First, if you haven't seen it yet, check out the Episode VII trailer here.
Now, your first instinct in watching that is to feel the excitement of your inner 8-year old bouncing in anticipation. Great. But remember: you were probably excited about the Phantom Menace before it actually came out too.
Is it possible that maybe, we might have to admit that at the cinematic level, it's futile to do Star Wars? Because what I saw above certainly seemed futile.
What we get is Tatooine, AGAIN. Or some world EXACTLY like it. Out of a galaxy with billions and billions of inhabited worlds, why is it every single major event in the last 75 years of galactic history in some way involved Tatooine?
We get stormtroopers, and Tie Fighters, and they're shooting at the Millennium Falcon. So that means that either time travel is involved in this story, or, most likely, the Rebellion has been going on for the last 30 years, in spite of the death of the Emperor and fall of the Death Star, TWICE.
We get, in short, absolutely nothing new except for a ridiculous droid made more stupid thanks to CGI (seriously, wasn't the reason we GOT RID of Lucas that his brain had rotted to the point that he thought CGI was more important than having an actual story?), and a stupidly impractical lightsaber. THAT is apparently, from this preview, all that has changed in 30 years.
Now, of course, this is a less than 90 second trailer out of what will be a 90 minute plus movie. But what they chose to put on the trailer in no way filled me with any confidence whatsoever. And what we can infer from the trailer, unless it was somehow compiled to be a massive deception, is that instead of actually allowing the timeline to move forward here, we have an "everything is stuck" scenario where the producers decided to bank their money on Nostalgia rather than adding anything new to the corpus. Its so nostalgic that the rebellion isn't allowed to have ever ended, that the same fucking worlds will be the only ones that matter, and that any actual changes to the environment will only be half-assed attempts to make the already familiar somehow "cooler".
The only thing this trailer is saying to me, once I get past the infantile 8 year old somewhere deep in my psyche is "We've Got Nothing". No ideas. No risk. Nothing new that's actually worth talking about to anyone other than idiotic nerds who are easily impressed by things other than actual story.
Now I'm not saying they should have reinvented the wheel here, but if what we see is a situation where the war between Empire and Rebellion has been going on for 30+ years since the last movie, then either the entire galaxy had better be fucking post-apocalyptic (and I'm betting it won't be) or the producers have just confessed to us through the medium of trailer that they have completely sacrificed any attempt at coherent world-building, setting, and almost certainly story in order to satisfy what are no doubt both corporate and customer fears of anything that isn't nostalgically the same in every way that matters.
So right now, I'm putting 80-20 odds on the new movies being, from a literary/cinematic perspective, total shit.
And of course, it'll make 100 Trillion dollars because the fucking nerds will still eat it all up. The new movie could be 120 hours of Jar Jar Binks Shitting on Han Solo's Face, and the Fucking Nerds would still pay to see it as long as it featured a very slightly different kind of lightsaber.
Currently Smoking: Stanwell Deluxe + Gawith's Balkan Flake