For a moment, think back on a movie premiere that you were excited for and also knew very little about. Is there one that didn’t have 50 years of comic book history or a series of books or a wikipedia with 500 pages of detailed entries from which you can roughly piece together the entire plot and post credit scene? Maybe something without a batcowl by Christopher Nolan, if you’re a fan. Both new potential Star Wars fans and 36 years-to-lifers have currently found themselves in a weird liminal space of innocent ignorance since the trailer was released on April 16th. In the last two weeks however, the Force Awakens‘ team has released character and cast details and will expectedly continue to do so as we crawl closer to that December premiere date. Every subsequent piece of news will drag us out of this space of unfettered anticipation and into a surge of updates and press releases. If you’re looking for analysis of any Star Wars news or coverage of the new canon Rebel series or comics, search elsewhere. Because I’m going full dark, sweetheart.
What was it like to not know what Star Wars was and then to know, man? I’m a relative youngling, so I first saw A New Hope when it was rereleased in theaters while sitting on my dad’s lap as he whispered the scrolling prologue into my ear. Years later, I’ve explored the established and unparalleled expanded universe (cartoons, Wookiepedia, comics, and books) none of which may make it into the new Disney films. This was a decision to be upset about until the release of a second teaser trailer which promised fans that the vision for The Force Awakens was better than any live action adaptation of our favorite moments from the Expanded Universe could ever be. We can still recapture that first ingenuous viewing experience while still expecting to see a film that can capture an audience for the next 35 years, because we know what Star Wars is and can be.
Of course, it hasn’t actually been that long since the prequel trilogy premiered and promptly disappointed thousands of expectant fans, but I’d argue some of those expectations are the problem. Without touching all of the controversy surrounding Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, it’s undeniable that some of the criticism is fueled by people who had developed their own favorite versions of characters before the movie was even finished filming. Do you find yourself doing that already with The Force Awakens? Marvel fans obsessed over every teaser trailer and poster, analyzed every interview and rumor, and when Age of Ultron went in an unpredicted direction–well, saying people got upset would be a gross understatement at this point. Is it a mistake to corrupt our innocent hype with addicting pursuit of new expectations?
It’s probably not that serious, because in light of the Joss Whedon mess across social media, I feel like we all need a preemptive reminder that these are just movies. Besides, we Star Wars fans are made of nobler and less temperamental stuff. After all, we survived Jar Jar Binks. It’s not like anyone has ever cursed out George Lucas or his decisions with the franchise. Joke.
To be clear, I’m not judging everyone who is enjoying Rebels or the new books in order to feel ready for December, since I’ll be picking up all that stuff up December 19th. I’m just saying that I am ready now; I’m ready to be surprised and delighted by new characters, stories, and visuals, even if it means sacrificing the ability to natter every behind-the-scenes piece of trivia or history factoid to my most likely less-indoctrinated companion on premiere day. You’re welcome, future date.
Have I convinced you? Are you ready to bury your head in sands of the Dune Sea for the next 5 months? I promise it’s not that hard. Beware of social media and be ready to scroll rapidly past undesirable links and thumbnails worth of information. Movie theaters will become stressful places, so skip the trailers or bring headphones and keep a remote control close by when watching television. Or you know, just invest in a shielded helmet like Luke used in IV. If you find yourself in a Star Wars mood play around in the Expanded Universe of old, which I promise you’re still allowed to love. Welcome to the dark (not side) and reward your commitment with another viewing of The Force Awakens Trailer
Also, just because I (Kaitlyn) will not be posting about Star Wars VII news doesn’t mean that Sub-cultured won’t be covering it! Check back from now until December for updates on the Force Awakens’ situation.