Welcome back to the Recap! The only place you’ll find updates on the relevant comic book news as they happen! We’ve been playing a lot of catch up lately and today we’re going to tackle what’s anticipated to be the biggest movie event in decades! That’s right, buckle up for STARWARS VII on the Recap!
What We Know Now.
Okay, we know A LOT of things about the upcoming movie, but even scanning through all the teasers, TV spots, advertising, toy lines, interviews and everything else fans still don’t have the biggest piece of the puzzle: What is the plot of this movie!? My hat’s off to the creators and director JJ Abrams on how they’ve handled the press. Back when this movie was still in its early stages any actor even involved; forget about actually being cast, if they were even near this project they were under strict Non-Disclosure Agreements. Conan even gave Harrison Ford $1000 to tell us even a snippet of StarWars at the time (to no avail)
As we moved closer to the premiere, the rumors were finally settled about whether this project was real or fan-fiction, and among all the leaked set pictures of X-wings and AT-ST’s under tarps, Disney shocked audiences with the Premiere of the first teaser.
What happened next can only be described as the best free advertising a studio has ever seen. Reaction videos, fan theories, toy deals, etc all happened over the next few months in full stride. Fans started following the whereabouts of every actor involved, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fischer, and Harrison Ford sightings went straight to the front page of every website that had forums about StarWars or movies. The names of characters who were a mystery were released on the official trading cards including who appears to be the villain in this movie, Kylo Ren (Mind you, we also found out there’s someone behind him pulling the strings that gives these two characters a very Vader-Sideous relationship.). Fans watched closely in anticipation until the studio decided to finally release even more: The Second Teaser.
If it was not cemented before that Star Wars was going to be the biggest movie event in years it is now, because after this trailer dropped the world has finally started to swing for the fence in terms of StarWars publicity. It’s almost impossible now to watch any television show without a star wars commercial in every break. The beauty of it is Disney isn’t even paying for it. Look at the end of the commercial for an explanation: Most of the commercials running are companies using the StarWars name to promote themselves. Target, Verizon, Toy R Us, Duracell, Toyota, Kraft, Dodge, you can’t watch anything for more than ten minutes without BB-8 rolling up on you (and as a lifelong fan I say keep it coming)!
The second teaser really got everyone on the edge of their seat, but what has audiences captivated just as much might be all the new T.V spots we’ve seen. My family started watching talk shows and other programs they never really would’ve tuned into before not because of the special guest but for the promises of the sweet commercials that were promised to come. By now there are around SIX TV spots and two official trailers we can view and from each we get just a little more of the premise of the movie. Another thing to watch out for is the random interviews from the director himself and everyone else on the crew that made this movie happen. From all that we’ve seen and all that we’ve learned we still haven’t found out the two most important things about this movie that driving the internet crazy: What is the movie’s plot and where is Luke Skywalker?
Okay, so let’s take a look back at everything we can that may give us some clues to answering this question. Starting with the first teaser we see Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) attempting to figure out what the fans are: What the hell is happening? We get panic filmed with an air of mystery but if there was any doubt to whether or not we were watching a StarWars trailer it was immediately vanquished with the appearance of Lightsabers and the Millennium Falcon. We could draw some speculation from this first teaser, although, not much. We saw Finn in a StormTrooper uniform, but since it didn’t appear to have SandTrooper markings in can be speculated that he was somewhere else before freaking out in the middle of the desert. Maybe he pulled an OT trick and stole a trooper outfit but the plan went bad, maybe he is going to be an ex-imperial? We see some of the sweet new StormTrooper uniforms in glimpses, as well as some familiar looking X-Wings piloted by Poe Dameron who’s leading up to be the next Wedge or Luke. The biggest take away from this trailer however was something only a fan with encyclopedic knowledge of StarWars could catch, Kylo’s Lightsaber. Almost immediately after the premiere fans started pointing out what was up with that wicked looking red Saber? We see it flare like fire and have a cross guard, which led us to point out 2 things: Flaring like that means that the Saber was not constructed with the same methods as the Jedi and Sith we know, meaning Kylo might not be a full-fledged Sith but more of an acolyte or follower. The other thing was speculation over whether or not the cross guard beams were like that on purpose or if they were merely vents of an overcharged crystal from the result of the first speculation. It’s both of those things by the way. They’re vent’s that act as a cross guard.
Looking at the next teaser we get even more! At this point I’m beginning to notice a familiar sight at the begging of each trailer, and that is the LucasArts Logo. Around the time of this trailer Disney released a statement that the Disney Castle Logo would not be shown before the movie like many theorized. I personally don’t mind either way, but it’s refreshing to hear that a studio understands its new fan base. Moving on, we hear a familiar voice, Luke Skywalker quoting himself from Return of the Jedi. I loved the opening shot of the downed Starship, and It was a nice gesture to show, what I’m assuming, is the only shot of Luke we’ve had in all the media. Another question I find many people not asking is: who is the little person that hand what I’m assuming is Leia a Lightsaber? Maybe her child, maybe some random person, this writer isn’t sure but I have a theory I’ll explain at the end of this post concerning questions like these. Moving on, we see the X-wing flight sequences with (insert name here) piloting. We see more of Kylo, and more of Finn and Rey running from a bombing run. Right after this scene for maybe a second we see something else I’ve noticed not too many speaking about. We see Kylo holding his has towards the screen in a familiar pose. Now, there’s been a lot of talk of Kylo over the past month, and so far fans have confirmed (through various interviews) that what we suspected from the build of his lightsaber is true: he is not technically a full-fledged Sith. However, one point I noticed that many seem to miss because of literally everything else happening in this media sensation, is that many shots have him in this pose with his arm extended towards the camera. While this movie is indeed going to be in 3-D, I doubt they made it for that. What I mean in the days of characters or effects rushing towards the center of the shot is seemingly over, and people are more interested in seeing things such as scenery and effects in 3-d rather than a character making an obvious gesture towards the camera to display the 3-d effect. This leads me to conclude that Kylo may in fact be a force sensitive. Now for those of you saying “duh” I understand the sentiment but I don’t think that this has been explored in depth enough. If Kylo is a sensitive and is able to channel the Force through some extend then the biggest question is “how”. How did he learn to build a Saber? How did he learn to channel the force? How id he meet the new main villain and how did he go from Vader fanatic to Sith in training? Questions like these, the small, seemingly insignificant details, lead me to believe JJ Abrams is setting up a story that is going far more in depth than he’s leading on with these trailers (again, wait till my theory at the end if you’re saying “duh”). As we trek through the montages we see updated tie-fighters, Finn freaking out (again) and the mysterious Chrome Trooper. It’s becoming apparent the more these trailers go on, the more questions than answers we are going to receive. We see BB-8 doing his droid thing, Finn and Rey apparently are willing to work together to escape the bombing campaign that is terrorizing them, and the Chrome Trooper apparently able to be on par with the pilot behind the Millennium Falcon (which is impressive considering they successfully navigated an asteroid field amirite?). Finally, the trailer ends on the scene that gave every single person I know goose bumps; Han Solo and Chewbacca appearing and saying that each character is right where they belong, back in the universe that has kept one of the strongest fan-bases and relevancy for over 30 years.
Now that we’ve recapped the teasers we can begin to explore the TV spots which is what’s got the internet reeling with fan-theories, expectations and analyzing every new second of footage we see to solve some of the answers above.
Here we see some new footage, but to me some of the more interesting shots were at the end. We see a tie-fighter chasing an X-wing, which speculation tells us could be a number of characters but most likely involves either the Chrome Trooper or Poe Dameron. Next we see what appears to be Kylo blocking a blast from Rey, a fight which I personally believe is going to happen (this ties into my theory at the end). After this we can see what appears to be Rey piloting the Millennium Falcon, which begs the question where is Han during this time?
This has got to be one of my favorites, starting with the Imperial March throwback music. In this TV spot we hear the low voice of the mysterious Snoke, the Palpatine to kylo's Vader. We also see that Poe managed to get himself captured by Kylo and from what we can tell that's not going to be anywhere near a good thing. The X wing sequences are starting to become my favorite parts of each new release. It. Looks. Glorious. (It also makes me excited for Rogue Squadron). Finn backing up that he's ex-imperial or first order has me interested in what this new faction is like, it seems very ominous and not as open as the old workings of the Empire. Also Han with his trusty DL-44 blasting a trooper is great, something I never thought I'd live to see again on the big screen. Kylo may not be a full-fledged Sith but he does seem to know how to block blaster bolts which begs the bigger question: "who is Snoke"? This spot ends with Kylo and Fin getting ready to cross blades in a sure to be epic conflict!
Well it looks like Rey and Finn hiding out on Jakku didn't last too long, as this one opens with a bombing run right where they were. Fin's shown himself to be reluctant so far, but Rey seems to have a headstrong character arch, so maybe we'll see more of the brother sister dynamic we only got a glimpse of in RotJ. Also it looks like the first time they meet each other is on board the Millennium Falcon, but this background could be misleading I'll admit. I'm ready to see the Falcon back in action, but what really stole the show for me here was that little round table like meeting they were having which I can swear that is Admiral Ackbar standing off to the right still doing his thing (please let this be the case)! We move forward and forward with even more footage but perhaps you, dear reader, are starting to notice the pattern everyone’s starting to catch up to in recent months. “I may see all these characters, all this action, but I do not know the plot.”
On to the Next!
So moving forward I could go through each individual TV spot and write out little paragraphs about what you just saw, but from here on out I’m going to link them all at the end so you can go through and catch those you have missed rather than read me drone on about how awesome they are. It’s about that time where the Recap does what it was born to do and we take a look into that sweet Official Star Wars Trailer!
Recapping the Trailer!
I’m not going to lie here, tears may have come to my eyes upon first viewing, and I still get goose bumps in excitement every time I watch this trailer. But only being excited is not what we’re all about here at The Recap so let’s do what we do best and break this baby down!\
The opening shot starts with Rey exploring what can only be assumed to be the downed star ship we see her speeder going past in the first teaser. Was she just exploring because there’s nothing better to do out in the desert or was she looking for some answers? On another note, it seems BB-8 is going to be with Rey right off the bat. After Rey sees a ship launching in the distance we see a very familiar logo (that is not the Disney castle!) and a lineup of the new Storm Troopers. Now, we speculated in the first teaser that perhaps the reason that Finn was wearing that StormTrooper outfit was because he pulled the ol’ Luke and Han switcheroonie on us, but with this little monologue and the scene of the ship falling to the planet Rey is on (now confirmed to be named Jakku), I think it’s safe to say he will be ex-imperial. Kylo is doing his dark and brooding Vader shtick but it seems he was able to capture Poe Dameron for better or worse (personally I think Poe will turn into a bad guy, but that so far has just been me). Next we see what we noticed in the TV spots above, that is that Han, Luke, Leia, the Force appear to have all been forgotten by this new series. Why? What happened to the rebellion and the empire along with their figures? How did things go after the forest moon of Endor? Next we see a few easter eggs in the montages that follow, the one that was hidden the best I feel was the little Mandalorian symbol on the temple Han takes Finn to. We see the Chrome Trooper in apparently the same place Kylo is and it seems the imperialist faction they lead, named The First Order, and seems to be in control of that fiery situation. We get some more montages of action before we arrive at what everyone is waiting to see, the Finn vs Kylo lightsaber fight. Roll credits.
Now Star Wars is a big thing to tackle because of its rich history combined with its upcoming media, so if it seems like I didn’t cover everything, don’t worry, I didn’t. I will do several more articles pertaining to the TV spots, the Marvel comic (the canon ones) and finally the movie. Yes, I managed to drive to my theater at 10:00pm and get tickets to the advanced screening, so I will be watching it on the 17th. The article that follows with be full of spoilers and labeled as such so you don’t get mixed up if you actively follow the Recap! Next I’m going to draw out my prediction for the movie, so check out the very bottom for those links to the TV spots.
I’m going to explain my theory on all this, after hearing everything from Luke is Kylo to Darth Jar Jar, I feel the need to weigh in. In an interview JJ Abrams was asked if he was nervous about doing these movies considering he’s up against one of the most critical fan bases known to movies. He answered that he wasn’t nervous but excited. I think, that everything we’ve seen so far, all the T.V. spots, trailers, toys, card etc. Is all one big red herring to the actual way the movie will go. My theory is that JJ Abrams is editing our content to purposely misconstrue any ideas we may have. He’s putting scenes together that are out of order by a mile in the trailers. Remember Rey shooting at Kylo? I bet that’s a huge fight we haven’t even been hinted towards, and the Finn-Kylo fight, while it might be cool, is still a ruse for the Rey-Kylo fight. I bet Luke shows up at an extremely pivotal moment and that’s why we haven’t seen any footage of him, because the only footage of him is spoiler. This is just my theory, but I bet JJ Abrams is toying with the fans with very carefully constructed media. Everything that has transpired has done so according to his design.
Now here's all the Star Wars TV spots and more conveniently in one big video! I will continue updating this post with more links as we approach the premier date!