Sunday, February 15, 2015

Star Wars Episode VII By Sydney Quanz

Finally, the year of 2015 has arrived, and with it comes many much anticipated movies.  Another installment in the Marvel Universe, Avengers: Age of Ultron, heavily anticipated with hopes that it will upstage its predecessor the original Avengers. Pixar finally releases its much awaited Inside Out, and Hunger Games completes the quartet with Part 2 of Mocking Jay.

However, there is one film that has been waited for the longest, and who appeals to every generation equally. The new Star Wars Movie The Force Awakens. The long time coming, unexpected seventh installment of the most loved Sci-Fi film ever, will be released December 18, 2015.  Trailer Below:

Though the expectation associated with this film is brimmed with excitement, it is also full of trepidation. The last time that the Star wars franchise was brought to life again, it was a bit of an embarrassment to the fans. Lucas somehow took the most beloved trilogy of all time and turned it into the outdated version of bad movies with to much CGI. Unfortunately for Lucas, the premise for his prequels was honestly intriguing. To take an iconic villain like Darth Vader and give him a backstory, a motivation and therefore bring humanity to this machine man. However, due to some of the worst screen writing ever to grace the screen and awful casting for the part of Anakin Skywalker, the prequels fell flat.

Firstly, This next movie cannot simply exist. That was enough for the prequels, that even though they were unappealing and disappointing they happened and they explain Darth Vader's past, therefore they are signifciant. However, the premise for Episode VII is not enough to make it important. Many could argue that there is no where left for the store to go, now that the Empire has been defeated, Luke has truly become a Jedi and Han Solo and Leia are finally together, there is no room for more story. It is unnecessary. However, if Abrams takes this opportunity to create an interesting story, with real, interesting characters in a universe that audiences remember well, then Episode VII could go from unnecessary to legendary in a heartbeat.

Secondly, Episode VII cannot just be a "where are they now" film. People might pay money to see Han Solo, Leia and Luke go on one last adventure for nostalgia's sake, but if Abrams hopes to launch a new trilogy fans need more of a reason to fork over their hard earned bills. Episode VII must be a passing the torch movie. This movie is an opportunity for the old, beloved cast to make an appearance and then hand on the next set of adventures to a fresh characters.

Thirdly, this trilogy must be well rounded and appeal to audiences without being sappy. In the Prequels, it was apparent that Lucas was trying to appeal to women as well as he wrote the romance between Padame Amadala and Anakin Skywalker. However, he went a step to far by creating one of the sappiest, most poorly acted and hated romances to ever grace the screen. There is most definitely a place in Episode VII for romance, nowadays I would say that it is even necessary for action movies to "throw a bone" to the ladies in the audience. However, making the audience victims of a Disney Princess story admits space battles is insulting. Let's go back to where it all started, with a Solo-Organa relationship full of Shakespearean wit featuring two independent lovers who fans can respect and root for. Also, a female Jedi would be nice. There were glimpses of women with lightsabers in the prequels, but it would be refreshing for the lead woman to be a Jedi instead of a politician.

So Who can guarantee that these next Star Wars movies won't be a further disgrace upon the good name of Skywalker?

JJ Abrams can make such a promise.

Abrams is arguably one of the best directors out there, having sculpted very real characters and touching stories such as Super 8, the TV drama Lost, and the new installments of another culturally significant Science Fiction legacy, Star Trek. It is this movie that gives me hope that Episode VII won't be a disaster. Abrams was able to take an outdated but beloved TV show, and make the characters relevant to a modern audience with ease and precision. His story was nostalgic and fresh simultaneously with an amazing cast and characters. He was smart enough to know that, while Leoard Nimoy's presence as an older time-traveling Spock was delightful and a great thing for the fans, he could not carry the film. However, Nimoy assisted in that passing the torch moment when he spoke to Zachary Quinto, the current Spock, and in a way gave his blessing to the new franchise. Abrams walks the line between the renovation and preservation of the story with grace.

So as fans, I believe we can breathe a sigh of relief. If Abrams can make a fresh story that respects Lucas's movies with respectable characters then there shouldn't be much to worry about next December. Hopefully, the film will launch the next trilogy will live up to its predecessors.

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