A Tempered Reaction to the Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens Trailer

Sunday, April 19, 2015
Right, so, this happened a couple of days ago:

I'm sure you've seen it. We've all seen it. And let me start by saying that of course I liked it. It's amazing. It gave me chills. And no matter what I will be seeing this movie in theaters as soon as I possibly can. However, with that out of the way, I do still have reservations. I'm not about to fully contribute to the hype train for this just yet without bringing up a few points to consider. Even if, as I said, JJ and Disney may as well just take my money now because I was going to see all of these regardless.

A good place to start is with the obvious: as my dad mentioned to me when we were discussing the trailer, he brought up the amazing point that the Episode I trailer also made that movie look good. Great even. And while Mr. Abrams does have a pretty solid track record as of late, so did George Lucas for the most part leading up to Phantom Menace. Though some of those Producer credits are pretty bad... but sure, I'm pretty confident that no matter what the movie will at the very least be a fun ride. No questions there. The point is a good trailer does not guarantee a good movie, and even good filmmakers are capable of disappointing millions. It's a pain we know all too well from Star Wars movies.

Next up, I have to talk about the Expanded Universe. The Expanded Universe, for the uninitiated, is everything ever created for Star Wars that isn't the movies or that Clone Wars animated series. Even before Disney bought out Lucasfilm, the decree was that the "true" canon was the movies and Clone Wars, but all the other books and games made up the Expanded Universe and could be considered canon unless something directly conflicts with the events in the films or Clone Wars. As you can guess, a lot of the Expanded Universe deals with the events that follow Return of the Jedi. And for good reason, people loved the original trilogy and wanted to know what happened to the universe they loved.

If you didn't know, they're tossing all of it out for the most part. The Expanded Universe is, at best, a source of inspiration for the upcoming films and nothing more. It's something that some people are understandably apprehensive about. I know a majority of people don't know a lot about the Expanded Universe stuff, but let me try to explain to you why I and others are disappointed by this move. For over thirty years, this was the canon for a lot of fans of the series. A lot of great authors like Timothy Zahn and Kevin J Anderson put a lot of work into crafting a universe to continue the story from the original trilogy. Characters like Thrawn, Mara Jade, Jacen and Jaina Solo were characters we grew to know from this universe. It's what we had for our canon, and it's the world we read about and immersed ourselves in. I remember loving the Young Jedi Knights books as a kid, and the Thrawn trilogy is legendarily great.

This world that, again, we knew and loved for so long is now gone. We're being told none of it is how things "really" happen. And while that may sound silly to some of you, understand that when you become invested in these worlds in books and comics that they stay with you. And even though they still exist, obviously, on paper, they're no longer right. It's like rewriting a history so many fans have come to know. Things like that do matter to fans, and even if the movies are amazingly great, those of us who loved and were familiar with so much of the Expanded Universe will still feel pangs of loss for the lore that was given up in the process. It's... it's just not something I'm prepared to forgive JJ and Disney for just yet.

So in the months to come as the hype train picks up speed, keep in mind that there are reasons to have reservations for the new trilogy. I'm sure it'll be good, and I sincerely doubt that it'll ever manage to be the mess that Phantom Menace was. I mean, cause there's this too. So. I'm pretty okay with that.

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