Friday Posts – Haiku Me Friday?

Should I talk about the Vanity Fair pics?  I feel like you guys have all already seen them, right?  I don’t consider them spoilers because it was authorized and allowed by Lucasfilm to go on the web.  But if you DO consider them spoilers…then skip the next paragraph.

Only noticeable news is that Kylo Ren is Adam Driver.  Gwendoline Christie is the silver stormtrooper Captain Phasma (stupid name).  Lupita Nyong’o is a CGI pirate character (which is a shame, because it would have been nice to see more diversity in the cast, but pirates! Fun!).  There’s a frozen planet.  Hoth?  Who knows?  A lot of people thought Jakku was Tatooine and it’s not.  See the whole article here: http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/05/star-wars-force-awakens-photos

I’m still struggling with my Friday posts, and I apologize.  I like doing the Friday Fives, but I realize it’s too much work on my end when I’m already usually working on another post at the same time.  What I loved about the Scene Its, I’m now realizing, is that most of the work was done for me.  All I had to do was write about whatever scene came up.

So I’m debating if I should go back to my haiku’s.  I actually really liked them (though doing one every day for a month was a bit much) and I can do what I did last year – use whatever photo is on my calendar for that day to write the poem.  (Watch them discontinue the calendar next year.)

I apologize for the back and forth in trying to find something for my standing Friday post.  Bear with me as I experiment a bit.

You made a wise choice. Afraid of a lightsaber? As well you should be.

You made a wise choice.
Afraid of a lightsaber?
As well you should be.

Have a GREAT weekend everyone!

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Final Analysis on the The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer

So we all watched it last week and had a great discussion about what the heck is possibly going on in The Force Awakens.

I thought that since it’s been a week, now is a good time to organize my thoughts, excitement, and speculations and write everything down.  It will be fun to come back in a year-ish and see which of my predictions were right, and which were wrong.

Overall, I liked the trailer.  I’ve heard complaints that people wanted to see the original cast back, but I’ve said from the beginning that I really wanted them to focus on the new cast and give a fresh look to Star Wars.  They did that with the trailer and I’m happy about that.

I was also happy at just how much of a tease it was.  So many questions left unanswered and so many theories now in place.

This is a looooooooooooong blog post, mostly for my own reference next year, but if you’re a die-hard Star Wars fan, then plow ahead.  (Oh wait, that’s all of you)

******

Trailer fades in and all we hear is,

There has been an awakening.  Have you felt it?

I spent a long time trying to figure out the voice.  My first thought was Andy Serkis, and then I completely wiped that from my mind and I swore it was Benedict Cumberbatch, despite his denial that he’s in VII.  I thought maybe he wasn’t appearing in VII, but his voice was there…mysterious and elusive and he will appear in person in VIII and IX.  I was completely wrong (but originally right) because Andy Serkis confirmed he’s the voice.

THEN BAM!  Up pops John Boyega in a stormtrooper outfit on a desert planet.

john boyega

Boyega: My first gut reaction is that he’s on Tatooine.  I still believe that because it would be a nice way to tie all the trilogies together.  We visit Tatooine in the first movie of each trilogy (ANH and TPM) so I think it would be appropriate to also see it in TFA.  Will the main star come from Tatooine like Anakin and Luke did?

Most interesting is that Boyega is in the stormtrooper outfit with his helmet off.  When have we ever seen that with a stormtrooper?  Never.  We’ve seen it with clonetroopers, but not stormtroopers.  He also looks paranoid, frightened, and is definitely out of breath.  Why the urgency?  What’s going on here?

Is there significance with the way he pops up after the voice over mentions “the awakening”?  Could Boyega’s character randomly have the Force awakened in him?  We’ve thought that the Force is with someone from their birth and it doesn’t awaken out of the blue.  In a sense, it awakened with Luke when Obi-Wan began his training, so perhaps that is the case with Boyega’s character, though the voice over suggests otherwise.

ezra and zare

Ezra and Zare

My final thought on this shot is my grand revelation I had last Friday that Boyega is actually the stormtrooper that Ezra met in the Star Wars Rebels episode “Breaking Ranks”.  If so, his character name would be Zare Leonis and he infiltrated the Imperial Academy in search of his missing sister.  When Ezra escapes, Zare decides to stay to continue his personal mission.  Disney and LFL said that they wanted to start tying the canon together more with the books, shows, and movies.  If my theory is correct, this could be step in the right direction.  Perhaps we will never see Zare again in SWR, but his storyline will be revealed in TFA.  It could also explain why perhaps he’s on the run in this episode.  Maybe he’s escaping the Empire (finally).

On top of that, what if his sister is played by Lupita Nyong’o?  We don’t see her character at all in this trailer, but they gave Zare’s sister a name in SWR (Dhara) and why do that with no intention of ever bringing the storyline back?

It might be a bit of a stretch though, since Boyega himself is 22 years old.  But Nyong’o is 31 so it could work…maybe…?

As we transition to the next scene, you can faintly hear a probe droid, so it reaffirms the fact that he could be on the run.

Soccer ball droid: Your guess is as good as mine.  No idea how that droid would function, what it was there for, or if it was even important.  I checked through the Prequels trailers and they did have some random shots of ships that really had no real bearing on the story.  So maybe that was the case with soccer ball droid, or maybe it does mean something.  The only thing I saw of significance was the junk it was rolling past.  Looks a lot like podracers to me…

soccer ball droid

Empire:  Stormtroopers in garish, flashing light.  Oh, and isn’t one a little short for a stormtrooper?  Could that be John Boyega again?  So we know stormtroopers = Empire, so it brings us to the question…did the Rebellion not destroy the Empire in ROTJ?  Is it still alive and well?  And look at the helmets!  Different, but similar.

stormtroopers tfa

There are also rumblings online that they could be in an Imperial Troop Transport.  Apparently Kenner released a toy of them but no one has actually seen them on film (It was in SWR though).  So is that true and it’s making it’s first movie appearance?  If you see the quick shot, it also looks like the stormtroopers have new-ish blasters as well.

And then we see their feet and it looks like they are about to descend into the night.  But where?  What planet?  There are lights, not natural lights, when you look into the night as the ship opens.  The dots of white and red make me think it’s some kind of civilization where they may be going to attack.

Ridley: Daisy Ridley!  Wooo.  She jumps on some sort of speeder, that kind of looks like a cross between an AA-9 Coruscant Freighter and podracer, but different.  And yet, did anyone else feel like it was eerily similar?  Like I had seen it before?

But let me just say this was my FAVORITE scene.  It was so reminiscent of Leia on Endor that my heart sang.  The outfit was even similar to what the Rebels wore on Endor with the over-the-shoulders slouch look.

There has been a lot of speculation on the fact that she had some sort of spear and/or lightsaber right next to her when she jumped on, but then it wasn’t there when she was flying away.  I also noticed that.  Look:

The hilt definitely looks like a lightsaber, but the blade somehow encased or contained?  Why is it missing in the next scene?  Honestly, I think it was a mistake by the editors.  They aren’t even close to done with the film and they probably have a bunch of different shots, some with that lightsaber thing and some without.  Abrams probably didn’t want us seeing it and getting too much information so he didn’t want it in the scene.  You know what…I have no idea, but I really think it was a mistake.

And she, like Boyega, looks like she is running from something and is slightly nervous.  As she speeds off into the distance, we see her going towards something that looks almost like the junk we saw in the background of the soccer ball droid.  Is it the same place?

X-Wings: Woooo!  X-Wings are back and Oscar Isaac is at the helm.  And notice guys…notice….the Rebel Insignia!!!  I had had moments of fear that they would completely change it and then my tattoo would be a remnant of a lost time, but nope.  Loud and proud on his helmet AND his fighter uniform.  Also, remember how I mentioned a year ago that most of the Insignia’s were actually a dark blue, not the red we always place with them?  Looks like Abrams remembers that too since the one on his uniform is the dark blue, though the one on the helmet is red.

oscar isaacs x wing

But of course that brings up the recurring question AGAIN…are we still fighting the Empire?  Still?  WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?

xwings over waterThe X-wings fly over the water, which I actually could not figure out was water at first, silly me.  Just from the lighting, I thought it was actually Hoth again and they were flying over ice the first two times I watched it.  Beautiful shots though, right?  I love the artistry so far.  However…this scene actually makes me think it might be a closing scene of the movie.  Something about the lighting and the way there are three going into battle.  Will it be a final battle over the water?  THAT would be different!

Sith:  Okay, the big question.  All over the internet and TV, I’ve seen people dissecting this blade and the big question, “Who is that?”

First, we’ll talk about the blade.  I kind of like it.   The pulsing, unclean cut to it makes me think of something new sith crossguard lightsaberunfinished.  Perhaps due to the Sith (supposedly) being wiped out, this person had to create a lightsaber based on what they researched.  And this is what it is?

But what about those little blades coming out and making it seem like a cross guard?  I’ve read so much from people who think it’s stupid (what if your hand slips?) to people who think it’s practical as it will stop another lightsaber from chopping off your hand (that happens a lot, it seems).  I think…meh.  Don’t really like it actually.  I like the unfinished look of the blade, just not the cross guards.

As for who it is – I really, really want it to be Gwendoline Christie.  Really badly.  I’d love to think that the fact they were hiding the person was because we are finally, FINALLY get a female Sith.

Logic is pointing to Adam Driver because ever since he was cast he has been attached with the Sith rumor.  Some fans believe it could even be Luke due to the fact that they think this person’s right hand/arm is thicker than the other so perhaps it’s a bionic hand in there.  I disagree.  The gait of the villain (if it is a villain) seemed to be of a younger person.  And a very tall person at that.  Christie and Driver come in at 6’3” and Hamill comes in at 5’9”.

The voice returns.

The dark side.

And the light.

And then YAY IT’S THE FALCON.  Who got goosebumps then?  I certainly did.  The effect of it turning around and we’re following it upside down at this crazy angle and then there are TIE Fighters coming at you…MAGIC.  Loved it.  Second favorite moment for me, for sure.  And with the theme blaring in the background.  Happiness.  Pure happiness.

Falcon and TIEs

Again though, why the TIEs?  The Empire is somehow back in this movie.  Another desert planet, but this whole time we have not seen any sign of twin suns so we can’t confirm it’s Tatooine.   The Falcon also has a rectangular dish on it, no longer a circular one because if you remember, it got knocked off on the second Death Star run.

*****

The only question left for me at the end, on which I have no real theories on, is the voice.  Serkis’ overarching voice gave us a narrative that seems most unusual for Star Wars.  What character is that?  It seemed a little too neutral to me.  Are they good or bad?  Do they play a big role or are they, like my original theory on Cumberbatch, elusive for the first movie?

Time will tell, but for now, I’m pumped, excited, and can’t wait for the next trailer, much less the actual movie a year from now.

“To Improve is to Change…”

When I moved from my little apartment to my house, I was super excited.  I had lots of time to prepare since I knew when the exact move date was.  Then why did I breakdown and have a crying fit in the middle of packing?  It was a week and a half until everything had to be packed up and I was sitting in the middle of a bunch of boxes crying my brains out, while my best friend listened on the phone.  All of a sudden, I was overwhelmed with all the changes my life was taking.

So that’s an extreme example, but I kind of had that feeling this past weekend.

Ever since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, I’ve been pretty supportive in the way things are going.  And by supportive, I mean, I have no choice so I’ve happily gone along with their plan.  In my book, there’s no point in complaining because it’s not like what I think is going to make a difference.  Also, I love Star Wars so much that I think reviving Star Wars can only be a good thing.  More Star Wars!!  How can that ever be bad??

But the announcement of Gareth Edwards directing the first Star Wars stand-alone film kind of made everything hit home for me. gareth edwards star wars We’ve known that there would be standalone Star Wars films between each Episode since 2013.  Just like when I moved, I’ve had time to digest this information and understand it.  It’s not like it was a sudden onslaught of changes.

But I have this fear that with this constant oversaturation of Star Wars, I will slowly lose my love of Star Wars.  I’ll become less enthusiastic about each film as they get released into theaters at such a rapid pace.  What about Star Wars Episode XX?  Will I be as interested in it then?  Disney is kind of taking a gamble here and thinking that Star Wars fans will turn out in droves for the movies, no matter what (okay, they’re probably right on that).

This is A LOT of Star Wars.  A LOT.  Why didn’t I fully get this before?  This change and transition is throwing me off.  All of a sudden, it feels like everything is more real, more concrete.  Whereas before, we just had rumors and bits of information, now things are being confirmed.

Some of the appeal in Star Wars has been the waiting and the eager anticipation.  Three years gives you a good amount of time to speculate, build up predictions and then wait in line at the midnight showing of the next episode.  Truth be told, I really love saying that I went to midnight showings of the movies.  Will I go to every midnight showing of the movies now?  Probably not and I never thought I’d say that.  Definitely Episode VII if I can manage it.

Has audience participation in movies changed now?  As viewers, do we expect more in less time?  Or is Disney just trying to milk Star Wars for as much as they can?  Or, as another option, are they just trying to shake up our Star Wars world and give us something different?

Why am I so doubtful all of a sudden?  This could turn out well.  I’m trying to think of my reaction with the Marvel universe, but I’m not really into Marvel.  I used to read lot of their comics in 7th and 8th grade, but now I’ve faded out of comic books.  I don’t even see all the movies!  That will most likely happen with the casual fans of Star Wars, just like I’m a casual fan of Marvel.  Sometimes I get to see them in theaters, sometimes I don’t, but I do try to watch them.  And they are doing well…the quality and caliber of actors is definitely good and worth watching.

The only thing I could think of that is similarly on this scale would be the James Bond movies.  They have lasted 50 years and are still going strong, raking in millions of dollars.   I don’t personally know any hardcore Bond fans, so I’m not sure how they’ve felt about the development over the years.

Only time will be able to show me what happens.  I don’t think my fears are unjustified, but I do know there’s nothing I can do about them.  Mostly, I am embracing the changes and adapting, but this weekend, I think a small part of me was mourning what Star Wars was and the experiences that revolved around it.

star wars fans in line

In other news though – I’m happy about Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie being cast in VII.  The cast has now been brought up to 4 females.  But I wonder how big of a role they are going to play?  The fact that they were not in the original announcement could be either a) they are secondary characters or b) they couldn’t get their contracts signed in time.  Either way, I am happy to have two more females added to that list.