Star Wars Preview
Dec. 17, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. CST, marks the nationwide release of the seventh installment of George Lucas’s Star Wars franchise.
Wait… just kidding. It’s not George Lucas’s anymore.
In October 2012, Lucasfilm was sold to Disney for $4.1 billion. This sale included all the rights to all the films and franchises that Lucas’s company owned, which included the iconic Star Wars series.
So technically, Princess Leia is a Disney princess.
Almost immediately proceeding this sale, Disney announced that a new trilogy was going into production. In 2013, it was announced that J.J. Abrams, the young director of the Star Trek films, was to helm the first foray into the new canon.
When asked about the effects of the sale, George Lucas stated that it was “about handing Star Wars to a new generation.”
Lucas losing control of the franchise is only a good thing. Although he demonstrated talent when he began directing in the 70’s, his last three efforts, which he both wrote and directed (the Star Wars prequels), were anything but satisfactory. The dialogue of these films: stultifying, the effects: unflattering, the set design: lazy, the characters: flat, the acting: doldrum, the romance: unbelievable, the narrative: dysfunctional, the direction: confusing, and the Original Trilogy, which contains one of the most important films ever: completely disregarded.
Based on the three trailers that we have seen, disregarding the details of the Original Trilogy is not something J. J. Abrams was looking to do. His signature lens flares are almost absent and although the footage certainly looks Abram-esque, it actually looks like a Star Wars film.
Abrams’s production team has kept any potential spoilers firmly under wrap. The film is not being pre-screened for awards consideration to keep the plot under wraps (no Oscars for Star Wars). In fact, any image of Luke Skywalker has been kept out of all trailers and posters. Even his narration in the second trailer is simply dialogue stripped from the “Return of the Jedi.”
In essence, no one except Abrams himself has any idea of the quality of the film being produced. It doesn’t matter though because the anticipation surrounding the film will boost its box office earnings. This will be the highest grossing film ever. It will make more than James Cameron’s Avatar.
Unfortunately, a movie’s box office success has nothing to do with a film’s quality (look at the box-office behemoth Jurassic World).
So it won’t be until the opening crawl of “Episode VII” that I will have any idea of the film’s merit. In short, it still might suck.
Although probably not as bad as the prequels.
The first one, “The Phantom Menace,” premiered on May 19th, 1999. For Star Wars fans, the force has certainly died.
I have read though, that J. J. Abrams plans to place Jar Jar Binks’s skeleton into the film as an Easter egg.
It seems, that after 16 years, the force might re-awaken.