Sunday, April 14, 2019

Reaction to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer

So. Much. Glee!

That's the way I described my feelings Friday afternoon as I watched the trailer for Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker on my iPhone. With Star Wars Celebration occurring this week, I was expecting the trailer, although I had been so inundated with work at the day job that I forgot about it. Imagine my joy when I resurfaced and saw everyone I knew reacting to the new trailer.

Instantly, I grabbed my earbuds and phone and tuned in.

Luke's voice over. Confirmation--if anyone needed any--that Luke Skywalker would play a role in the new film. A desert planet. Of course there's a desert planet. Tatoonie? The camera purposefully moving to see the lightsaber attached to Rey's belt. Boy, does that look familiar. Is that Luke's saber?

And the music! My gosh, whomever decided to use the Force theme back in 2015 (for The Force Awakens) and continuing onto 2017's The Last Jedi and now into 2019 needs a special award. Yeah, the main theme is awesome, but the Force theme tugs at the heart. Beautiful.

Then the cascade of images. Lando! Kylo Red soldering his shattered "Vader-like" mask. Him running through some battle, bright red saber slicing a dude's guts. The Falcon. A large chunk of something (that I recognized only when I got home and watched the trailer on my big TV) that certainly looks like the Death Star's death ray. Oh, and a few scattered shots of the new guys

And then Luke's voice commenting that no one's ever really gone. Followed by Emperor Palpatine's cackling laughter.

And the title reveal. Plus the color scheme.

Goosebumps for sure. Maybe even a little welling of tears, especially upon seeing Carrie Fisher's Leia. Heartstrings were definitely tugged.

Then my brain got involved.

First of all, don't get me wrong. I'm going to see The Rise of Skywalker on Day One. I'm going to get more and more goosebumps every time a favorite character--new and old--show up on screen. I can bet my reaction to seeing Lando again will be over the moon. I'm going to pump my fists and likely yell out when certain things happen.

And I'm going to cry often, especially at the end as the last shot gives way to the credits. Because if this is the final movie of the Skywalker saga, then that last image is going to be the stuff which posters are made of. You know it and I know it.

Disney also knows it.

But then I started thinking about what I saw and what Luke meant by nothing ever dies.

A slight tinge of worry crept into my excitement.

Two years ago, when I saw The Last Jedi. I absolutely loved it. Not only did the story continue, but it progressed forward. It evolved the story and the franchise. Kylo Ren himself said it: Let the past die. That doesn't mean never pay homage to what came before. No, what I took it to mean is don't be shackled by the past in such a way as to hamstring the future.

In my estimation, there have only been four original films in this franchise: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi. Every other film, no matter the quality, have all been, for lack of a better word, fan service.

Yes, we have seen brave new worlds--Endor, Naboo, Coruscant, Kamino, and Crait--with great, interesting characters--Palpatine (in Jedi), Kenobi (Ewan MacGregor), Jabba, Rose, Rey, Poe, Finn, and Holdo--but that's the point. We're supposed to see brand-new things in movies like this. We're supposed to expand the galaxy.

But all the other movies outside of the four I mentioned all are tied down to what came before. As fun as the Prequels are--they are not all bad--there were so many things thrown in for us long-time fans that it became an Easter egg hunt. Again, I loved it, but did the need to scatter Easter eggs hamper the story?

What I'm getting at in regard to the new trailer is that it's a lot of greatest hits. Maybe that's what first trailers are supposed to do. Maybe in the next one or two we'll see strange new creatures and places. That's what I'm looking for.

I sincerely hope the suits at Disney didn't bring writer/director J.J. Abrams into a meeting and basically tell him to forget everything from The Last Jedi and just make another Return of the Jedi.

Anticipation is High

I cannot wait until December when this new movie drops and all our questions will be answered.

And, lest we forget, December 2019 will also mark the conclusion of a story first started in the childhoods of many of us, way back in 1977. All things come to an end, I suppose, but I'll love Star Wars--no matter what my brain thinks--forever.

By the way, we only have 250 days until we find out all our answers.

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