Since the prequels my love for Star Wars has been tarnished. I can’t watch the real Darth Vader without thinking of the whiny mess he was turned into in those movies. Because of things like that, I’ve changed my #1 nerd franchise allegiance fully over to Tolkien’s Middle-Earth.
There were few redeeming moments in that trilogy and I’d even go so far as to say the best thing to come out of it was John William’s “Duel of the Fates” which to this day is chill inducing every time.
Sure, it would be easy to trash everything Lucas has done with the franchise starting with the rereleases of the original trilogy but I want to talk about my rekindled enthusiasm.
There have been a lot of positives and the internet should fight it’s natural urge to go towards the dark side and be angry about everything Star Wars.
So let’s discuss a few of the positive changes and take a look at the first on location video, which is something awesome in and of itself.
Disney bought Star Wars. Sure, lots of people still believe the House of Mouse is ill equipped to handle a franchise like this. Will we see Mickey as a jedi? Uncle Scrooge McDuck as a Sith? Truth is, Disney has been handling the Marvel franchise with a great amount of love and care. Some of my favorite movies of the last 5-10 years have been Disney Marvel movies. I’ve also been to Star Wars weekend at Disneyland with my family and the care they showed towards the franchise was first rate.
JJ Abrams to write and direct. The king of lens flare, nerd, and director extraordinaire will do (note my confidence) for Star Wars what he has done for Star Trek. Abrams has been doing some of the best storytelling of this generation and that’s good because among the chief criticisms of all six existing Star Wars movies is the dialogue. Many of the more memorable lines (such as Han’s “I know” response) were ad libbed.
The cast. A mix of the old (Fischer, Hamill, Ford, Mayhew, Baker, and Daniels) and new which includes Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis – a fantastic movie), Adam Driver (also Inside Llewyn Davis and Girls) and notables like Andy Serkis the first in the new series seems to be looking to hand the lightsaber off in a way that will bring die hard old school fans along gently.
On a personal level, Star Wars Day this year. It was on a Sunday this year so our church celebrated. I taught in this Star Wars t-shirt and some of our band wore Star Wars gear too. We had it as part of our pre-service activities and I even jokingly got a few people to join me as one would say “May the Fourth be with you” and another would reply “And also with you.” It was fun. Please, don’t Jesus juke something we did for fun.
Finally, the first on set video. It doesn’t reveal a whole lot but there are a couple things that I love here.
1. It’s got a contest to be in the movie. But it isn’t a cash grab. Instead, it is an opportunity to help raise money for Unicef. It’s called Star Wars: A Force for Change. That’s a great thing.
2. Not nearly as cool as the first point but still somewhat fan service, we see an alien. Of course you’d expect that in a SW film, so what’s the big deal? It’s a live prop and not CGI. That’s a win.
So here’s the video. Again, its not much, but at this pointing they’ve already got me back in my jedi robe, even if I’m more Alec Guiness Obi-Wan and less Ewan McGregor’s Kenobi now.