Monday night was a big night for a lot of people. There was a sportsball game (several in fact for different sports) and the new fall season episodes are in full blast; more importantly though? The world was introduced to the official trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Teasers have been out there for a while and a behind the scenes video from San Diego Comic Con is what a lot of people have been watching to bide their time. But now it is here and a few of us at Geekly Inc. wanted to share our thoughts, predictions, hopes, and fears. There is nothing definitely spoiler-y about this article, but if you would prefer to walk into the movie with no idea of what to expect, then skipping the predictions would be the best.
Be still my beating heart. I haven’t been this excited since Star Wars was remastered for theatres (don’t hate me for saying this-it was the only time I could see the originals on the big screen). I am very excited for this, from everything that I have watched, this movie SHOULD be produced and created more like the originals-less CGI and more models/costuming/etc. I am hoping that it will be a more seamlessly transition from the original movies than Episodes I-III. So far I feel like everything from this film gives us a promising new future….”A New Hope” if you will for the Star Wars franchise.
My Predictions: What I would love to see is Rey as the daughter of Leia and Han (or a grandchild). From the expanded universe we do know that they had a daughter and that she was good with mechanics (opening scene spelunking in a Star Destroyer for potential hint one) and that she was force sensitive (so hopefully we will see her gain some of the force sensitivity that runs through her family). I am putting this out there that Kylo Ren might be Rey’s twin. Following the expanded universe as well, we know that Leia and Han did have twins, so could this be Rey’s long lost brother? For Finn, I think seeing him with the lightsaber would be too obvious to make him force sensitive, so I think he will be connected with Rey, but be more her “Han Solo” sidekick. The current time period of the movie is about 35 ABY, so we should be seeing a resurgence of the New Jedi Order and the force in general (it’s called “The Force Awakens” sooo…) and hopefully this will bring the force back to us as a connection and not science. Also I think the whole movie will be relatively force free, excluding Kylo Ren who we know is a force user, but that towards the end there is a dramatic moment where Rey finally connects to the force.
My hopes: Obviously that the movie doesn’t fall back to the story style for Episodes I-III. Abrams has done some very amazing things with other sci-fi movies and so I am hoping that Star Wars holds up as well. What I want more now is Captain Phasma…so far we have just been shown snippets of her and we know nothing of her storyline (other than profession), so I am hoping that this isn’t a “let’s just have a female in this role to be different”…I want her to have a story to tell as well. I want this movie to make my heart swell and grow three sizes, like with the originals.
My fears: I feel like someone who has been burned in the past…so I have my reservations. But from everything I have watched so far, I am ready to throw them out the window for this movie. Everything I watch gives me chills and I have had tears in my eyes. I am ready for everyone to move past the days of Jar Jar and rat tails and back to the glory times of Star Wars when it was something we could all watch and enjoy.
Dear sweet fluffy lord of ewoks I am excited for the villains. Yeah, sure, the heroes look great and seeing Leia makes me heart overflow, but the serried ranks of stormtroopers and Kylo Ren with his supposedly-stupid-but-actually-really-awesome crossguard lightsaber just give me chills. The good kind. After all, what immediately pops into your head when you think Star Wars? Most likely either the technology or the villains. The stormtroopers. Vader. The Emperor. Boba Fett. Jabba the Hutt. Hell, even the Pit of Sarlacc. It’s not that root for these characters, it’s just that they have so much more latitude to act. They sweep, they threaten, they blow up planets. They travel on ships called star destroyers. And here we have them back in full force, a vengeful horde of trained combatants, and someone mad enough to idolize Vader. Lucas erred when he made the villains either shadowy figures or bumbling idiots in the prequels. A New Hope did such a great job when introducing Vader right at the first, giving us a clear embodiment of the empire we were supposed to hate. I only hope Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma create such delightfully grandiose menace. As for the heroes, I am cautiously optimistic about gritty Rey and hesitant Finn. They seem solid, like they might actually be able to live up to the older generation. But so much of that will depend on the writing, and the taste we’ve gotten…huh. Well, it doesn’t make me want to barf. That’s a new feeling. There isn’t so much dialogue that I can draw any conclusions, but I do like the direction this is heading.
My predictions: They’re going back to the source material (aka, the original trilogy) to have a character undergo the same kind of hero’s awakening/hero’s journey that we saw with Luke. Simply being a Jedi didn’t work for the prequels: the Jedi came off as bland and dour, and you could practically see buttons on all of them that said “press here for meaningless platitude!” Extending the Jedi mythology didn’t help either–it’s where we got the midichlorians and some kind of council that made uniformly bad decisions. So it’s back to basics and back to a personal connection with characters.
We’re going to see some of Abrams’ pessimism in the politics. He did a decent job with Star Trek 2, but here he’ll be able to really go to town with some big, tough villains and some really evil machinations. Star Wars has much more of that mythological feel that Abrams excels at, since he’s always trying to make characters larger than life. He’s also going to have some scenes with humor, which I will appreciate. And there will be at least one scene in which you will be able to tell he decided “hey, let’s take the most possible awesome thing, and do that with 100% more awesome on top of it and make everyone cheer.” Hopefully he can use those characters and individual scenes effectively, rather than letting the women fall by the wayside and leaving holes all over the plot.
My hopes: Leia with a lightsaber, using the Force. Han being cocky and cool and not as bored as Harrison Ford can sometimes get. Actually getting into the grit of the collapse of the Empire without getting into boring things like trade negotiations. Gwendoline Christie being awesome. Lupita Nyong’o being awesome. Please, please, please let everyone be awesome. I can’t help it, I have so many hopes.
My fears: Rey pulling a Trinity and existing only to support Finn. All the battles being planetside (it’s Star Wars). JJ Abrams giving us one of his goddamn “twists” that doesn’t actually improve the movie but is a twist for twists’ sake. The writers not being able to produce lines that are clean, clear, and evocative like “do, or do not. There is no try.” The movie being too dependent on the original trilogy and giving us another death star. The movie not having enough sweep. The movie taking my childhood, smashing it on the floor, and shitting on it. The movie, in its entirety. I am really afraid of this movie. It’s good that this trailer came out around Halloween because I am petrified of another three movies like the prequels, and I’m going to be living with that fear from now until December.
As a person who has seen the 3 most recent Star Wars movies but really only remember Episode III, let me tell you – I’m an expert in all things Star Wars. Clearly joking. I thought this trailer looked pretty awesome and even for a non-fan, I got dang goosebumps. (What the heck, yo? I thought my goosebumps were reserved for Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones?) I really enjoyed the Star Trek movies directed by J.J. Abrams so I will probably also like this movie. But I do promise to watch the whole franchise before venturing out to see The Force Awakens.
Predictions: I will like this movie and will try to talk to actual Star Wars fans about it but fail miserably. (I don’t have actual predictions).
My hopes: I will like it.
My fears: I will like it but no one else will and I will be cast out as a pariah.
To say that I’ve been hesitant about getting excited for the new Star Wars trilogy would be an understatement. I saw Episodes I-III in the theatre, each on opening night, each with varied amounts of elation and displeasure. Star Wars had done me wrong, and no way was I going let all of the new hype get my hopes up. Then last night’s trailer happened, and any lesson I might have learned about tempering one’s expectations went right out the window. The trailer ends with, “The force, it’s calling to you. Just let it in.” This line, which I’m sure has importance in the film, is nothing short of brilliant. It directly addresses all of the fans who love Star Wars and who want this movie (and those that will follow) to be good, but are afraid to hope that this could be the Star Wars trilogy they’ve been waiting for since ewoks, in all their furry glory, took out those Stormtroopers so many year ago.
My Predictions: In Episodes I-III the force was, for better or worse (worse, definitely worse), a science. By the time the events in Episodes IV-VI happen, the science is forgotten, and only the older generation seems to remember it. Based solely on the trailer, it seems like the force is bedtime story, a fairy tale told but never really believed, and I expect this to be a significant part of the movie. If this movie follows the formula of previous Star Wars films a wisened mentor will die in the first film. Will it be Han? Leia? Luke? Chewbacca? I have no clue, but someone’s definitely going down in the second act of the film.
My Hopes: Mostly for a tightly written script without too much exposition. Like A New Hope, I really want this movie to be self contained, and that means no cliffhangers. Questions about what comes in the next movie are great, but complete plot arcs that resolve within the movie while still allowing for character growth in the following moves are fantastic. I really hope that all of the characters are fully fledged characters in their own right and not just Luke/Leia/Han stand ins.
My fears: Constant eye-blinding lens flares. Lens flares can be a great effect, when used at the right time. I know J.J. Abrams likes lens flares, you know J.J. Abrams likes lens flares, even J.J. Abrams knows that he likes lens flares a bit too much.(Check out this re-imagined teaser trailer for my worst lens flare related fears) I would be willing to sit through all of those lens flares so long as the movie doesn’t have a cut to black cliff-hanger ending. There are going to be three movies, and the audience already knows that. What’s more is that even if this movie is terrible (please don’t be terrible), the audience will still go see the next movie. It wouldn’t ruin the movie, but it would be a cheap ending. Now if there’s some insanity mid/post credits that’s a totally different story. I am all about those “what. just. happenned???” moments as an addition to the film, but wrap up the story first then give us a taste of what’s to come.
About a year ago I was flipping through the rulebook for the Edge of the Empire RPG and made a startling realization; I actually DO still love Star Wars. I had gone through a period of mass saturation after the terrible prequels and everything ever making “funny” references after the series was thrust back into the forefront of pop culture that I was full on sick of my favorite franchise and it’s iconography. Seeing these characters, these ships, this aesthetic back in action now… it makes my heart happy.
My Predictions: Notice a really important person missing from the trailer? A guy who really likes power converters? Unless I somehow missed it completely, Luke is absent from the new trailer. But don’t forget we saw a cool robo-hand reach out for R2 in the teaser trailer. And that scene where former skeptic Han is telling the new blood it’s all true about the light and dark side of the force? I think Luke has gone missing. He went on a quest to try to find anyone else left in the galaxy that he could train to become a Jedi and hasn’t been seen or heard from in years. These new kids, both of whom I predict will turn out to be force sensitive, need to find him before the new big baddie tracks them down and kills them with his tri-saber. Oh and Finn is Han’s illegitimate son from way back when. Read the new comics.
My Hopes: A deeper story with actual consequences for the Star Wars universe. If there was one major sin of the prequels (outside of the obvious) it was that there was nothing they could do that could change the status quo for better or for worse. This is the real reason the prequels suck, all Jar Jar’s aside. So let’s make this one count, J.J. (Abrams, not Jar Jar).
My Fears: Ok, look. Abrams is good with characters, bad with story. Take a look at the re-launched Star Trek. Amazing casting of some of the most iconic characters ever created. What does he do with them. Nothing interesting. I was so bored by Into Darkness, I honestly can’t tell you a single thing that happened in it outside of that part where Spock fist-fights Sherlock. If Episode VII is nothing but explosions and action set pieces where no real character development happens, it will be all for naught. And we can’t have another Star Wars movie that is for naught. We just caughnt.
Some of my earliest memories contain Star Wars imagery and references (including a boy who wouldn’t share his toy figures with me and to this day I still think he’s a total dick for that) but my relationship with the franchise isn’t so simple. I’d watched the movies countless times, made references to them in my day-to-day conversation, and even read some of the books. When they decided to release “restorations” of Episodes IV to VI, I was at the theater handing over my cash. Afterwards, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed, and I wondered why they didn’t tagline them with: “Hey! Here’s a whole bunch of unnecessary additions because special effects technology has improved and I’m George-fucking-Lucas!” At this point, Star Wars and I took a break, but when I got that familiar excited tingle with the release of episode I, it made the betrayal all that worse. It should be no surprise to anyone that I think Episodes I to III are garbage, but this might surprise you. After watching Episode I, I decided to cleanse my palate with the original movies only to realize that they really aren’t that good either. Yeah, I said it. It’s bad acting and dialogue. I still watch them, and they still have a special place in my heart, but my view of George Lucas has never been the same.
My relationship with Star Wars has improved since I started watching the animated series (Clone Wars and Rebels), but I was still skeptical about any more movies. That is, until the teasers started to make their way to the web and then the full trailer premiered (during Monday Night Football?!). It’s the sounds of Star Wars that gives me goosebumps. You can’t mistake it for anything else, like a TIE fighters whizzing by as X-wing starfighters shoot their laser canons at them—and the music—holy crap, the music! They’ve done what I thought was impossible; they made my bitter heart excited again.
Predictions: I’ve decided to go for the most ludicrous prediction I could think of: Kylo Ren is a Skywalker, and no, I don’t mean Luke. He’s Vader’s grandson obsessed with continuing his legacy.
My hopes: JJ Abrams stays true to the science fantasy genre of the original franchise. If I want science fiction, then I’ll watch Star Trek. I watch Star Wars for the mythology and philosophy of the Jedi. Also, my hope (actually, it’s more of an expectation at this point) is that my mind will be blown away by the practical effects of this movie. I love practical effects, and I think CGI should only be used to enhance them, not replace them, whenever possible.
My fears: They’ll introduce some godawful, pandering piece of alien species trash whose sole purpose is to sell toys to kids and may be mildly racist.
So there you have, our thoughts for you from a few of us that are might need to get help for our Star Wars‘ problem. If you want to talk to us more about our thoughts, chat with us in the comments section or over on Twitter: