Star Wars: A New Hope?

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With the new Star Wars teaser trailer out, fans are overwhelmed with excitement. After 10 years, a new series of six movies are on their way. J.J. Abrams gave the fans a look at the new stormtroopers, new characters, and the Millennium Falcon. There has been nothing but positive feedback with the exception of a few trolls. The original trilogy is widely accepted as a masterpiece, but the prequel films are known to be a mistake. Where does this new trilogy land?

The original Star Wars trilogy was a team project with George Lucas in the lead. At the time he had to impress a studio and cooperate with his team. This teamwork lead to one of the film world’s milestones. The accomplishment also brought George Lucas an incredible amount of power. When he decided it was time to expand the universe, everyone was on board. Who didn’t want more?

Watching the special features on the Blu-ray version of the films tells a clear story. This new project was not a collaboration. George Lucas did not have to answer to studio demands and his team had complete faith in him. He had complete creative control while everyone else was just a yes man. He was the one who created the original trilogy and this new crew did not want to do anything that went against his vision. After all, he was already successful. This is what led to a disappointing trilogy. It was a bunch of undisputed choices that where not carefully ironed out. Everyone put complete trust in George Lucas to do it again.

Looking back to the year 1998, no one thought the new movie would be bad. In fact the trailer got everyone excited to see the new Star Wars. The trailer became one of the most downloaded files at the time. People would pay for a movie ticket to see the new trailer and then leave without seeing the following movie. The anticipation was huge. Ultimately the hype was for nothing. The movie did not live up to expectations. Now this new teaser is getting the same treatment. Everyone is watching it and everyone is super hyped up to see more.

In all fairness, this new set of movies have completely different circumstances. Disney now owns the rights to the property and has a new, fresh vision for the series. J.J. Abrams was given lenient creative freedom. Abrams has already proven he can make a slick, modern space movie — his new take on Star Trek was very successful. Judging by the few short shots in the Star Wars teaser, he is keeping the same style. The film looks like it is going to be very clean and modern. His camera movement for the action sequences looks similar to Star Trek. The movement is very raw and has a slight handheld feel to it. The shots of the vehicles are full of motion to put you in the action. There is even a shot of his signature lens flare. Abrams is also known to be a lifelong Star Wars fan. To put it into perspective, he made a quality Star Trek movie as a job but then left that series to pursue a personal interest. He is going to work twice as hard as he did on Star Trek because this time he has passion to push him even harder.

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Abrams is also known for plot twists and secrecy. The new teaser features an unknown narrator who is assumed to be the new protagonist. This is an exciting tease that has caused the fans to have high hopes. Right now one of the hottest stars in Hollywood is Benedict Cumberbatch. When Abrams was filming Star Trek, it was rumored and not confirmed that Cumberbatch would be the villain. Everyone denied it when asked, but he ended up being the villain.

As for Star Wars, everyone has been denying that Cumberbatch is even in the movie. He has been on set and the narrator from the teaser sounds like Smaug the dragon played by Cumberbatch. It feels like another one of Abrams’ secret plot twists. It is a good sign if Cumberbatch is in the film considering he has been picking nothing but winners lately. The other name being thrown around is Andy Serkis. He has a lot of practice becoming his characters and is being rumored as an all CGI character in the new film. Both Serkis and Cumberbatch have a huge fan base. Another rumor is that Luke Skywalker is the cloaked man. This could work considering his family past and his tendency to let his anger get to him. All three rumors could be interesting takes on the new villain.

Regardless of all the positive energy coming from this teaser, it could always suffer the same fate as the previous movies. As for any anticipated film, getting too hyped will ultimately lead to disappointment. It is best to go in with an open mind and expect it to go either way. Besides, it is too early to make any real prediction on the quality of the film. With any luck, J.J. Abrams will stay true to the charm of the originals and lead us to a brighter outlook on the Star Wars universe. As Nicolas Cage said, “Tool up, honey bunny. It’s time to get bad guys.”

— Miguel Gonzalez, Film Blogger

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