Thursday, November 27, 2014

Is The Force Strong In This One? Concerns and Joys For Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The first trailer to Star Wars: The Force Awakens is upon us. The preview to next chapter in the Star Wars Saga is expected to hit the web tomorrow. So with this being a last day to make broad speculations, there are few things I would like to say before this trailer hits the web. For as long as I can remember, I have been a fan of Star Wars. The series is among some of my favorite movies of all time. So you can imagine that I am excited for this anticipated sequel. However, while I am ecstatic for The Force Awakens, I do have some concerns about the upcoming picture.

Some moviegoers may think that my concerns revolves around the Star Wars Prequels; but the truth is I actually like those films. Well let me clarify: I acknowledge that those films have their problems. As critic I cannot ignore the flaws to Lucas' prequel trilogy. However, I feel that those three films still have their moments and they did expand the Star Wars franchise for me. So having another Phantom Menace is not my concerns. What troubles me is seeing Star Wars repeat itself.

Throughout the months of Episode VII being in production, I have heard rumors of the film featuring Stormtroopers, and with that detail, we could be seeing the Empire again. These rumors trouble me. As much as I love the Empire and Darth Vader, I do not want to see these villains again. The time of the Galactic Empire has passed. This goes for many elements from The Original Trilogy. As mush as I love The Original Trilogy and would have no problem seeing Episode VII carry the spirit of those films, I do not want this new movie to rely heavily on Star Wars' past. I feel that if the filmmakers just keep to The Original Trilogy, then the Star Wars Saga will never progress.

There are many issues with George Lucas and what he did with the prequels, but in my opinion, the one thing he did not get wrong is trying something new. In the Star Wars Prequels, Lucas could have easily done his first trilogy all over again and those films would have still made millions of dollars; but he didn't. Lucas was willing to expand the Star Wars Universe; and even if some of his ideas were not executed well, George Lucas still made the attempt. What troubles me is since many people see the prequels as a blight on movies, filmmakers will play it safe and maintain to Star Wars' original mythos and nothing more. Hopefully, my concerns on this matter do not come to fruition.

While I may seem dismal about Episode VII, I believe there is plenty of hope for The Force Awakens as the film has plenty of opportunity to do something refreshing. There is definitely enough content on Star Wars out there for this upcoming film to explore. Hopefully the movie takes the opportunity to do something new and create a completely different trilogy. Does that mean that The Force Awakens should divulge from its roots? Absolutely not! One of the best qualities from J.J. Abrams is his ability to make something new, but keep true to the subject's source. A prominent example of this is Abrams' work with Star Trek. So while have my skepticism about this film, I remain to have all confidence in the world that J.J. Abrams can make Episode VII work.

I am excited for Episode VII like any moviegoer should be. However, I am worried that the series will be taking two steps back when it should be taking two step forward. With there being very little content on this film, it is hard to say what the direction of The Force Awakens will be. Maybe the force will be strong in this one. The only way to find out is by watching the new trailer tomorrow.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives in theaters December 18, 2015.