At this point, all of you should have seen the new trailer. The Internet is ablaze with a pissing contest of whether I love Star Wars more than Billy who lives in Toronto. Nothing against Toronto. Being the dedicated EU reader from an early childhood, I would like to offer some more insight in a breakdown of the trailer. For those of you who don't know what the Expanded Universe is, just look it up. If we're going to have a intellectual discussion on Star Wars, at least know what the Expanded Universe is. I still may be bitter and angry from Kathleen Kennedy throwing the EU out the window, but I am surprisingly optimistic about this Star Wars Episode 7 from seeing everyone's opinions on the Internet. If at any point you feel like you disagree with what I'm saying, look it up on Wookiepedia because I garantee its all there.
Lets begin with the black guy.
The Internet has gone insane with racism and then backlash with the appearance of a black stormtrooper. Now there are a few camps out there who are upset because they either A. believe that all stormtroopers are clones, B. believe all stormtroopers are white, or C. are just racist. And trust me there's a difference between B and C oddly enough. But lets address category A.
The clones commissioned by Syfo Dias live at an accelerated life span of every two years for every regular human year. So if say a clone were 25 in regular years, his body would be that of a fifty year old. While the counter argument is to say, "Just make more..." the fact is thats a bad idea. Kamino is actually invaded by the Empire because the cloners withheld a few batches that weren't altered in hopes of creating a rebel Army. Boba Fett actually leads the 501st to take Kamino and after that debacle, it was decided that they would not use clones.
Which brings us to Episode IV.
If you remember correctly, Luke plans on going to the Academy which Uncle Owen promptly shoots down ensuing teenage angst. Luke was referring to the Imperial Academy.
Also in Episode IV, Luke reunited with his friend Biggs Darklighter pictured here slaving away at the Academy. In a deleted scene, Luke is seen saying goodbye to Biggs before he leaves for the Academy. As you can see, none of these recruits look anything like Jango.
Now to address groups B & C.
Its true that every single Imperial officer shown in the original Trilogy is in fact white. Literally every single one. Lucas' original intention was to draw parallels Hitler's Third Reich which was quite effective. However contrary to popularly misled belief, the Empire was not racist.
Now neither has anyone seen any alien members of the Empire. The blue gentlemen on the right is Mitth'raw'nuruodo, also known as Grand Admiral Thrawn. The Empire was not in face racist, but speciest. Indeed the Emperor placed a great deal of importance on human superiority. Thrawn was the only high ranking exception to the rule because his tactical prowess was unmatched by any other strategist.
In other words, there were black stormtroopers. So John Boyega should be given a serious pass.
You do also have to consider the idea that this is not an Empire run by Palpatine. The later incarnation of the Empire as headed by the Fel Dynasty actual saw the rise in the diversification of Storm Troopers:
The majority of these stories can be found in the Star Wars: Legacy comic book run. However it does stand to reason that with the Empire under different management, there would be even more diversification. So to those of you idealizing white storm troopers, tough luck.
Now the Fifa-themed Astromech:
I have nothing for this because I have never seen a droid like this in the Expanded Universe. Ever. I mean we have these:
Look these bad boys up. There are a ton of other droids but never ones like the one shown before.
Nothing much to say on the speeder bike. Only that there are other options than riding a giant fudgsicle. Or a refrigerator.
These Star Wars 7 stormtrooper helmets might actually be an improvement. In the past, the basic stormtrooper helmet has been ridiculed for being too hard to see out. The eyeholes seem to have been enlarged and the slit may add more visibility. Regardless its just a design. It's an interesting change because in the EU, the stormtrooper uniform remains largely unchanged.
Even a couple hundred years after the battle of Yavin, The stormtrooper uniform remains the same after during the Fel Empire.
No complaints on the X-wings. They look fantastic. It is also too early to comment on this dude. Seriously. Since they threw out the EU, almost anything is possible.
Now the Lightsaber. I have seen many mixed reactions, especially a well thought out defense by Stephen Colbert.
However while Colbert addresses one issue, he avoids an entirely different issue which is the practicality. There have been other crossguard lightsabers in use in the past. However they looked like this:
There's only one extending guard which is much better than the design newly introduced. You see if you get in a lock with this blue blade and your opponent pushed back against you, you won't be stabbed by the opposing guard that the new design has. Or simply your opponent could force-nudge the guard back into your chest. Its an accident that's already happened. Its even more dangerous because it unlocks new alternate ways of dying other than simply with a single bladed lightsaber as shown here:
More can be found here: http://imgur.com/gallery/rXss2
To put it simply, it's not practical and pretty much suicidal. If you wanted to have a functional crossguard that blocks lightsabers, here are two of a few alternatives:
Cortosis will block a lightsaber and has known to be able to rarely short out a lightsaber blade. So while your opponent is staring at his deactivated blade, you can eviscerate him.
Mandalorian Iron, also known as beskar, is what Mandalorians make their armor from. It is also resistant to lightsabers. Seriously. It's safer than two more blades and just as cool to look at.
And so from then on I really don't have any complaints.
Its nice to see they kept the TIE fighter the same. Though in reality the TIE fighter is a deathtrap with no life support, no shields, no hyperdrive, and terrible range. Still I believe that everyone's heart skipped a beat when the Falcon flew onscreen.
Should you hate [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](movie:711158)? I don't know. Frankly I was ready to grab my Boba Fett helmet and storm the Skywalker Ranch when I found out they were throwing away the Expanded Universe. There is such a rich history that took 35 years in the making. Sure there were a few hiccups here and there, yet for the most part every flowed together in a centralized beauty.
To be clear, this is just a teaser. Little is shown, little can be inferred. However if you are going to have an opinion, have an informed opinion instead of a rash emotional outburst.
As a last point of clarification, many of the facts presented are apart of the Expanded Universe. While this is non-canon, the facts are still applicable and some are simply questions of common sense. These facts deal little with narrative and more on the substance of the universe created. While in the future some of these facts may be retconned, these are the ones that are here and exist today.