Try clicking on a bubble...
Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. If you haven’t heard of any one of these names then where have you been? These characters have defined numerous generations of childhoods and personalities – and they’re coming back after a 30 year hiatus. Out of the three actors who return to play these characters, (Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill) Harrison Ford (Han Solo) is the most notable who is returning after being disappointed with Han’s survival in Episode Six, but now continues to convey his enthusiasm even after having his beloved Falcon break his ankle!
With the old cast returning it is also important to reinvigorate it with new faces to carry forth the franchise. In saying this, the actors and actresses cast while certainly under the pressure of millions and millions of fans, are certainly worthy of carrying the mantle. Let’s start with the bad guys: Captain Phasma is being portrayed by Gwendoline Christie, most famous for her role as Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones. Domhnall Gleeson is playing General Hux and Adam Driver is the mysterious Kylo-Ren. Now the goodies: Daisy Ridley, an unknown actress similar to Mark Hamill being cast as Luke, is Rey. Jon Boyega as Ex-Stormtrooper and possible Padawan Finn and Oscar Isaac as X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron.
A very important and prevalent issue in Hollywood today is the “white-washing” and sexism in writing characters and casting actors. However Episode 7 is moving forward with the times by making two of the main “good-guys” Finn and Rey as a black man and a woman, Daisy Ridley and Jon Boyega, and one of the villains, Captain Phasma, as Gwendoline Christie.
We all know the appeal of Star Wars for the younger generation and the design for the new cute BB-8 droid conveys Disney’s goal of this. However looking at the bigger picture this new trilogy of movies will do the same thing the previous six movies did as well, it will define childhoods and personalities and keep the force alive and hopefully into more stories and tales in this universe that has become this iconic not only for pop-culture but for toys, dressing up, re-enacting in the playground and probably most of all cinema.
From all the images and trailers we have seen there has obviously a redesign of the world which is probably mostly shown in the new look of the Stormtroopers, a look that finds the sweet spot between the old and the new. However, the changes aren’t just visual the two main warring factions from the original trilogy are being changed in name. The Rebellion is now the Resistance and the Empire adds more mysterious evil with “The First Order” which the filmmakers have stated to bear some resemblance to Nazi Germany.
One other minor but exciting prospect with the arrival of this film, particularly with the hard core fan audience, is all the other forms of media like books, cartoon series, comic-books that further expand the universe of Star Wars. But with the endless money pit that Disney has, now the fans are experiencing more of the world with the announcement of “spin-off” movies that will focus on other characters at other periods of time within the universe aptly titled Star Wars anthology movies.
One of the benefits of people growing up with Star Wars is that every film-maker that came as a result of the numerous generations Star Wars inspired would give an arm and a leg to be on the set of a Star Wars movie never mind make one. So JJ Abrams has not only won the lottery being paid by Disney but gets to make the film of his dreams being a Star Wards kid himself and along with him a team of talented writers and other directors, such as Lawrence Kasdan one of the writers on the original movies. All the names involved in the care for the Star Wars franchise means that it will have the TLC to ensure that it will be nothing short of greatness.
The “next-big-thing” in the world of filmmaking in terms of cameras is shooting in IMAX with IMAX cameras. Now while the whole movie is not shot in IMAX it has been stated by the film-makers that many of the spaceship flying sequences and all the other major catastrophic explosions will be shot in IMAX. This type of film-making really revolutionizes the way films are seen in the cinema, providing the viewer with some of the enriching visuals, landscapes scenes and crisper sounds.
With the Star Wars property being one of the most famous, if not the most famous franchises in history, the next episodes that expand on the story of the originals will prove to be massively popular across the globe. This means that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will make a lot of money, a lot. In fact, experts who track box office earnings are estimating that by the time December 18th comes around, December 16th in the UK, Star Wars will make approximately $250 million in its opening two days and that the overall gross of the movie will beat out Avatar’s $2.7 billion.
Very few intellectual properties have become absorbed into the way society’s progress on a day-to-day basis. Lightsabers, The Force and Darth Vader saying “No, I am your father.” are all things that are referenced to everyday thousands of times. Star War’s presence has greatly increased as the generation of people who grew up with the originals are now the main working population today. And now we are going to experience this for a third time, bigger and better than ever.
So if you are coming aboard the hype train for Star Wars make sure you have your trusty lightsaber and May The Force be with you, always…
if you are seeing this - good!