Beware, some diet spoilers.
With the resumption of Ep VII filming, leaks are coming like out of a baby’s overstuffed diaper. First artist Tom Hodges released a sketch of the new stormtrooper helmet and then photos started coming out of the same helmet and a snowtrooper helmet within a few days. Then out comes what’s allegedly a concept art of Han’s costume. It looks exactly like what he wore on Hoth in TESB.
Stormtroopers, snowtroopers, Hoth, TESB. Plus we have X-Wings and the Falcon. Admiral Ackbar. I’m surprised we haven’t heard yet that Leia will be back in her slave girl outfit.
Which leads me to ask the question that’s been haunting me all along: is there anything new at all in this movie? ANYTHING?
Okay, Luke’s beard is new. I will give them that.
But otherwise, Ep VII seems like a big retread of everything we’ve seen before, and by that I mean only everything we’ve seen between 1977 and 1983. Worse yet, I’m concerned that some elements are being put in the film for no other reason than to keep certain “iconic” images around even though logically they shouldn’t be there anymore. Why the heck are there stormtroopers anyway? The Empire was defeated 30 some years in the past! Darth Vader shouldn’t be around and recreating Luke’s vision on Dagobah would be cheap and stupid. God forbid if Luke speaks with his father Anakin (because then you’d have to roll in Hayden Christensen and that would offend the hateboys) but it’s fine to keep hitting him over the head with Darth Vader. I hope that rumor’s not true and if it is, I hope someone sobers up and whacks it from the movie.
It’s not to say I don’t want anything from the previous movies to show up in these new ones. I expected the Falcon to turn up and I knew all along that Lucas would have brought back the older versions of his OT crew should he ever revisit the Saga. You have to have Threepio and Artoo. I would consider it a huge disappointment and missed opportunity if this new trilogy never once addresses Luke and Leia’s maternal roots: the way it is now, it’s doubly tragic that Padme had a short life and was completely forgotten in a generation. The existing films leave open the possibility that Luke and Leia have living extended family on Naboo. I would consider it a huge disappointment and missed opportunity if Luke never once communicates with Anakin. Heck, if ghosty Qui-Gon shows up, I’ll go out of my mind. I’d love to see Ewok senators (“the delegate from Endor votes ‘yub nub’”) and Neimodian Jedi. Or vintage droidekas that, gulp, still work!
It is possible that they are using the strategy of drawing everyone’s attention to the familiar while the new stuff remains safely unspoiled. As of writing, nobody seems to know for sure who in the rest of the cast is playing. Have you seen any of the new guys in costume yet?
Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel that what’s driving the film and the PR behind it is pandering to older fanboys and the internet geek crowd at the expense of doing anything new. Look at Abrams deciding to reject high definition digital cameras. Or all of this deceptive and dishonest “look ma, no CGI” crap. The prequels and Clone Wars were tasked with building up to what already existed in Star Wars, but even they had something new to show: new creatures, new ships, new locations, new aliens, etc.. The challenge anyone making this movie faces is that the emotional and narrative arc of the previous Star Wars films concluded in ROTJ. It would take a creative, bold vision to take Star Wars into its narrative future. But it seems to me they are sticking with what’s safe at the expense of the saga’s integrity as a whole. You tell me what’s going to be gained by holding Star Wars hostage to what was in the OT for all eternity.