper outfit, are very vocal few have decided this will be their big issue about the movie, at least until more footage is released and they can find something else to complain about.

Of course, once again, we don’t have context, and he could be a stormtrooper… after all 30 years is a long time to keep stocking up on clones… or he could have just put on the suit… like Luke and Han… but no, you keep complaining about it, faceless masses that have nothing better to do.

We’ve also seen the great light saber debate, skillfully shut down by Stephen Colbert (a Star Wars fan for two weeks longer than anyone else) but once again is something we know nothing about. I, personally, am very pro-lightsaber claymore, but I have this cool theory that it’s actually a lightsaber made by someone who didn’t know what they were doing, so those are actually exhaust ports that keep it from overheating, and they’re eventually going to make a better one and… I just can’t wait.

And, as with everything nowadays, it’s been parodied. So. Many. Parodies. The George Lucas Special Edition. The low budget version. The Lego version. Seriously, people, stop. First of all, you’re all no Weird Al. Secondly, put the effort into creating something new. 

That’s just a side note. There’s actually something I really wanted to discuss regarding the trailer.

It’s no secret that many of us were burned by the Prequel trilogy. I didn’t hate it as much as most (I didn’t like Phantom Menace, but I really enjoyed the others.) But some people were let down. I have to agree, I can understand why. The Original Star Wars Trilogy was made with a lot less technology, or computer effects, so you had to fill in a lot of the gaps with your imagination. That’s what it was for me, anyway. Seeing everything laid out on the screen did take away a little bit of the magic for me. Even when George Lucas remastered them and added a bunch of silly creatures in the background… it was a bit much for me. 

So, I was prepared in some ways to be jaded about the new trilogy.

But then… those last five seconds. The Millennium Falcon, zooming through the air, fighting off a bunch of tie fighters. And I was suddenly four again. And there’s nothing cooler than the Millennium Falcon. Nothing.

To me, the Falcon is the grandaddy of it all. Without Han Solo and Chewbaca flying in at the last minute to save Luke, there would be no Firefly or Captain Mal, and Guardians of the Galaxy would still be on the comic pages somewhere with people laughing at a talking raccoon. 

Ok, so we still laugh a little bit at the raccoon. And the giant tree. 

Back when I was four, I loved Star Wars. Yes. I’m old. I’m comfortable with it. I can remember seeing the first one and being just… floored. I didn’t understand how they could get talking robots and the Force up on the screen. I know I’d just seen Empire Strikes Back, and while I didn’t understand all of it, I knew that in my heart of hearts it was probably the best movie that anyone would ever create. 

It was a cold Christmas Eve, and I was sitting in the living room probably tired, probably watching some Christmas special, when there was a knock on the door. It was a little late for us to be getting visitors, but I don't really remember thinking that. It was Christmas eve. Tomorrow was going to erupt into the best gift giving day ever, and I wasn’t close to going to sleep.

But then he was there. Santa. Well, the guy that my parents asked to dress up as Santa, but it was Santa. The man in the flesh, stopping by my house to personally give me and my brother a present early. And this is to let you know the impact of his next action: I don’t remember when he gave to my brother. But what did he give to me? The giant Millennium Falcon toy. 

This wasn’t just any toy. the top flipped up so you could put your Han Solo Action figure inside. The floors came up, too, so when the Stormtroopers tried to find Han and Leia and Chewbaca, they could hide. I didn’t really know what a smuggler was at this point, so, really, I didn’t understand why the floors came up, they just did. 

It was probably the best present I’d ever gotten. I know I spent hours on imaginary space runs, saving Luke, or just flying around the galaxy, making the Kessle run in under 12 Parsecs. Also, I know that’s not a real measurement, but I don’t care. 

So, when the trailer suddenly ended with  that shot… that one, particular shot… man. Christmas cannot get here soon enough. And by that, I mean Christmas next year. 

People, you can be jaded by the Prequels. You can question random things like a black stormtrooper, or a rolly droid rolling around in his rollingness. You can ask why a lightsaber suddenly has a hilt. You can make your parody trailers and your parody moments. But nothing… and I mean nothing… will take away that feeling I had when I saw the Falcon again, zooming through the landscape. 

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