Nice. My stance (on this and all things) is to hope for much but expect nothing. And when I say “expect nothing,” I don’t mean that in a modern, jaded way, but more of an “I’m appropriating my hazy understanding of Zen philosophy” way. Expect nothing. Leave your mind blank. Be as the leaf in the forest, clinging to the branch of wisdom. Or something like that. Basically, remember that you are the sum of your expectations based on past experiences (terrible J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies, anyone?) and that the only way to truly open yourself to new happiness is to try your best to flush yourself of those experiences. You won’t succeed, but the effort itself leaves you open to enjoying what’s in front of you more than you would if you carry the weight of history on your back.
Pretentious enough for you? Great! Let’s move on.
I’m excited by the idea that the current generation has only a vague, half-formed impression of what actually happened in the original trilogy . . . though I’ve seen some teeth-gnashing in the geekosphere about this, to the tune of: “How could people not know what happened 30 years ago?”
Well, try this: approach any 20-25-year-old (the approximate ages I’m figuring for our main heroes, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega) and ask them about the state of U.S.-Soviet relations in 1985. The younger generation’s ignorance of history isn’t a glitch in the new Star Wars universe. It’s a prime feature, a nod to the reality of how facts get lost in the rush to establish a fresh mythology. (Do you think the average kid today realizes the Soviet Union fell during George Bush’s presidency, not Ronald Reagan’s? Because no GOP candidate would want them to know that. Reagan did everything, don’t you know that? He single-handedly tore down the Berlin Wall with a sledgehammer and some elbow grease.)
I really like the scene in which our (presumed) villain Kylo Ren is talking to Vader’s mask, swearing he’ll finish what Vader started—apparently totally unaware of Anakin’s redemption at the end of Return of the Jedi. I would love it if the ignorance of history on both sides is the driving theme behind the new movie, though I doubt it will be. There are too many studio voices crying out, too many foreign markets to satisfy, to delve too far into that. There are light saber duels to stage, after all!
Speaking of which: I’m pretty sure John Boyega isn’t destined to keep that blue light saber. Figuring he gets his assed kicked in the duel and eventually Daisy Ridley is our new, saber-wielding Jedi.
Last thing: If you haven’t seen Attack the Block yet, do it now! Watch it and you will know John Boyega was always destined to be a star.