The Millennium Falcon is flying once again.
This is happening people.
Yesterday, the newly Disneyfied Lucasfilms dropped 90 whole seconds of new Star Wars on the world. The trailer is shorter than the average bowel movement but that didn’t stop the social networks from collectively tearing themselves to pieces.
In case you couldn’t tell, this whole “Star Wars” thing seems like kind of a big deal.
For all five of you who aren’t aware, Star Wars is a watershed franchise in pop culture history for two very important reasons: the original trilogy redefined the blockbuster, creating unparalleled technical advancements in the craft of filmmaking and establishing a persistent universe that lives on in nerd culture to this day. Then came the prequel trilogy, which proved to us all that sometimes life is crap.
As a result, Star Wars fans are some of the most jaded in nerd culture. We need this movie to be good. There are three generations of Star Wars fans alive today who want a good rinse of mouthwash to get the taste of all that Hayden Christensen out of our mouths.
So how is the teaser? Our impression is: it doesn’t matter. It never did.
To call Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens the most anticipated movie of all time isn’t doing it justice. To a large number of us, this is the discovery of Bigfoot and a Cubs World Series rolled into one.
The Force Awakens isn’t just a movie, it’s an event.
Maybe that’s why the trailer is so disarming. It shrinks this thing in our minds, brings it back into reality. We’ve opened the box and discovered Shrödinger’s Movie is alive and well and looking pretty decent.
That’s not to say there weren’t a few moments in the trailer that got nerd brows a-furrowing.
For one thing, we’re back on the desert planet Tatooine. Among the many sins of the Prequels-That-Must-Not-Be-Named, an over-reliance on already-established locations took much of the magic out of Star Wars. How big and vast can this galaxy be if everything important seems to keep on happening on this backwater podunk spit of desert?
Fortunately, the trailer isn’t slapstick heavy (no Jar Jar Binks in sight, thank god) which means maybe we’ll finally get another Star Wars movie with some teeth. Director J.J. Abrams hasn’t been afraid to let things get freaky in the past. Remember, this is the guy who made Cloverfield (aka Godzilla The Slasher Movie) and who did the impossible and made Star Trek cool. So it looks like the source material is being handled without the kiddie gloves for the first time in a while. That alone is cause for celebration – Star Wars is at its best when it’s not afraid to get mean.
By all accounts the series is in good hands. Disney has done just fine by Marvel – they seem to know not to fix what isn’t broken. And Abrams is a director with a couple silly and obnoxious quirks (if you can find them through all that lens flare), but his movies are always reliably entertaining and he certainly knows how to handle an established franchise while laboring under sky high expectations.
While it may look shiny and new, there are plenty of elements that keep with the original trilogy that go far beyond just homages. The original cast is coming back, as well as John Williams on the composer side and a few of the same special effects artists and writers.
And George Lucas has barely touched the project. He’s more than content to hand off his baby to people who actually know what they’re doing.
So we’re going to keep doing what we always do – snarking and criticizing and dissecting every tiny piece of content that leaks to the press while Abrams and his Disney cabal are going to keep their noses to the grindstone and churn out a solid piece. When the movie releases, it will break the box office and sell every poster and action figure imaginable – but much like the trailer that dropped on Friday, the movie itself won’t really matter.
This is the redemption of Star Wars on the line here. No film can possibly fulfill every expectation.
But maybe, just maybe, for the first time in a while, we can all spend some time actually enjoying life in a galaxy far, far away.
(Featured image courtesy of Disney/LucasFilms)