Hopes, worries and expectations for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

Chapman W.

The final trailer for episode VII of “Star Wars” premiered Monday, and pre-sale tickets for the premiere on Dec. 18 went on sale. Naturally, I bought tickets for myself and my two Star Wars-obsessed parents for the first showing in town immediately. Suffice to say, I’m excited.

Growing up with a dad who went to the first premiere of “Star Wars” in ’77 back when he was a teen, and also growing up alongside the prequel trilogy, Star Wars has been a pretty consistently awesome thing in my life.When I found out that J.J. Abrams, who I thought did a wonderful job rebooting Star Trek, was going to be directing a new episode with the original cast, I got very excited. That being said, here are some of my hopes and fears for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

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Hopes:

Han and Chewie look pretty good, especially considering Ford's age. (Photo Curtesy of IMDb)
Han and Chewie look pretty good, especially considering Ford’s age. (Photo Curtesy of IMDb)

The cast: I’ve been within 30 feet of Harrison Ford once in my life, and it was magical. I’m extremely excited for him to reprise his role as Han Solo, especially considering the train wreck that the last “Indiana Jones” movie was. Carrie Fisher also looked pretty great in the latest trailer, all things considered, and I’m curious about Mark Hamill, especially considering that only Luke‘s hand has been seen in the trailers so far. I’m also happy that Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker will be coming back to reprise their roles as C-3P0, Chewbacca and R2-D2 as well.

The new cast is exciting as well. Daisy Ridley looks promising as the staff wielding scavenger Rey, and I’m hoping she’ll be a character with less dynamic morals, if her position between the dark and the light on promotional material is anything to go off of. John Boyega as the stormtrooper turned lightsaber user, Finn, is also fantastic. It’s thrilling to see a person of color alongside a strong female as the leads of the movie, and I’m terribly excited to learn his backstory. I’m also looking forward to Oscar Isaac as X-Wing pilot, Poe Dameron, and Lupita Nyong’o as the pirate Maz Kanata. This cast is well rounded, with plenty of new faces alongside the old, and I’m hoping it works out well.

The Villains: I’m going to make this very simple. Kylo Ren looks amazing. I mean, a Darth Vader super-fan wielding a lightsaber with mini lighsabers for a hilt? Sign me up for all of that! Although his backstory has been hinted at so far, I’m very much looking forward to learning all about what makes this new villain tick. I just hope that A: he lasts more than one movie (looking at you, Darth Maul.) and B: he’s not anybody’s father. Overall, Adam Driver looks to play the part of an amazing character.

Kylo Ren looks like a fantastic new villain for the series. (Photo Curtesy of IMDb)
Kylo Ren looks like a fantastic new villain for the series. (Photo Curtesy of IMDb)

I’m also looking forward to Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, especially since her armor is identical to the primarily male armor of the storm troopers. Non-sexualized strong female characters are just great, really.

The special effects (or lack thereof): Anyone who has seen the new trailers has probably noticed BB-8, the little spherical droid who looks like a smaller, spunkier version of R2. My excitement however, comes from the fact that this little astromech droid is a real prop rather than CGI.

Abrams has said in interviews that he’s trying to avoid the over-the-top CGI that made the prequel trilogy age as badly as it did. The film will of course include a large amount of computer generation, but plenty of behind-the-scenes shots are hinting at real sets and real props. I’m really hoping that the film carries the authenticity that made the original trilogy so appealing, as well as taking advantage of technological advancements in the last 40 years.

The nostalgia: I’m not at all ashamed to admit that I own the original Star Wars soundtrack on vinyl. I love John Williams, and as soon as the theme stars playing along with “A long time ago…” I’ll probably die of happiness. This new film looks to be more of a callback to the original trilogy that the new movies were, and I’m simply excited to experience all of that excitement all over again.

Fears:

While “I am your father.” is one of the most repeated quotes from any movie ever, I’m hoping that they don’t do something similar in the new films just because they can. While shocking realizations are fantastic, and a popular trope in modern TV, I want to see some new ideas, rather than the same reveals with new characters. Also, I know that killing characters is common (I’m still dealing with the pain of “Game of Thrones“), but I hope any death in these new films actually serves a purpose, especially for the old cast. Luke does not need to be the next Obi Wan.

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I also could not handle over-the-top comedic relief. The peanut-gallery style of the droids from the classic movies is great, but anything similar to the gungan whose name shall not be spoken, and I’ll leave the theater immediately. I still have nightmares full of “Mesa love you-sa, Ani!”

Daisy Ridley and John Boyega look extremely promising as Rey and the stars of the film. (Photo Curtesy of IMDb)
Daisy Ridley and John Boyega look extremely promising as Rey and Finn, the stars of the film. (Photo Courtesy of IMDb)

Overall, I think my biggest fear is one of my own creation: that these movies won’t live nearly up to the classics, or even up to the hype. I know that rarely do films live up to their predecessor, but I have high hopes for these movies. Between the “Star Trek” reboot and “Mad Max“, many cult classics have been getting some great treatment lately, and I hope that Star Wars is next on this list.

At the very least, at least it will probably be better than the new trilogy. 

Final thoughts.

I’m excited for “The Force Awakens.” Have I mentioned that already? I’m excited to see the Millenium Falcon get chased by TIE fighters. I’m excited to see some favorite actors play old people. I’m excited for a new story out of my favorite galaxy far far away.

But mostly I’m excited for R2-D2. That sarcastic little droid is my spirit animal.

Collegian Reporter Chapman W. Croskell can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @Nescwick.