I have to admit, it’s difficult holding back tears as I watch the behind the scenes video presented at the San Diego Comic Con. Maybe I’m being fooled, Perhaps Old Ben is playing a jedi mind trick on me, and this isn’t the movie I’m hoping for. Well, I’ll go about my business, but I sure as heck ain’t gonna move along. Actually, I’ve been along for this ride my entire life, through the peaks and valleys of Star Wars fandom. (Overwhelmingly, it’s been a high, been quite a joyous ride.) And if we’re being fooled, then it’s the greatest jedi mind trick of all time.
You see, I believe they’re doing it right.
At least it really seems that way. Oh, no doubt, decades of adoration for this franchise and an intense desire to return to “my” Star Wars are affecting my judgement and clarity on what I just bore witness too; but right now, as I type this all bleary-eyed late at night…I don’t care. I’m sold. I’m in. Right now the magic I believe Abram’s crew has been so busily conjuring is doing its trick, and I am enchanted. When I see joy on the face of the actors, when I hear set designers speak of smiling when they come to work, and when I see the myriad models and masks and sets fully realized, I can’t contain myself. When the first voice I hear is Mark Hamill, who has championed a return to the “old school” art of practical effects, I know they’re getting it right, or at least I’m confident they’re darned sure attempting to. If anyone could be described as the ambassador of Star Wars, I believe it would be Hamill, and there’s a jedi’s gleam in his eye. He said it’s all the same stuff, but all so different too. And that’s just perfect. We’re returning to our beloved universe, but with a new story, a new take, and boy, it’s just feels like the right time.
Star Wars is getting a new lease on life, and if any fantasy universe deserves a rebirth of sorts, it would be that galaxy far, far away. What better place exists on the big screen? What stories have resonated this strongly with so many millions of fans’ hearts? It’s a modern myth. It’s our myth, culled from imaginations born from our time. It’s our legacy, and here now, it lives again.
And I gotta say, it feels great. What excitement. It transcends the typical griping on internet message boards about this scene or that, about this story line or character. So many have spent countless hours deconstructing the machine, searching for the card up the magician’s sleeve. I’ve always enjoyed speculating, arguing, and contemplating on the wide array of topics affixed to these movies with my friends, but I’ve never tried to go overboard with my criticism. For me, personally, Star Wars has been something that transcends the desire to nitpick beyond enjoyment. It’s like family. I love it, ewoks, prequels and all. While all of this is certainly not immune to criticism, it’s something my child self simply won’t allow to destroy. For me, it’s practically a primal joy. So tonight I celebrate. Today was a win for the good guys in my eyes.
It’s the Return of the Jedi, and man, the force is strong with this one.
As for the footage itself, it was very clever in that it showed us so much and yet barely revealed anything we didn’t already know. Oh, there was a flash here and there of some character, creature, or ship, some precious glimpse of scenes we’ll freeze and attempt to discern exactly what is going on, but all in all, there’s still so much we simply don’t know. We got Hamill, and hence we know we’re getting Luke, but technically we still haven’t even seen his Jedi Master’s face. Honestly, I hope we don’t until December 18th. We got another couple shots of Han, and a new look at Carrie; just a scant few seconds of each. We saw our beloved droids, and even a lovable wookie, with and without his mask; and we saw hordes of designers and workers eagerly creating our new and old worlds. We saw stormtroopers of the New Order, and pieces of action and hints of villains and familiar starships. We saw enough details to do a number of speculative articles on what it all means.
In the months to come, I’m sure we’ll cover much of that, but for right now, friends of the Reporter, I felt I just had to share my overall initial reaction. Forgive my racing, rambling thoughts, for tonight I’m overcome with joy. We’re on the eve of something special. I’ve said this in a previous article, and I’ll say it again. A lot of us need this. In a world so full of bad news, uncertainty, and harsh realities that are just a smartphone’s click away, isn’t it all right to be swept away by an empire of dreams, at least for a little while? Is it o.k. that what I’ve seen so far of episode 7’s creation has reborn something lost of my innermost child? It’s a reminder that though I’ve gotten older, and a lot of the world seems to have gotten exponentially colder, there’s still folks out there that feel as I do. Star Wars is a playground where everyone gets along, a direct line to the purely happy times of youth.
It’s an affirmation that imagination and hope still drive the train, so to speak, that the desire to dream of greater things is still burning in the collective soul of the human race. Eh, that sounds a bit weighty, perhaps, and maybe it is an overreaction, but it’s where my mind is at as I type this. Life can be a rough ride, and many can feel lost in the mix. But concerning new Star Wars, all I know is that so far, the vibes I’m getting are riling up something within I haven’t felt enough of lately, and maybe that’s why it’s resonating so deeply. I love how this stuff makes me feel. I love that I’m not alone in this. It’s a comforting thing, a warm, fuzzy thought. And for this padawan, that’s the bottom line.
I don’t know for certain how good the movie is going to be. I don’t know the details of the story. Right now, on this night, all I know is I’m excited like a little kid, and literally tearing with pride to be a fan. Tonight I love it all, the whole darned thing. The sweeping soundtracks, the old and new cast, the visuals and heart and apparent intent of Abrams and Kasdan and company to nail it home.
From where I sit, I’m overjoyed, and based on what I’m feeling, I’d say they’re doing it right.
Take care, friends,I sincerely appreciate those who’ll go with us, along for the wondrous ride. Stay safe out there, keep your eyes and dreams on the stars, and may the force be with you, always….