So I was all ready to talk with you about the excerpt of Heir to the Jedi, the next novel in the new Star Wars canon, which came included in the back of Star Wars: Tarkin. And then, precisely at 12:00pm Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, November 6th, the official Star Wars account on Twitter dropped the bombshell.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has completed principal photography. #StarWarsVII #TheForceAwakens
I love the fact that the way this is written, it sounds like the big news is the bit about principal photography. Ha! I’m sure they knew what they were doing. And sure enough, both “Star Wars” and “The Force Awakens” are trending on Twitter, and the hamsters started turning the Internet wheels double-time.
So, we have our subtitle, and in fact, our whole title – Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Five words say a lot, and raise a lot of questions, too. First, let’s talk about what it doesn’t say, and that’s “Episode VII.” Why do you think that is? I’ve got a couple of thoughts on the matter, and I’d love to hear yours, too, at Facebook.com/sw7x7.
First off, it would make sense to keep it if they were going to stop at VII, VIII, and IX. But we know in our hearts they aren’t going to stop, are they? Assuming all goes well with the new generation of characters, X, XI, and XII are coming for sure, not the spin-offs, I mean following the line of continuity from there. And aren’t you tired of the ridiculous parade of Roman numerals you get with the Super Bowl every year? That jumped the shark something like XXIV years ago.
What sorted out my feelings on this one is the opening crawl. I already miss it, but when I think of the opening crawl, and if it doesn’t say “Episode VII” in the opening crawl, I’m definitely going to think something’s wrong. I know, they’re already saying they’re not using it anymore, but I do think they should keep it for this trilogy, at least on the crawl, since this is the trilogy we were promised. It goes with the other movies, it should keep the tradition. My two cents. After that, I’m okay without it.
Now, as for “The Force Awakens”… well, this opens up a kettle of fish, doesn’t it? For a start, this immediately suggests the Force has been asleep, as it were. Is it possible, in the 30 years after Return of the Jedi, there’s been no resurgence of the Force, or Force users? Even if we pretend the Expanded Universe never existed, I think we all assumed that Luke would work to bring the Jedi back to prominence once Darth Vader and the Emperor were defeated, and the Empire had fallen.
Related to that, now I kinda have to share one of the things from yesterday I didn’t want to share, and that was what the Emperor is up to behind the scenes in Star Wars: Tarkin. He’s actually looking for a way to extinguish the light side of the Force from the universe. Since this idea is canon and approved by the Story Group, does that have implications for Episode VII? Has Palpatine so damaged the light side that it takes this long for it to recover?
Of course, there’s both a light side and a dark side, and they’re both called “the Force.” And you’d think that there would still be a ton of Force-sensitive beings out there, just waiting to explore their abilities and psyched about not having to hide them anymore. So, what’s happened in the thirty years?
I got to thinking about the very first EU novels, the Timothy Zahn books, and how the galaxy was reacting to the resurgence of a Jedi, people freaking out over the existence of Force users. We know Lucas is a political animal, so there’s a chance his treatment included something about the galactic government restructuring but not wanting to have anything to do with the Jedi or the Force at all.
Beyond that, we’re going to get into rumor and spoiler alert territory here, just to give you the head’s up. There have been previous reports that, as the movie kicks off, no one has seen Luke in a number of years. Is it possible that he was driven away by the new government, once he helped save the galaxy? And that he actually hasn’t trained anyone new?
Meanwhile, whatever remains of the Sith – Inquisitors and the like – may still be out there, and just have been forced into hiding after the Rebels blew up the second Death Star. Have they been biding their time until the perfect moment comes to reassert themselves in the galaxy? Does someone new and strong rise out of their ranks to become part of the Force awakening?
I’ve been playing with the idea, too, that the “Force” doesn’t refer to the actual “Force,” but some other, more tangible “force,” as in the armed forces. But that seems absolutely impossible.
So I’m going out on a limb to speculate that “The Force Awakens” centers around the idea that, not only are the Jedi a distant memory, as Tarkin suggested they were in A New Hope, but the Sith are as well. It’s like the galaxy purposefully and intentionally forgot that it had a spiritual aspect. And then something big happens to bring both sides of the Force back onto the playing field – something that has to have ramifications across two more movies.
That’s my take on the new subtitle so far. What do you have to say about it? Love it, hate it, miss the Episode VII or glad it’s gone? Chime in at Facebook.com/sw7x7!
Life on “Tweet”-ooineA featured dispatch from the Star Wars Twitterverse!
— Star Wars (@starwars) November 6, 2014
Trivia Time!Test your knowledge of the Star Wars universe!
Yesterday’s answer: A coin
Today’s question: What did Han offer to pay Jabba if he (Jabba) would spare Han’s life?