Color me giddy.

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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72 Responses

  1. Burt Likko says:

    A part of me loves the idea of “adultifying” the mythology, telling a story with a darker edge to it. (Like Empire Strikes Back was darker than the rest.) And a part of me wants to see the grand mythological archetypes straight out of Campbell.

    But, can we talk here?

    As much as I’d like to say I’m done with goofy C3P0 and cute-and-heroic R2D2, there are elements of the Star Wars stories aimed at children that should be aimed at children. The droid-on-a-globe is kid stuff and there probably ought to be some of that in play.

    We don’t need to see a careworn Han Solo recovering from alcoholism; we need to see a charming scoundrel still up to his old tricks and Senator Leia pretending to turn a blind eye to it until he makes too much of a political mess and then she cleans it up. And we need that stuff in short doses, because the story needs to be about the new generation of heroes and villains.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko says:

      One of the most interesting fan complaints I hear is about the Zac Snyder DC comics movies as being too dark, somber, and taking themselves too seriously. DC comics are supposed to be light and airy and fun according to the fans especially Superman.

      Yet Syder’s movies do extremely well and continued to get made. This reveals some possibilities.

      1. The fans don’t realize that Hollywood only cares about your money and they go to the movies anyway.

      2. The number of people who like the adult turns are vastly greater than the number who want Superman to be light and airy.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

      George Lucas consulted with childhood psychologists when he was making the original Star Wars trilogy. Yoda was only put in the Return of the Jedi because childhood psychologists told Lucas that was the only way kids will accept that Darth Vader is Luke’s father.

      Like much else in fandom, the people who said Star Wars as children did not exactly come to see it as a fond part of their childhood but rather expected it to grow with them just like comic books.Report

  2. North says:

    It is Christmas; Harper got landslide out of office in Canada in a Liberal sweep. The home country has gone home to my dear old Grits. I’m chuffed!Report

    • Will Truman in reply to North says:

      I don’t know which surprises me more, the resurgence of the Liberals or the relative collapse of the NDP. I’m not surprised the CPC lost, but the return of the Liberal Party should give hope and solace to every down-and-out party anywhere. (Well. Except Russia.)Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Will Truman says:

        So you’re saying that all a party has to do to retake the head of goverment is to nominate the son of a former head of goverment?Report

        • North in reply to Kolohe says:

          Well it helps if the fellow is charismatic and politically capable. It also helps if his opponent has so enraged the liberal side of the electorate that they’ll vote en masse to throw the bum out or so annoyed his own people that they form splinter parties to discomfort him. It wasn’t the son of a former head of government that unseated the Tories in Alberta.Report

      • North in reply to Will Truman says:

        It doesn’t surprise me. The NDP has moved to the right to try and be a “grown up party” poaching and nibbling into historically Liberal policy territory. The Liberals have mostly stood pat in the center left with some wobbles left and right. Basically the left side of the electorate was ready to vote for whichever of the two parties looked like it could unseat Harper. The last couple of elections have had severe left wing vote splitting so the voters were in a really strategic frame of mine and bandwagoned onto whichever of the two parties that looked like it could take down Harper.

        Harper took aim at the NDP in Quebec with a hard line against Muslims and certain Muslim behaviors (The Quebecois are especially sensitive to these lines of attack). This actually worked, it depressed the NDP in Quebec. What the Tories hadn’t counted on was that it made the Liberals rise instead of those voters moving to the Tories, it gave the Liberals an in (multiculturalism is a big Liberal policy), and when the Liberals looked to be on the ascent a lot of the left side of the electorate decided to simply vote Liberal to avoid splitting the vote.

        I suspect that if Harper had aimed for the Grits then the NDP could well have risen and then gotten a similar bandwagon effect. Though the Grits have deep historic roots in Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada so it was pretty easy for them to resurge as well.Report

        • Michael Drew in reply to North says:

          I have to say that, while a lot of people bang on and on about the evils of two-partyism, I don’t remotely envy anyone in a multi-party system the constant fretting over the threat of vote-splitting among parties of vaguely similar political cast of mind. (I realize they will always come back at that with all the non-negotiable reasons why their party simply must be a different party and field candidates that compete with other candidates of vaguely similar cast of mind, and often they’ll be persuasive reasons.)

          Especially given my political cast of mind.Report

  3. Glyph says:

    On its own, this isn’t enough to give me (a new) hope. The prequels were dreadful, and Abrams’ record (most relevantly in reviving Trek) is mixed at best.

    However, Fury Road showed that it’s not always impossible to recapture the magic, and my six-year-old is VERY excited about this, so I am looking forward to taking him.Report

    • Doctor Jay in reply to Glyph says:

      Yes, Abrams’ second Trek film was a disappointment, but not the first, not in my mind.

      And the second only really ended up bad because of a couple of bad decisions. Most of it works quite well.

      The only recurring issues I’ve had with JJ Abrams are his love of subjective camera in fight scenes – I feel this has no place in Star Wars – and his unconcern with, you know, making things make sense.Report

      • Troublesome Frog in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        I’ll take an Abrams “that didn’t make sense” over a Star Wars prequels “that didn’t make sense” any day, though. Those movies were a hot mess. Within hours of leaving the theater after the Phantom Menace, I couldn’t have written a plot summary if you’d offered me $500 to do it.Report

  4. Roland Dodds says:

    I will add my voice to the rest of the internet and state that I am very excited about this film. I hated the prequels and generally moved away from any Star Wars fandom, but these trailers have hooked me right back in. everything they have shown me about the film so far (tone, characters, effects) makes me think this will make most Star Wars fans happy (unless you don’t like having the lead be a black guy. In that case, there is a 4Chan board waiting for your screaming).Report

  5. My God, you people need to grow up.Report

  6. Troublesome Frog says:

    The fact that these trailers are resonating so well supports my belief that a lot of these beloved sci fi or fantasy movies are very much about the look and feel of the world they build. Aside from the fact that the Star Wars prequels were a confused mess, they also built a world that felt completely different from the original Star Wars world. It was unnatural and didn’t feel real. It’s very difficult to make up a new universe from scratch, and the original Star Wars movies built one that, for as strange as it was, hung together very naturally. Something weird could pop onto the screen and you’d think, “Yeah, of course that exists in that world.” I think that’s a big part of the appeal. Stripping that away and starting from scratch for Episodes I-III meant that they had to hit it out of the park if they were going to make it work.

    The Mad Max series is another example. For as bizarre and outrageous as it was, the world made sense and drew us in. The stories were interesting (although I honestly don’t even remember what Beyond Thunderdome was about even though I remember a lot of the movie vividly) but not amazing. But it’s one of those worlds that is so weird and compelling that you’d probably watch a reality show set there, even if it was just following around the guy who fixes busted up battle cars. Fury Road maintained continuity of that look and feel and the rules governing how the world worked, so making a movie that didn’t leave us all feeling disappointed was a lot less of a stretch.

    Important lesson for filmmakers: If you’re going to reboot, remake, extend, or otherwise try to cash in on a beloved movie franchise whose primary appeal was a cool look and feel in an interesting setting, you should probably keep those things. They’re the lightning in a bottle that made them stand out. Starting from scratch with those things is taking the gas cap and seatbelts off of a Ferrari and trying to design a totally different car around them. You will probably not produce what your customers are expecting.Report

  7. aarondavid says:

    This is so not on my care list.

    Can’t someone make a new version of Nostromo?Report

  8. Kazzy says:

    My assistant teacher is a Trekkie. Or something. She went to ComicCon. She’s helping me learn the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek. This is the former… yes?Report

  9. Michael Drew says:

    JJ Abrams is very good, but somehow it always seems like he plays it just a little safe, preventing his work from going over the top into awesome.

    The trailers have felt very JJ Abrams-y to me. That’s a good thing. But it’s not a giddy-making thing for me. But I remain hopeful that he knocks it out of the park.Report