The Star Wars: Episode VII ‘The Force Awakens’ teaser has been viewed by over 100 million fans. Soon after its release, the internet erupted with memes, gifs and even their own remakes of the trailer. It is safe to say most people either know or have seen a peek of JJ Abram’s take on Star Wars. Most people that is except its creator George Lucas.
When asked by Page Six if he was curious on how JJ Abrams would redirect the franchise, Lucas responded with a simple ‘Not really’.
If the creator of Star Wars can reply so nonchalantly to what might be done with his beloved galactic story by another director, conclusions will quickly be drawn. Maybe Lucas simply doesn't care anymore about Star Wars or its future development. Maybe he has ruined his own franchise enough for us to care about what he thinks. Maybe, after 30 odd years of the same characters, Lucas just doesn't have anything else to say about it.
However, before fans formulate their opinions, Lucas backed his ‘not really’ statement by saying he hasn't even seen the trailer.
“I don’t know anything about it. I haven’t seen it yet because it’s not in the movie theater. I like going to the movies and watching the whole thing there.”
Many can interpret Lucas’s response as that of a man who doesn't give a damn about this movie or the stories of old and new characters. It could be passed off as arrogance or even resentment. But I think George Lucas has subtly brought out a point we keep missing about the way we view movies nowadays.
Fans have been playing detective ever since the rumor simmered that there just might be a new Star Wars film after all this time. From gossiping about seeing the old cast reunited in London to who fan-casting who pick to play the new characters, the Star Wars buzz has been nonstop. We keep looking for clues in the 88 second trailer and formulating our own ideas as to what the plot might be or who might even die by the end of the film.
I understand how such fan research work can be fun and even open up a conversation about everyone’s liking, or even generate skeptical views about this iconic franchise. Yet, at the same time, it is that obsessive eye over every move, breath and whisper about this movie that might end up ruining it for its fans.
We used to be able to watch a trailer six months before a film and it would be enough to sustain us until the final product was out for us to see on the big screen and whether we’d be satisfied or disappointed, our feelings for it would be our own and not preconceived by a 12 month period of rumors, information leaks and fan theories. Having such a crammed mental archive of expectations is exactly what leads to building up a movie to impossible expectations or discovering spoilers that kill any excitement the movie had set up for its audience.
Why must we know everything before it hits theaters? Why do we have to make up our minds about it a year in advance? Is it even about fans anymore or just the need to suck in as much information as possible?
George Lucas maybe the responsible for unanimous disappointments – such as the Star Wars prequels and the horror that is Indiana Jones: The Crystal Skull- but I think his neither here nor there opinion on JJ Abrams’s Star Wars is a valid point. Whether he meant to say he just doesn't care or he is not in a rush to revisit his characters, we should all take notes from him and maybe not dissect the movie to death before we even get to see it.
Believe me, I never thought I would take notes from Lucas. I am just as shocked as you are.