We're all pretty pumped about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. After all, it's Star Wars, so what's not to love? It also helps that there have been two pretty sweet trailers already to advertise how awesome Star Wars is, of course. However, the monumental issue with this is that the original trilogy is such an epic, immersive, imaginative and iconic series that we've all built up in our heads as pure perfection (and to be fair, it does come pretty close) that there really isn't anything that can live up to the standard we've set for the upcoming films in the franchise. Recently, a survey showed that most people think that Episode VII is going to be the best movie yet. Really? That's a blatantly unrealistic standard.
We're older now...
See, what Star Wars did when we were all kids was to set our imaginations on fire. Whether our first exposure was via the original movies, the animated shows or even the prequels, we've all loved Star Wars from the moment we first saw a lightsaber ignited. Which leads to a large proportion of the excitement and hype for The Force Awakens coming from older fans who want something to capture that childhood love again. If you're one of those people, then I want to tell you here and now that it's more likely that you'll be struck by lightning than have those expectations met. We're all more cynical and knowledgeable than when we were of an age in the single digits, meaning that even if The Force Awakens is really, really good, it still won't make us feel the same way as the original Star Wars did when we were fresh, excitable and easily impressed children.
The hype-up is too real
Then there's the simple fact that virtually nothing can live up to the insane levels of hype we're giving this film. I mean, seriously. Do we really expect them to come up with something that meets the expectation we've forced upon it? In order for it to live up to the hype, it would have to be the greatest movie ever put on-screen and then dispense free cash at every cinema viewing of it. Honestly, the way the film is covered and the way the trailers have been dissected and talked about—is there any way it can surprise us? It feels like every other day some new rumor hits the mill, or a set photo confirms a massive spoiler. I'm more than a little sick of it, to the point where I'm actively avoiding anything to do with the film. Put simply, it's just a film, so stop expecting it to bring eternal joy into the world.
Look, Abrams is a talented director, but my feelings towards all the films that he's directed so far are just "meh." They all watch well enough, but none of them stuck with me. Which means that while he probably won't ruin the Star Wars franchise on the level that the prequels did for many, I would end up very surprised if he actually made something as great as any of the original films. That's not to say he doesn't have it in him. And Disney has a good track record of making movies out of our favorite geeky properties (Avengers, anyone?), but I still can't picture a J.J. Abrams film that really makes me stand up and cheer.
At the end of the day, only time will tell how good Star Wars: The Force Awakens actually turns out. For the time being, I think we could all doing with retaining an air of caution with our expectations, because otherwise, we're bound to be disappointed.