I was wondering why recently I’ve been so EXCITED for the new Star Wars film. I’m practically giddy with excitement and I occasionally rewatch the trailer just to get that visceral joy out of just that small amount of teaser into this new film. But the question is why am I excited for the new Star Wars film?
I loved the Star Wars Universe as a kid
I was born in 1988 and while I didn’t come to the states until I was 4-5 years old, I did watch the original trilogy as a kid. I was a shy kid, my parents worked a lot being new immigrants, and I didn’t speak English well. So I mostly kept to myself and watched a lots of movies and cartoons. One of my absolute favorite was renting the Star Wars film and copying them onto VHS tapes so I could rewatch them over and over again. It’s something that you do as a kid that just doesn’t have that same level of interest as an adult, rewatching something over and over again.
The excitement, the adventure, tie-fighters, x-wings! I remember wanting to be Bobba Fett. The story captured me and like every other kid I wanted to have a god damn lightsaber.
The music is epic
The Force Theme / Binary Sunset is probably one of the best and most recognizable pieces of music you’ve ever heard. Along with the Imperial March and Vader’s Theme the iconic strength of John William’s score is insane. You probably don’t recognize the names but if I started humming just a bit of them you’d immediately recognize it.
I’m forever happy that George Lucas was able to connect with John Williams for the score. If it wasn’t for this score I don’t think Star Wars would be nearly as intense or amazing as it would have been.
The music though was just one stand alone piece of it though, John Williams also did a great score for the prequels and they are nowhere near as iconic or remembered. So could Star Wars have done well without a great music score? Probably. But I don’t think I would have that same level of excitement without hearing the Imperial March watching the films.
The Phantom Menace was awful
Phantom Menace was the most popular prequel in terms of box office numbers. It grossed over a billion dollars while the other films grossed substantially less than that (670 and 800 million respectively). It showed that you can’t just make a Star Wars movie and expect returns beyond your wildest dreams. Yes, they all grossed well beyond their budgets but to really bring in the gold and the money you have to want people clamoring for MORE. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has captured the hearts and imaginations of people all over the world. I’m sure it will have an impact on film in 20 years when kids come of age from watching them.
Separate note: The soundtrack from any of the marvel films lacks any type of iconic nature to me. Maybe kids are different?
Force Awakens is about a new generation
The prequels were always bogged down by the fact that they were PREQUELS, you knew what was going to happen. You knew the fates of each individual and there’s a certain amount of tension lost in this. I feel a story has a certain amount of excitement when you don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s why some people absolutely hate spoilers. But for many it doesn’t break the film.
Some of the reveals in Star Wars are amazing: The Death of Obi-Wan, Lando’s betrayal, and the Vader reveal. They’re all elements that now almost seemed cliched and perhaps were even then but to kids and even to adults it was moments of WAIT WHAT? Thankfully as a kid who didn’t speak English I had no idea about any of the pop cultural references. Each of those moments was a surprise to me.
Force Awakens is about three characters we know nothing about: Finn, Rey and Poe are there to set up the good guys and Kyo Ren is there as our Vader. Hopefully we can enjoy the new characters as they are fleshed out in the following movie.
My only hope is that they don’t pull a Gundam Seed moment. Gundam Seed was a Japanese anime that was incredibly popular. They made another follow up series called Gundam Seed Destiny in which they tried to introduce new characters. To bolster the popularity they cameoed the old characters into the show again but the show became more about the original characters from Seed and the new Destiny characters became second fiddle. It’s the classic trap of having a new generation when the older generation are so classic. Thankfully the original cast is a bit too old for a new Hollywood generation of films.
One of the best things that Disney has done is that they’ve kept EVERYTHING under wraps.
- What role does Luke Skywalker play?
- Who is Kylo Ren?
- Who is Rey and what role does she play?
To my knowledge there is almost no information about any of this out. Fan speculation, bits and pieces from trailers, but nothing substantial has leaked from one of the biggest blockbusters of all time. They’ve done an amazing job with building up anticipation without revealing anything about these new characters or the story at all.
What I don’t care about
I know Disney has launched tons of exhibits, tie-ins, and advertising for this film. I don’t care that much about it. I admit the Stormtrooper invasion of the Great Wall was a cute tie-in though.
Star Wars Battlefront and other games haven’t really made me excited. Though there is a great video of from Battlefront that’s pretty hilarious: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnqtUAg4hkw](Battlefront Video)
Some people might view my excitement as silly and kid like and it kinda is. I’m happy that I can get excited about something like this! Sci-fi has always been an inspiration to people far and wide. I love have that moment of getting engrossed in a story and a universe and wanting to devour it more. One of the nice things about popular culture isn’t that it’s cool or awesome but that you can share that excitement and energy and interest with others. I’m sure I could also share that interest with wood working or art but pop culture is just easily consumable and thus allows you to share that moment with more people. Here’s hoping to an enjoyable movie that excites a new generation.