domingo, 28 de diciembre de 2014

So Much for the Trailer...

I’m back on the bloggers chair after a long hibernation!! Any way, let’s get down to business…

The Episode VII: The Force Awakens teaser was something that was bound to happen inevitably after the film’s name had been revealed earlier on.  The release obviously sparked much discussion between fans. Some loved the teaser, others didn’t, and the ones who didn’t like it came from different specters of fandom. The EU fans obviously didn’t like the fact that Jaina, Ben and Jacen where not the main characters in this trilogy, while some of the members of the hater crowd disliked the amount of CGI in the teaser. Clearly people never paid attention to what Kathy Kennedy ACTUALLY SAID back in Celebration Germany.

Some of the Saga fans expressed concern that the teaser didn’t really do much to alleviate our fears over the future of the franchise, and instead kept the wheel spinning in the same unclear direction ever since the cancellation of the Clone Wars in March of 2013. And I have to say it has gotten to a frustrating point. While I personally have tried to maintain optimism in this time of uncertainty and doubt, even I have to admit at times that I have had my occasional dip into despair in these past few months, in particular with some of the rumors that have been rolling around.

My biggest concern since the beginning has been the impending question of who will be the villain of the film.  Not only does this villain have the difficult challenge of living up to the likes of Vader, Palpatine, Maul and Dooku, it also has the challenge of finding a way to not stomp with the Prophecy. And this is perhaps where my knee-jerk reaction was a mostly negative one, since quite frankly that Lightsaber has very little practical use as a weapon and is more likely to harm the user than to harm the opponent. If they where trying to have a Darth Maul like moment in order to woo the audience, they clearly didn’t get it. The case could be made however, that this villain is some type of Grave Robber who is after Ancient dark side artifacts, and perhaps the sword comes from a time in the Old Republic in which their fencing skills weren’t the most spectacular. My guess is that we aren’t dealing with a Sith, rather some lunatic who is trying to resurrect them. Simply by the fact that Entertainment Weekly revealed the name of the villain being "Kylo Ren" gives some sense of optimism that this side of the mythology has been respected. 

And speaking of villains, the appearance of Stormtroopers clearly cements the force of the Empire in some way. This is where things get tricky because we clearly saw Coruscant and other star systems celebrating at the end of Jedi, so to have that retconned and find out that the Empire is still in full force would be a massive disappointment, enough to turn me off from any interest in seeing this film.

However, we have to remember that this might be part of GL’s plan all along, since some of his early ideas for what this trilogy would be about related to the rebuilding of the Republic and the dismantlement of the last remnants of the Empire. So having Imperial Remnants as the villains in the film isn’t necessarily against the ideas of George.  One thing the teaser does leave unanswered however, is the other part of GL’s plan, mainly the rebuilding of the Republic and the restoration of the Jedi Order.  These things have to be in some way or another clearly cemented by now, and it’s rather disappointing on JJ’s part that he didn’t make an effort to at least show us a shot of the Jedi Temple or Leia addressing the Senate. Otherwise if these things aren’t in the film, it calls for some major questioning on the part of the fans as to what they did with GL’s story.

And speaking of questioning, I do think that fandom should be exercising some of their critical thinking, not so much on bashing the cute little Jabulani R2 (now known as BB-8) and instead asking if they got the design and aesthetic right for this film. While they are doing a good job in some areas of cementing a futuristic look in comparison to the edgier look of Episodes IV-VI and the retro look of Episodes I-III, in others it’s questionable if they are banking on the nostalgia factor in order to please the hateboys. While from an in-universe perspective it makes logical sense that there wouldn’t be such a drastic change in the military design when compared to the previous two trilogies, you have to wonder what the real intention here is.  

Finally, I will have to say that the thing I liked the least about the trailer was how it didn’t particularly feel like a Star Wars trailer. In some ways it felt too much like the first teaser of Star Trek: Into Darkness, which could be said was rather strikingly different in tone from what the film actually was. In other words, with JJ you never know what you have as a treat. 

The next couple of months should however be more definitive into seeing finally what the future of Star Wars really has in store. 

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