I, like 99.999% of the nerd world, recently saw the new Star Wars trailer and am very excited. I like where they are going with the guy from Attack the Block and loved the Mark Hamil voice over. I have my fingers crossed rigidly in hopes of a reboot that washes out both the hatred I feel for Lucas for Episodes I-III and the hatred I feel for JJ Abrams for the last two Star Trek train wrecks.
However, like I did with the first one there always has to something that bugs me about it and as much as I hate to say it in this case it’s Harrison Ford. Don’t get me wrong. I love Han Solo and thought his inclusion in this film as a veteran rogue giving advice to a new group of swashbucklers would be awesome. However the instead opted to stick him in with only the wrinkles on his face showing any sign that time has passed. He is even dressed exactly the same (you would think that sometime in the past 20 years he might have picked up a hat or found his old Def Leppard t-shirt. Chewbacca looks exactly the same and has the same crossbow. Don’t Wookies get grey hair at some point? There was a lot of grey on Itchy from the Star Wars Holiday Special. Sorry Disney. Lucas created it so it is still canon. Happy Life Day! Chewie image courtesy of our collection of Star Wars t-shirts). It looks like they are going to stick Han Solo in like he’s been smuggling “spice” since the Emperor died.
But really the problem is that his cameo felt as forced and awkward as a catheter made from a firehose. It felt like going to a wild 6 keg frat party at college and have your uncle show up and hang out. You are glad to see him but he just seems really out of place and kind of hampers your enjoyment. It just felt odd. Also what was up with his line “Chewie…we’re home”? Wasn’t he a general in the rebellion at the end of Jedi? Also wasn’t he supposed to marry Princess Leia? Was that the best line they could think of for him? Maybe if they wanted to ramp up the cheese factor.
Anyway regardless I am very excited and will write more on it soon. Thanks
the Infamous Dave Inman
I’m kind of mixed.
So I watched the new trailer a few times today and I think I need to write out my feelings to really understand them. I’m sure you, my beloved readers, will appreciate this insight into my thought process.
Casting my mind down memory lane I remember how it was to see the trailer for the Phantom Menace. I, like most Star Wars fans, was unbelievably excited. “OMG a new Star Wars! I’m gonna start waiting on line now!” Of course there were certain signs that in retrospect I should have seen for the dead mine canaries they were. Mainly WTF was up with the title and who is this dopey kid looking like the worst child actor in the history of child actors? (Ralph Macchio image from the Karate Kid t shirt collection) However my natural enthusiasm helped me turn a blind eye to the danger like a heroin junkie looking at a used needle.
Then I saw the film and it was like someone had set my hair on fire and punched me in the balls for 136 minutes. I couldn’t believe how awful it was and how far off the track of what makes Star Wars great it had gone. Stunningly bad, and almost bad enough to make me question my love of some of the original three (most specifically Return of the Jedi).
More pluses and minuses
Plus: JJ Abrams.
JJ Abrams has been known to do the occasional decent film and is most importantly a fan of Star Wars. He has said for a long time he loves this franchise and I truly hope he will put a lot of effort into not screwing up.
Minus: JJ Abrams.
Personally I think he did an absolutely cretinous job with Star Trek (both of them) and has the habit of reforming things in his own image. Also there is a reason fan fiction is hardly ever used by shows and movies and I don’t know if a fan boy is the best guy for the job. If I had written the script for the last Star Trek movie it would have certainly not had all the canon destruction and bad casting for Kirk but the temptation to take Kirk and Spock on a fantasy joyride where they destroy the entire Romulan Empire might have been hard to resist. (Romulan symbol is one of the very cool novelty t shirts from the fantasy logo collection) I think fans can make decent directors but a true fan might end up making his favorite character into some kind of super god. Sometimes a little restraint is not a bad thing.
The cast, the Force, and the title.
Plus: they pulled the original cast for the film.
I do get a nostalgic feeling at the idea of seeing Princess Leia (or perhaps Queen Leia) and Luke again. (Image courtesy of the Star Wars t-shirts)
Minus: they pulled the original cast for the film.
When I went to my 20 year high school reunion I spent the entire night asking “What happened to all the hot chicks I went to high school with and who are all these middle aged housewives?” I don’t know if I’m ready to see Carrie Fisher 30 years later. I’d like to keep some of the fantasy of her in the metal bikini alive.
Plus: looks like they are bringing back the Force.
The opening line “There has been an awakening. Have you felt it” implies that we are finally done with midiclorians and can can repress that memory like the time my mothers suitcase fell open and a large sex toy rolled out. It will always be “that bad idea” that only survived one movie and was buried under the burning bile of 22,000,000 Star Wars fans.
Minus: the title of the film.
“The Force Awakens” is exactly the kind of ambiguous garbage “the Phantom Menace” was. The good films all had pretty clear titles. The Empire Strikes Back was about the Empire striking back. What do they mean the Force Awakens? Was it asleep? I thought Darth Vader returned balance or something? Is the Force now sentient? The title absolutely reeks of design by committee and as such implies so is the movie. Potentially very bland.
Honestly I don’t know. I have listed all the pluses and minuses a couple hours of thought can generate and still can’t make up my mind. It could be awesome. It could suck like a sarlacc. My biggest worry is that is could be just plain mediocre.
There is one thing I am certain of and that is I won’t be sucked in again. You stick your hand in fire a few times and you learn to not get burned (thanks dad. I’ve always appreciated your Darwinian approach to child rearing). I refuse to let my pulse get amped up until I am sitting in the theater and saying “Hey this is pretty cool”. I expect the special effects and CGI to be amazing and flawless so the only things this film has to distinguish itself from any given Micheal Bay Tranformers movie is going to be the story and the characters (Decepticon logo courtesy of the Transformers t shirt collection). JJ more or less had a crap story in both of the Star Trek films and his characters were pale parodies of existing characters so I honestly think he needs to truly step it up a lot to impress me. Regardless of these factors I’m sure it will be a commercial success so I guess I am just tilting at windmills again.
However to be fair they’d have to screw up pretty major to do worse than George Lucas did.
the Infamous Dave Inman