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“The Force Awakens” Trailer 10 Takeaways

It’s been more than thirty years since we’ve seen Star Wars footage that wasn’t prequel-related. This is not the story of Anakin Skywalker and his stalker love for Natalie Portman (seriously quick sidebar, even when he was like 9 he was hitting on her calling her an angel.) This is a SEQUEL to Return of the Jedi!! Unfortunately, a small, micro bit of unease from the prequel squirmed its way into my mind watching this trailer. But overall, it felt like 80 percent original trilogy and 20 percent prequel eye roll. Is that a good thing? Honestly, it’s way too early to tell. I’m both skeptical and hopeful at the same time. Here are ten takeaways from a die-hard fan.

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1. The Dark Jedi Knigth Rises? The narrator at the beginning is a bit distracting. I won’t go as far as saying it’s laughable, but at first, I had my doubts this trailer was the real thing. I came to accept it more after watching it a few more times. But at first, it sounded exactly like Bane from The Dark Knight Rises. Cue the mashup video. Turns out it wasn’t Tom Hardy, but Andy Serkis doing the voice. At least that’s according to Collider. They also say Serkis is playing a pivotal role in the film. New head of the Sith??

Takeaway = Leaning Negative

 

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2. John Boyega will be great. But, is he a stormtrooper or pretending to be a stormtrooper on Tatooine? This is one of my favorite shots from the trailer. Why? It recalls the first film A New Hope. Both Han and Luke put on stormtrooper outfits to rescue Princess Leia. You can also hear the Imperial Probe Droid in the background. Another reference to the original trilogy. And he’s sweaty. Why is that important? Because can you remember any shot, at any time where anyone in the prequels looked like this? Nope. No matter what situation they were in the characters looked like they were in a controlled environment and the dialogue wooden. In just one panicked look, Boyega already proves to me he’s surpassed the terrible acting of the prequels.

Takeaway = Positive

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3. The stormtroopers are back! The Boyega shot and the following sequence reveal, stormtroopers will be featured heavily. But in what way? Yes, the Empire was beaten by the Rebel Alliance, but you can’t believe they were all wiped out. Can you? It’s possible the Empire survived and lived under the radar for 30 years, plotting its return. Or could the Rebels have become so powerful that they now use stormtroopers? A nod to the clones of the prequels perhaps? I like the first theory better. Also, the helmets are a little different from the originals. Kind of like this Ralph McQuarrie design.

Takeaway = Positive

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4. Daisy Ridley looks like her mom. Ridley could be cut into Return of the Jedi seamlessly. If she’s not a dead ringer for Carrie Fisher, I’m not sure who is. It has yet to be confirmed, but my best guess is Ridley plays the daughter of Princess Leia and Han Solo. And her outfit could not be more like a mix of Tatooine garb and Endor from the original trilogy. Some have complained about the look of her speeder bike, but I’m not one to complain about ship/transport design.

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Takeaway = Positive

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5. The soccer ball droid. Yes, the soccer ball droid. And it’s CGI. Kind of cringe worthy for me. This felt very prequel trilogy and out of place. I get there should be advances in droids over the past thirty years, but a rolling ball? I like the fact that the head looks like an astromech, but this worries me.

Takeaway = Negative

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6. The return of the X-wing. They are flying over a body of water and not in space. This shot gives me a sense of how I need to let go of the original trilogy and embrace the future. It reminds of what I loved as a kid, but cranked up a bit with today’s technology and look. The design of the ships are a tweaked, but that seems to be a theme. Appreciating the past, but making it look fresh. Kind of like the difference between cars from the 80s and today. More on that later.

Takeaway = Positive

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7. Oscar Isaacs is with the rebels. 99% sure this is a shot of actor Oscar Isaacs. It would appear he plays a role as a rebel pilot or leader. It’s the old cockpit shot. He’s apparently leading some sort of assault or defense against an unknown foe. Red Five standing by.

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Takeaway = Positive

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8. Revenge of the Sith. It would appear the dark side has risen once again. This is not at all surprising. To not have a dark jedi group as the enemy would be a bold move indeed. This shot also gave me pause though. It’s a “new” lightsaber design. On the surface it feels like a gimmick. And I was kind of waiting to hear what function it could have. Many people posted it looked like a longsword. The blades on the hilt are meant to protect from sword-sliding and your hand being cut off. So, if it’s functionality…I’m all for it. As for who this black robed menace is? Looks thin to me, Adam Driver? Lupita Nyong’o? A female villain would be pretty cool. Or is Luke Skywalker finally succumbing to the dark side and protecting his old injury with two-extra blades?

Takeaway = Leaning positive

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9. The Falcon Returns! This sequence had my mouth watering. Zipping over the surface of what we assume is Tatooine evading Tie-Fighters. Reminds me of the action from the middle part of The Empire Strikes Back. 

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Eagle-eyed fans will also notice the Falcon has a new rectangular radar dish, since the round one was lost in the guts of the second Death Star.

Takeaway = About as positive as it gets!!!

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10. Remember these guys? Yeah, me too. Where are they?? This was one of my biggest disappointments with this trailer after the first viewing. Where were the people who captured my imagination from the Original Trilogy? Han, Luke, Leia and Chewy were nowhere to be seen. Even the droids were beaten out by the soccer ball! The explanation could be as simple as a Disney edict. They wanted to introduce the Star Wars universe to a a new generation with young actors, not people who look like their grandparents. I get that. My worry, are they included not because of performance or how they look? I think one of the main questions heading into this trilogy, would the actors be able to return to their iconic alter egos? They weren’t in there for a reason. The question is why?

Takeaway = Mystery

So, truth be told. I was initially underwhelmed the first time I watched the trailer. But I have grown more and more excited on viewings afterward. Will this movie be any good? I really can’t answer that. Though, by all indications, JJ Abrams has stayed true to the feel of the original trilogy and is making his best effort to create characters that aren’t just cool looking toys. And the best part? I didn’t hear one thing about senators, the trade federation or hating sand!!!

 

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Disney,JJ Abrams,Star Wars and have No Comments

Disney Could Rewrite Star Wars History

So, there’s a BIG rumor going on right now thanks to Bleeding Cool. The site claims they’ve intercepted an internal email from Disney that says the company will be releasing the unedited, theatrical versions of the Original Trilogy. If in fact that is true, it makes me want to shout “FINALLY!!”

Many fans want the tamper-free versions they grew up with. Honestly, I had a VHS tape in the other day and it actually felt better than watching the super-clean, crisp blu-rays anyway.

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But still, a nice blu-ray release of the pre-Lucas revisionist has been the dream since 1997. Right?

However, the next bit of information is even more extreme.

They claim there are rumblings around Disney that they want to view the Prequels as “non-canon.” Similar to how they announced the Expanded Universe of the books would not be honored as actual storyline.

This is a very gray area for me and I’m sure many others.

While I kind of only view the Original Trilogy as canon anyway, does it seem wrong that they could be erasing history and the creator’s ultimate vision?

It’s one thing to ditch the secondary material written by science fiction authors, but to blow out three movies written, directed and financed by the guy who started it all? It’s almost like a hostile takeover at its worst. (Though, they did pay him $4 billion to do whatever the hell they wanted.)

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Still, on the other side of the coin. That means one of the most disappointing moments of my movie going life would be erased. No midichlorians, No Jar Jar. No annoying kid or angry teen Darth Vader. No CGI overkill. No meaningless plot lines that horribly hide the villain. Did Lucas think audiences wouldn’t know Palpatine = Darth Sidious? And why was he never called Darth Sidious in the Original Trilogy, just the Emperor? And why would he build this huge clone army only to have them fight this droid army when ultimately it meant nothing? Couldn’t he just have secretly sided with the separatists? What was the point of the second movie again? Oh, the horribly wooden love story. And wait, was his deformed appearance due to the rebounding lightning in “Revenge of the Sith?” Or is that just his true appearance? And who the hell is Master Sifo-Dyas? And why does Yoda run into hiding when clearly, he was winning that FIGHT!!! Ugh…

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So, bringing things back around…all of this potentially means that Disney is willing to throw out post-1983 George Lucas. It’s sad. I mean, he is the one who came up with an idea that has literally changed lives, not just fans, workers at Lucasfilm and well beyond in the movie industry. People’s career have begun and ended with Lucas. Truly something to admire and praise. Yet, at the same time. his changes to the Original Trilogy are mostly horrible. And the prequels…I wanted to like them so much. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched them thinking “this time they’ll be good.” But they only get worse.

While Lucas’ accomplishments as a storyteller and innovator in the industry will continue to stand and be recognized. His need to tinker and rework his own masterpieces could ultimately be his demise. I find that both unfortunate and a bit sad. The Prequel Trilogy was largely terrible, but it did have some strong visual moments. One has to wonder if 1977 George would have made those movies. Now, they very well could be erased or perhaps worse, invalidated. 

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Disney,Star Wars,uncategorized and have No Comments

‘Potter’, ‘Batman 3’ and sigh…more ‘Avatar’???

More annoying story of the year so far LeBron James or “Avatar?” I know LeBron is fresh in everyone’s minds, but I’m more inclined to go with “Avatar.”

The blue blockbuster is returning to theaters. Oh rejoice!!! An additional eight minutes of footage for a movie with an original 162 minutes that I didn’t care about.

James Cameron claims it’s for the “fans”, but who are we kidding here? Cameron is out for more money and I assume he’ll get it come August. Also, can everyone stop pretending this was a good movie??? Please.

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The hype machine for the last two “Harry Potter” movies is in full swing. The Disney channel aired a Potter marathon this weekend and included a behind-the-scenes look at the films, featuring interviews with the three stars. Take a look below, I would not watch if you haven’t read the book.


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And finally, I expect to be wowed by Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” which comes out this Friday. So, it’s exciting to hear that filming for “Batman 3” is getting underway relatively soon. In April, according to “Alfred” aka Michael Caine. Digital Spy scored this interview below.


posted by Seth Szilagyi in Avatar,Batman,Disney,Harry Potter,Inception and have No Comments

New Toy Story 3 Trailer

Disney Pixar has released the new trailer for the third installment of the Toy Story series. This is the first time we’ve seen Buzz Lightyear, Woody and friends since 1999’s Toy Story 2. This time out Andy is getting ready to go off to college and gives his toys to charity. However, it doesn’t work out as planned.

I never saw the second film, but the original Toy Story was a fun kids’ movie. I definitely know one 2 and a half year old that will be very excited to see this. It hits theaters in 3D (of course) June 18.


posted by Seth Szilagyi in Disney and have Comment (1)