You all, I’m really sorry to do this. I know that you’ve already been inundated with Star Wars trailers and scoops and news and bloops and parodies and ads for video game tie-ins and such. There will be dozens more, and media saturation as we get closer to the December premiere will be intolerable, but damn–this new trailer is just…
I am easily excited, especially by movies. But in 1999 I made a pledge, one that I would, for the most part, keep until this year: I would never get excited about a film again. In 1999, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace came out. I can’t tell you how giddy I was to see this movie, the continuation of my childhood obsession. I drove to the movie and politely declined when my carmates offered some, um, chemical alteration. I wanted to be completely lucid for this moment. When the first blast of John Williams’s most famous score came on, I am not ashamed to admit that I wept tears of joy, for everything that Star Wars meant to me as a child.
And then I watched the movie, the same one you did. WTF? Yes, George Lucas directing should have been a clue, but I was not prepared for the crushing disappointment that was Episode I. Neither were many of you, I suspect. Then three years later, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones. Better, but still poopy. Worst death scene ever (bad video quality is just icing on the cake) besides maybe this one, which may actually be the best death scene ever. Another three years: Revenge of the Sith. Best one of the Crap Three but by comparison only, like saying Ponderosa is better than Golden Corral. The one where Natalie Portman plays a human rice cake and Hayden Christensen as Anakin looks like he’s being asked what the capital of Swaziland is or if he actually likes oysters.
Along the way there were other disappointments. Both Matrix sequels. Terminator Salvation. The new The Thing. The McRib (I never understood the attraction). It was just easier not to get excited so that I would not be let down. But then, talk of a new Star Wars. Directed by J.J. Abrams, a dude who knows what he is doing. Some early trailers. Then this one:
There’s a reason why these are called teasers. Hints at character development. Wisps of plot. Winks at past movies, subtle hat-tips toward canon that might be restored, as if Episodes I-III never happened. Yes, I know there’s talk of dumpster Anakin being in this one, and I know that there will be missteps and missed opportunities. I don’t care. This trailer and everything I know about Star Wars: The Force Awakens stoke the embers of an old happiness, a new hope for a Star Wars resurrection that I thought long-dead. Yes again, I know that getting excited about this movie just sets me up–set us up!–for a fall from such great heights, but I’m ready to love again. I’m ready to let it go, or let it in, as the trailer implores.
I’m ready for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.