Special Holiday Speculative Fiction Saturday Comes Early with Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Unleashed

SW-THE-FORCE-AWAKENSI have mentioned more than enough times how I wasn’t certain if I wanted to see Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Of course I was planning to see it because, well, it’s Star Wars, and I grew up with it.

As it so happens, the other site that I write for, The Gospel Herald, wanted me to write about it. You can read what I wrote about it here, but there is a warning about spoilers.

I will have to say that I loved this movie. I will have to say that I started making comparisons of this film with the original trilogy as I watched. Yes, there is some originality in it, and it does take the story of Star Wars after Return of the Jedi pretty well.

Here is something that I have to say about Star Wars: it is a legacy. When it first hit theaters in 1977, it changed everything. The Lucas made a sequel which was considered even better. Personally, I didn’t really like it back in the day, but I loved the toys and trading cards. Then I loved Return of the Jedi, and I loved just having the closure of the trilogy.

I said that I was going to do this review without spoilers, and I will say that I will have to say that some bad stuff went down after the Ewok party. Remember how it felt like “Vader is in his heaven, and all is good in a galaxy, far, far away” at then end of Return of the Jedi?

Yeah, that didn’t take. Instead, the First Order is now the Imperials, but there is a Rebellion…I mean, Resistance. There is kind of a new Darth Vader named Kylo Ren and some other new characters like an ex-stormtrooper named Finn and Rey, a kind of Luke Skywalker character.

Then the older characters are back with Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, C-3PO, plus the Millennium Falcon. Yeah, the last one isn’t a character, but dang it, it might as well be.

Yes, there is a lot to like in this film, as modern day special effects make the space chase scenes look absolutely terrific. Then there is also a scene that happens that is tragic, actually, there’s a few of them. I can’t spoil it, but nothing in Star Wars will ever be the same, and Disney reboots that pesky Star Wars Expanded Universe.

In short, The Force Awakens is a great film, but to compare it to the original trilogy just doesn’t work. Things have changed with 30 years of film, but it’s okay to start something anew.

Super Trailer Thursday: Star Wars The Force Awakens and Batman V. Superman

Okay, clearly you would have to be living in a galaxy far far away to not know this, but there was another trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The moment that I heard about it, I could hear the Star Wars theme from tablets and smartphones.

I’ll have to be honest, it looks very cool. Unfortunately, a lot of the trailer is a bunch of nifty special effects and characters that I don’t really know. However, it ends with Han and Chewie saying “we’re home”.

Yes, I want to see Han and Chewie again, even though they are old and I don’t see Luke and Leia. Also, where are C-3PO and R2-D2? All I’m getting is that droid on a ball. The moment that it ended, all I said was: “I’m not falling for this”. Yeah, I remember all the hype with Star Wars Episode I. Remember the nifty special effects and some characters that I don’t recognize, with a few familiar faces. Remember when I said that I don’t really want to see any more Star Wars? I actually think that I meant it.

Okay, there is another trailer that has shown up, but it was not planned. The long awaited Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was intended to be seen on certain iMAX theaters, but it leaked on the Internet.

I decided not to put it here, because the video that I saw was choppy at best. There wasn’t much to see on it, other than dialogues about the presence of Superman on Earth. Then it shows Batman attempting to fight Superman, for some reason.

Yeah, there isn’t much here on any of these trailers to show anything about these films. I suppose that there wouldn’t be any spoilers, but still, they’ll tease this for a while.

If you want my opinion, I wouldn’t be surprised if Warner Brothers leaked the Batman V. Superman trailer to compete against the Star Wars trailers. Begun the Disney/Marvel and Warner Brothers/DC wars have.

If you are interested, they have assembled the cast of Star Wars Episode VII

Episode VII castYesterday, I mentioned that I was trying to be a bit more serious on my technology reporting, but I couldn’t help reporting on the finding of E.T. Atari 2600 games. I guess I have too much of a personal connection to them, just like I have with Star Wars.

In case you haven’t heard, Disney bought Star Wars for about 4 billion. The first thing that they want to do is make Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, and J.J. Abrams is planning on directing the first of these films. It seems like everyone wants to hear more about the production of this film, and the cast has finally been established. I honestly say I haven’t heard of some of these actors but they are John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, as well as these two I have heard of Andy Serkis (Gollum from Lord of the Rings) and the famous Max von Sydow. Original cast members will return to their roles, and these included Carrie Fisher (Leia), Mark Hamill (Luke), Anthony Daniels (C-3P0), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), and at long last, Harrison Ford (Han Solo).

I realize that most have been following this news closely, and I think I know why. If you are old enough to remember when Star Wars came out, then you have your own memories associated with it. As for me, I first saw the original in the theater in 1977, and I was in kindergarten. After that, I had to get all the toys because my friends had them. When Empire came out, I had to get all of the toys for that. By the time Jedi came out, I just wasn’t really interested in collecting the toys, and was in the 6th grade.

I loved the story of Star Wars, and the universe it presented was just unlimited in its possibilities. It was like it mixed in all the cool stuff of speculative fiction: aliens, lasers, robots, all wrapped up with a magical religious creed of The Force. Once the trilogy came to VHS, Star Wars became a pleasant reminder of epic, special-effects filmmaking.

For years, a copy of the trilogy was on everyone’s shelf, and I always admired the closure of it. I never really wanted to see more of Star Wars, even though I loved the characters and setting. I just felt there was a mortality of its story that shouldn’t outlive the first three films.

Unfortunately, the revised editions came out, adding more special effects and even deleted story elements. It was what I wanted, as it was Star Wars reborn. The problem was these films didn’t need to be updated because a lot of the effects still looked pretty good.

Then there came the prequels, and I really don’t really have to mention the mediocrity of Episode I. It only became a landmark because it unleashed CG in every other film after it. Episode II was a darker offering, and I believe that Episode III is the best of these trilogy of prequels.

Now there are Star Wars books, the Clone Wars TV series, and the universe is so detailed that I actually want to see less of it instead of more. It is sad how something so good just became so bad, and I honestly am not looking forward to these new Star Wars movies.