Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Force Awakens, Rolls Over And Goes Back To Sleep

Welp, here you go: it's the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster that's causing much soiling of clothing throughout fandom.

I'm sad to see that it appears to be yet another Photoshopped collage rather than a painting by artist Drew Struzan. In the past couple of decades Struzan became the go-to Star Wars artist, illustrating the posters for the Special Editions as well as all three of the Prequels. There's absolutely no reason why they couldn't have used him here. Especially since it looks like they were trying to ape Struzan's style and sense of composition here.

Is... is that some sort of planet sized weapon in the upper right corner? If so, what an ingenious and imaginative idea! We've certainly never seen the bad guys use something like that in any of these movies before!


The poster crams a whopping fourteen characters into it, but fans have noticed one conspicuous absence... namely one Mr. Luke Skywalker. 

We know for a fact that actor Mark Hamill is in the film, so it does seem a bit odd that he's nowhere to be seen on the poster.

Or is he? Actually he is in it. That's him right there in the upper left corner. Well, that's my theory anyway.

If you watch the newest trailer (that everyone is also soiling themselves over), there's a shot of new character Kylo Ren. He's seen wearing a very Vader-like mask and has a deep, electronically distorted voice. 

It's Movie Making 101— any time a character wears a mask, his true identity is supposed to shock and surprise the audience. So what could be more shocking then to have Kylo Ren whip off his mask and reveal he's really Luke Skywalker? And if he's not Luke, then what the hell's the point of hiding the identify of a character the audience has never seen before?

Kylo also stares at the burned remnants of Darth Vader's helmet and says, "Nothing will stop us now. I will finish what you started." This implies he's got some sort of connection with Vader. Again, Luke fills that requirement.

Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree in the forest on the other side of town, but it makes sense to me, and seems like something director JJ Abrams would do. We'll find out in December if I'm right.

NOTE: Several people have pointed out to me that actor Adam Driver is playing Kylo Ren, and has even been seen on set unmasked. Fair enough. But JJ Abrams also swore an oath that Benedict Cumberbatch wasn't playing Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, and we all know how that turned out.

I've been a huge Star Wars fan from 1977 to 1999. That's the point where the Prequels killed my enthusiasm for the entire franchise. 
I'm hoping this movie will be so amazing and awesome that it'll rekindle my love for all things Star Wars, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

First of all I have absolutely zero confidence in JJ Abrams as a director. I liked his earlier works such as Cloverfield and Super 8 OK, but he lost me forever with his dreadful Star Trek Into Darkness.

Secondly, everything I've seen so far from this new film is a rehash of what's gone before. Everything.

We've got yet another desert planet, and another cute robot that speaks in beeps and boops.

We've got armies of Stormtroopers in slightly altered armor.

There are even updated Snowtroopers in the film as well, just like in The Empire Strikes Back.

There are TIE Fighters, but in a burst of creativity, they've now got red markings on them. So they're totally different than the ones we've seen before, right? Right?

We've got a star destroyer bridge that looks pretty much identical to the ones in the Original Trilogy.

TIE Fighters chase the Millennium Falcon through familiar canyons and debris...

We've got X-Wings that look just like the ones from the older films.

As well as X-Wing pilots with customized helmets.

There's even another snow planet! And... is that some sort of trench dug into the surface? Jesus Christ, are you kidding me? A trench? Gosh, I bet there's no way X-Wings and TIE Fighters will chase one another in the closed confines of those narrow walls!

See? Everything in the new trailer has an analog in the earlier films. It's like they're hedging their bets. "If they liked this stuff in the Original Trilogy, they'll love it with a new coat of paint slapped on it here!"

I know this is blasphemy, but to quote many Star Wars characters, "I have a bad feeling about this." 

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