With less than a year to wait, for what is quickly becoming the most anticipated movie since, er, the last Star Wars feature film - My Geek Heart ( Andy Younger ) compiles a wish list of what he hopes to see in J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens...
1. Luke Skywalker
The heart and soul of the original trilogy, I truly hope Luke isn't sidelined in favour of Han Solo. As reports suggest Harrison Ford will have the largest role of any returning character, and while I'm absolutely stoked at the prospect - of seeing Solo and Chewie in action once more - Star Wars is Skywalker's story. The trials and tribulations which Skywalker endured throughout the original trilogy, must surely count for something, and hopefully the painfully oblivious Luke turns to the dark side story can be avoided.
2. A Sense of Occasion
George Lucas presented events throughout the prequel trilogy, in very much the same way he did the original. As in, events simply occur, there isn't much time to dwell on the significance of the moment. The same approach proved detrimental to the prequels, as the moments and events alluded to in the original movies had build in our imaginations, Lucas failed to realise their importance to the audience. We are steeped in the history and mystery of the Force, the Jedi and the Sith - we don't want it explained away as some sort of genetic mutation. A greater focus with some emotional punch is required by today's cinema audience. Compare the death of Kirk's Father in Abrams' Star Trek, to that of Padme in Revenge Of The Sith - which had you blubbering? Thankfully, the very title of the new movie and recent trailer, suggest Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan have already tapped in to these feelings.
3. New Droids
As much as I love C-3PO, and even more so R2-D2, it's time they were retired. Over exposed to the hilt in the Clone Wars, and almost every other Star Wars spin-off, perhaps it is time for a new set of droids to take centre stage. The amazing physical prop which is droid BB-8 bodes well, and seems a whole lot of fun. Remember people, Star Wars can be fun.
4. The Spectre of Darth Vader
Famously the most intriguing character in the prequel trilogy, Darth Maul, was killed off towards the end of The Phantom Menace. If only it had taken Obi-Wan until Revenge Of the Sith, to avenge his former master, what an emotionally charged duel that could have been! Not to be sadly, yet there is a lesson to be learnt here - never let a good villain die. Although Anakin was redeemed ( somewhat controversially given his penchant for slaughtering children ) by the end of ROTJ - the legacy left behind by one Darth Vader is too good to ignore. So while we may not see Vader himself, some mention of the greatest threat the Jedi ever faced would be welcome. Once again, rumours persist this may well be the case.
5. A Spirit of Adventure
J.J Abrams has already made one great Star Wars movie. Lets face it - his first Star Trek film is everything the prequels should have been. If the Bad Robot team can recapture the same sense of adventure, pace and excitement in The Force Awakens - it will surely be the biggest Star Wars movie of all time. To be fair, the prequels were telling a very different tale, and hindsight is a wonderful thing, perhaps they should have trodden down the sinister path earlier - truly embracing the darker subject matter from the beginning.
Finally, one last hope is that we do at least have some shared screen time between Han, Luke, and Leia. While spoilers suggest the opposite - with our heroes on separate missions throughout the movie - here's hoping a final group shot can be achieved, as they pass the torch to our new generation of heroes.
As the days and months tick slowly by, inevitably our enthusiasm and fever will grow, but this time at least we may have cause for real celebration - as the true spirit of Star Wars awakens.
The force will be with you, always.