Enduring the blasters and bowcasters of hostile fans, social media, and an era of political upheaval, the Star Wars franchise forges on. There’s been so much criticism the last few years, so much scrutiny, that sometimes people forget what endeared these wonderful fantasy films to the world in the first place.
Ah, but not so fast, for Topher Grace has swept in from out of the blue to remind us with, “Star Wars Always”.
Yes, it’s just a trailer, just a wonderful, brief five minutes of Star Wars wrapped in a neat, tight package, but it hammers home why we all fell in love with Jedi Knights, the force, and Darth Vader. By seamlessly merging footage from all ten existing live action films, we experience the saga as it was meant to be – as a single, unifying thread.
I love Grace’s opener, where a cut-scene from A New Hope has a young Luke Skywalker viewing the star destroyer battle above Tatooine through his macrobinoculars, with musical cues from The Last Jedi setting the mood. Although the two films were created decades apart, the music perfectly accompanies the scene. It’s a nice touch, and one of the simple beauties of the saga, the common themes running parallel through the different periods of narrative – that a son could be prone to the tendencies of his father, and his father before him…
It’s one of Star Wars’ greatest lessons.
That pattern of common threads is exemplified all over the trailer. The scene where Yoda proclaims: “No, there is another,” originally referring to Princess Leia being another potential force user that could perhaps defeat the dark side, now cuts directly to Rey, who could be the one to defeat evil decades later. That interchangeability of story arcs through time resonates all throughout the five minutes.
The various cut-scenes employed are something of an Easter egg for the attentive fan. Wait, did Leia professes to have been doing fine before meeting “you two moon jockeys”? Moon jockeys didn’t make the final cut, but perhaps Grace preferred that over “nerf herders.” Some fun little additions, to be sure.
See also: “Star Wars Extraction” Fan Film
I tip my cap to Topher Grace. There’s a lot of good stuff, here and let’s be clear, there always was. And maybe this is Grace’s way of sending us a little message: Hey folks, we can choose how we view these movies, and which sensibilities we allow them to rile. The underlying themes, the beautiful imagery, the modern mythological trappings, that’s what i choose to see, anyway. That’s the heart of Star Wars, and at the heart of the trailer. Here, in the uncertain oasis of excruciating months before the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga premiers with episode IX, we’re given something to think about.
So, in itself, the trailer may not sway anyone’s overall perception, but maybe its enough to remind us that each fan, at some point, watched these films with a twinkle in their eye, a little magic in their heart, and cherished all that was good, not what was wrong, with this wonderful saga….
Star Wars Always, an ode to an epic modern myth, whose core themes still resonate, and always will.
Be well, my friends, stay safe out there, keep dreaming, and may the force be with you…always.