On The Topic of Star Wars, JJ Abrams, and Episode VII

In 2012 following the announcement of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and the subsequent announcement of a sequel trilogy to the original trilogy, I was more puzzled than excited.  The reason for this is because as George Lucas has said the saga is the story of Anakin Skywalker’s rise, downfall, and redemption, and it unfolded and concluded over the course of six films.  Yet I was also exited at the possibility of the original cast reprising their roles 30 years later, though at the time it had been unannounced and was mere speculation.

Fast forward to the announcement and confirmation of the original cast in the new film and needless to say I was blown away when I saw the picture of the table read. However, last year when the trailer premiered I was excited but yet again even more puzzled than before.  Though the sight of the Millenium Falcon flying while the main theme played in the background gave me goosebumps I’m cautious and skeptical of the new film because I saw rebels and stormtroopers.  No article of any publication I’ve read on the topic mentions any confusion regarding this, everyone seems to be excited.  Yet for me, I’m thinking with the death of the Emperor and the fall/dissolvement of the Empire, there’s no need for a Rebel Alliance anymore or Stormtroopers to combat them.  So then why do these appear in the trailer?  I hope there is a valid explanation come showtime.

Looking back at JJ Abrams’ work on the resurrected Star Trek franchise (at which he did an amazing job) I was somewhat uninspired by the sequel and I’m hoping he doesn’t apply the same techniques for Episode VII.  In the Into Darkness movie, he rehashes/recycles the main villain from the original Star Trek sequel, The Wrath of Khan, and even borrows yet slightly alters the radiation sequence and outcome of one of the main protagonists.  Though maybe that’s what reboots do, I don’t know.  (I use the term reboot because in the onslaught of the Sony hack, one of Amy Pascal’s email correspondence mentions the new Star Wars movie being a reboot) This is why I’m skeptical of the use of stormtroopers and rebels for Episode VII, plot redundancy.  I’m all for bringing the original cast back yet please put them up against new and unfamiliar odds and antagonists to keep it fresh and interesting.  Doug Liman who directed the The Bourne Identity reinvigorated the action/spy genre by introducing new elements to it.  Paul Greengrass copied the same formula (with a dismal choice of shaky cam and quick shots that make me nauseous and make the movies unbearable to watch) of close quarters combat, foreign countries, and car chases in its two sequels.

In recent news, George Lucas finally breaks his silence and addresses his opinion on Disney, Episode VII, and its trailer which can be read at the following link: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/culture/george-lucas-disney-star-wars-sequels?src=TrueAnth_ESQUIRE_TW&utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=dxzOsH&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter#!dxzOsH.  Having both Bob Iger and JJ Abrams completely disregard his ideas as a creative consultant doesn’t bode well, especially when he created the universe.  It’s disrespectful.

For all the criticism George Lucas received over the years regarding the prequel trilogy, he fulfilled his purpose in telling the story of Anakin Skywalker the way he intended to.  Sure the actors may have been miscast or perhaps could have been more convincing and Darth Maul could have been fleshed out throughout the three movies and been the Darth Vader of the prequels, however, each movie was better than its predecessor.

As for JJ Abrams’ vision of Episode VII, we’ll see what happens in December.

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