Hey! I’m back! I wrote a bunch of words. 50,223 of them to be exact. Yes some of them repeated, and they repeated a lot more often than I really wanted, but that’s okay I’m a two-time NaNoWriMo winner.
While I was in my self-imposed blogging isolation, a lot of things happened, but it probably would have been a terrible time for me to be blogging anyway. The Windows 10 Preview nearly self-destructed with buggy preview updates. And then got fixed just in time for me to come back.
A new book about the most infamous guy to ever blow up a planet and accost a princess and only appear in a movie for a total of about 15 minutes, while wearing slippers, just came out.
Oh and Star Wars Rebels wrapped up 4 amazing episodes including a mid-season finale. Sadly, that means we’ll be waiting about a month until more Rebels. Sad face. Le Sigh.
BUT THEN THIS HAPPENED!!!!
Yes, the glory that you see above is the trailer that Star Wars fans have been waiting decades for. All that thankless love that Star Wars fans devoted to the extended universe mainly because that was all that was available during the 90’s. All that excitement leading up to the prequels, dashed when the prequels turned out to be, at best, mediocre. All that frustration when the extended universe you dedicated your love and free time to was destroyed by Disney and thrown into a recycle bin they’re calling “another universe.”
All of that goes away the moment that the first sneak peak trailer with Episode 7 footage comes out. The first time you see that new stormtrooper armor. The first time you see those X-Wings flying over the water. Seeing the Millennium Falcon doing a barrel roll and being followed by Tie Fighters. I think I pee’d a little each time. Oh and by the way, if you watch this trailer 81 times, it feels like a full-length movie. Nerdgasm!
Ahem. But the reason I’m writing this article is not just to fanflail with you, but because I want to explore this little trailer. We actually got a lot more than I ever expected to get from a teaser trailer. We’re still left with more questions than we have answers, but as with anything Star Wars, it’s always best to speculate it to death because it’s fun. And also because Star Wars.
John Boyega and the New Stormtrooper Armor
So hey, it’s John Boyega in a Stormtrooper suit. This is not particularly surprising, as anyone who’s paid even a passing resemblance to the Star Wars Ep 7 rumors would have heard that John Boyega plays a stormtrooper. What? Oh right, I realize it’s entirely possible that you have not read a single rumor because you want to be unspoiled for the movie. Okay. That’s cool. Stop reading. Seriously. I won’t say it again.
Okay, now that those jerks are gone, let’s continue. The storyline rumors regarding Episode 7 have implied that John Boyega actually plays a stormtrooper that defect to the alliance, runs into Daisy Ridley, and then goes with her on some weird manhunt to find Luke Skywalker, who has apparently disappeared sometime after he, the Jedi, Returned. Of course, this has never been confirmed, but now J.J. put Johnny B. in a stormtrooper outfit, looking a bit freaked out, running away after hearing an Imperial Probe Droid.
And yes, that’s an Imperial Probe droid. If you remember your Empire Strikes Back, this is a signal not used by the Rebellion. I mean, we don’t normally see stormtroopers with their helmets off, so we don’t really see the emotions they are portraying under there. But we see John. And we see that he’s freaked out. And we hear a probe droid. It makes sense to me that he is, in fact, a former stormtrooper who is in the process of turning rebel. Whatever that process entails. Sounds painful.
Oh and there’s some speculation that the bumps in the background that get faded out when Johnny B comes into play are pieces of a Tie Fighter. Maybe. I’d like to think they’re shrubberies or something.
Stormtroopers Looking Awesome
I’m not really sure what to make of this scene other than that the stormtroopers are looking badass and are going to invade something misty and dark. It is important to note that Stormtroopers still exist. This implies that the Empire hasn’t spontaneously self-destructed as many fans were apparently thinking. To be honest, I figured these movies would have Stormtroopers and the Empire, still mostly functional. Just because you lose Darth Sidious and Vader doesn’t mean the Empire ceases to exist. There were plenty of Admirals and Moffs and such that would gladly fill the void. Whether there’s infighting or not, a ‘la Extended Universe style warlords, is yet to be seen. But clearly the Empire still exists and the rebels are still, well, rebels.
Daisy Ridley and the Mysterious Stick of Dhoom!
Hey Daisy! Nice rust colored box speeder you have there. Is that a Gaderffii stick or are you just happy to see me?
Daisy Ridley’s character is somewhat of a mystery, much like most of the movie. The rumors about her character imply that she’s rebellious in some way, manages to run into John Boyega, and goes after Luke, as I said before. But there hasn’t been a lot being said about where she came from, what kind of character she is, or even why she’s fighting the empire (other than because it’s the cool thing to do).
Unfortunately, this trailer doesn’t tell us much. There’s been a lot of speculation on the above scene from the trailer because it shows Daisy holding something that looks, at first glance, like a Gaderaffii stick. You know, the big curved cane stick that the Tusken Raiders, aka Sand People, threatened Luke with in Episode IV. If you’re still confused, look to the right. I mean, you can make an argument, I guess. But that stick is rather smooth in the middle. There’s no sign of those giant flaps on one side or that pierced bee hive on the other. The stick Daisy’s holding is curved on one end, but that’s where the similarities end.
Others have claimed that she’s dressed like a Tusken Raider, but to me, she just looks like a smart person living in a desert.
That said, with all the “detailifying” that J.J. has been doing with other things in the universe, such as the stormtroopers, blasters, X-Wings, Millennium Falcon, etc., it’s possible this is some new and updated Gaderffii stick for the future. I would love to see Daisy’s character (rumors point to the name Kira?) as a Tuskin Raider turned Rebel.
However, the most interesting speculation I’ve heard about this staff is that it’s actually some sort of Jedi or Sith relic, like a long staff-like lightsaber of some kind. Perhaps like the lightsaber/staffsaber of Darth Plageuis.
If you’re a little rusty on your Sith lore, yes Darth Plageuis is canon. Palpatine told the story of “The Tragedy of Darth Plageuis” to young Anakin within the prequels, as Darth Plageuis was also Palpatine’s late Sith master. This guy was so powerful that he could harness the midi-chorians that exist within people and prevent death or raise people from the dead. He feared that the force would soon strike back at him because of his power, and his fears were realized when Palpatine killed him in his sleep.
The staff resembles the object that Daisey is carrying, but not exactly. However, we might be looking at some sort of lightsaber relic, specifically because as shown in the below picture, this thing seems to have an activation switch.
If this were some sort of ancient Sith (or even Jedi) relic, that would make Daisy Ridley’s character (Possibly named Kira) something more akin to an Indiana Jones-like cave dweller and artifact finder. This also explains her clothing, as one would need to be wearing rather practical and sand proof, yet comfortable clothing to be delving into ancient ruins and the like. The question I have is why an ancient force relic would be sitting around in a place like Tatooine. I know that half our characters seem to come from that godsforsaken planet, but come on!
Oscar Isaac and Rogue Squadron?
In this scene, we see a brief glimpse of Oscar Isaac, long believed to be playing a villain, flying around in an X-Wing. Once again, we do see a bit of J.J.’s touch in adding details and making things generally look a bit badass. Notice the black and red helmet, the dual Rebel Phoenixes that don his outfit, and the more detailed cockpit. His outfit makes me believe he might be a new Wedge Antilles, the leader of Rogue Squadron, as his helmet seems to remind me of Rogue Squadron’s colors, but that’s just guessing at this point.
There’s also a bit of Aurebesh on the vest of his pilot’s suit. For those who don’t know, Aurebesh is that weird cryptic writing below the black rebel symbol on his white vest. I’ve tried translating it myself, but since it’s likely upside down, it’s actually really hard to do so. I’ve seen in some forums that some have translated it as “Pull to Inflate.” I tried reversing that translation, and it doesn’t quite seem to match, but it’s pretty close. Weird choice, but in that same forum, they also mentioned a theory in that J.J. used a safety vest as a costume prop but decided to translate the text on the prop to Aurebesh. Silly, but alright.
The most interesting part of this scene, though, is the fact that these X-Wings and even Oscar himself look really beat up. It looks like they’ve literally been through hell. I wish I knew what they were coming from or where they were going, but seeing Oscar’s face, I’m guessing they’re not going anywhere that’s all that friendly. However, seeing the climate of the place they’re at and the climate of the place the villain is set at, I’m guessing there’s a connection.
A New Sith Dude…And a New Lightsaber
Alright, this is the part that’s gotten everyone talking, combined with the narrator who may or may not be related to this scene. There’s a new guy, who is presumably a Sith. I say presumably, because he’s cloaked in black and has a red lightsaber. I’m not sure why no Sith hasn’t created a green lightsaber just to screw with everyone, but the fact is that no Jedi ever carries a red lightsaber and no Sith ever carries anything but a red lightsaber, so I’m assuming he’s the Sith villain.
We don’t know a bunch about him, unfortunately, but we can speculate about a few things. First of all, one would automatically assume that the Sith in this trailer is the narrator, but that’s not necessarily the case. The voice is deepy, raspy, and heavily acted. This is a voice that is certainly possibly coming from Adam Driver, who is believed to be a cyborg Sith villain and currently believed to be the Sith we see in the trailer, but it’s also possible it’s coming from Max von Sydow or Andy Serkus. In fact, if you listen carefully to the first part of the speech, you’ll hear a bit of a raspiness that resembles Andy Serkus’ performance of Gollum. Most of the audio of this narrator makes me think of the current fan opinion that this is Adam Driver. But when that little Andy Serkus bit creeps in, it also makes me wonder that maybe this is coming from another character, perhaps a new Yoda or some sort of spectre of the past or something. For that reason, because of that little raspiness at the beginning, I think this is Andy Serkus narrating. Also because if you were J.J. and you had Andy Serkus working with you, how could you not take advantage of this by putting him in the trailer. Andy Serkus is such a brilliant actor and voice talent. Is it odd to have someone not physically in the trailer narrating the trailer? Yes. But it’s certainly not unprecedented. Finally, I’d like to point out that the narrator says “the dark side” when the Sith comes out, but then the video goes black as he says “and the light” as if to imply that this Sith is merely an example. Once again, that makes me think the narrator is pointing to this guy, not walking out to make a point.
Also, let’s talk about this Sith and his appearance. His robes are in tatters, yet he’s taking big full and emotive steps, as if he is full of confidence. But then, what’s with that stance? He immediately bends down and whips out his broadsaber. There’s no one around that I can see, and why does he bend down like that? The fact is, this guy’s got a completely different style, a different feel, and a different sense of power than any other villain we’ve seen in the Star Wars universe. If anything, he seems ancient, but not old. A man obsessed with the past perhaps. Maybe his robes are an artifact of some kind. Maybe the broadsaber he’s wielding is some ancient sword, as it certainly feels like to me. That said, the sword is new to us and we don’t know if he’s just been in a fight. But based on what J.J’s seems to be presenting here, I feel like this guy is supposed to represent the ancient Sith. Perhaps that’s how Daisey gets involved with the story, as some sort of artifact collector.
Finally, I’d like to talk about what he says. It’s not much, but it’s definitely telling.
“There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? The Dark Side. And the Light.”
Taken at face value, you just get a “oh em gee, there’s Jedi stuff and Sith stuff going on. At the same time!” But there’s obviously more to this than that. The assumption we are forced to make is that the narrator is the villain. As I said earlier, this is not necessarily the case. But even if we go by the implied assumption that this deep raspy voice is the voice of a villain, why does he mention an awakening of the Light side as well as the Dark side? Is he talking to a Jedi, perhaps? Or is there something further going on. An awakening or an empowerment, not of sides of the force, but of the force itself, as the title implies.
And that leads me to wonder that maybe, just maybe, we’re not hearing from someone on one side of the fence, but someone who is straddling both sides. A neutral party talking about not sides or philosophies, but of the power of the raw unadultered force. This is a theme implied by the title, and further made clear by this speech. This isn’t going to be about one side or the other, but about both.
When you think about the movies so far, the 3 prequel movies talked about the Dark side rising from nothing to destroy the dominant Light side, showing the failure of the Jedi, even given the power of the galaxy. Then, the original trilogy talks about the Light side rising up from nothing to destroy the dominant Dark side, a failure of the Sith even when given the power of the galaxy. Now that we’ve seen that neither side is flawless, maybe we’ll see a 3rd path open up a la Revan, but not Revan, of course. But some sort of neutral party. Maybe that’s why Luke ran away. Maybe he didn’t want to remake the Old Republic, because he knew it eventually fell. Maybe he didn’t want to create the Jedi Academy, because that only created death and destruction in the end. Maybe he’s seeking a 3rd path. Maybe.
That’s me hoping anyway. Ever since I played Knights of the Old Republic, I’ve wanted more stories that defied the binary splitting of the force between Light and Dark. I certainly hope they go that route, and this little bit of speech combined with the title gives me hope that this will happen. Will we finally see that the son of Skywalker will bring balance to the force and finally fulfill the prophecy set forth in Episode 1? That would be a wonderfully fitting ending to this 9 movie arch.
The Millenium Falcon Looks Awesome
Need I say more?