Tag Archives: J.J. Abrams

A Non-Spoiler Review & Commentary of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

18 Dec

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

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To witness Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the same fervour as this franchise got exciting in the later parts of the original trilogy, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, is exhilarating. The subtitle says more about the potential of where this latest instalment is going sounds like a return to form — in keeping the mystique that surrounds The Force — and from there I was sold! I wondered what can transpire in a property that is now managed by Disney. Are they doing it because the property is a cash cow or because Lucas is out of ideas? In what the new writing team developed brings a new hope to a franchise that’s now 38 years old.

As the narrative in the trailers have indicated, there’s something in those “eyes” of the old and new heroes who find themselves in this war. In traditional story-telling fashion, they are often regarded as a window to an individual’s soul. Quite often, writers use that angle to show how people can recognize family lines of individuals they have not met. Take, for example, the Harry Potter films where the hero is often told, “You have your mother’s eyes.”

Just who is Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Rey (Daisy Ridley), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)? They make up the cast in this latest film which is emphasizing the fact that a few of them may be related to one another, or to an individual from the past.
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[Non-spoiler] Wishes for Where the Story Direction for The Force Awakens Should Go

16 Dec

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

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Based on the trailers and in what’s considered the new canon of the Star Wars legacy, what I hope to see in The Force Awakens (TFA) is a return to the Joseph Campbell ideologies. I feel they were at the core of made the original trilogy great. The mystique of the title suggests that there’s sentience to this energy that binds the universe. Has the balance between all that is good and evil been restored since Return of the Jedi (RotJ)? Thirty years is a long time for some, but for others, that is a mere blink to the lifespan of any galaxy. Part of the story from other chapters of the saga suggests how The Force can be alive, and will that manifest as a character? Probably not right away, but that’s my hope!

I think Luke Skywalker has added demons to confront. He’s worked past some of the problems of becoming a fully realized Jedi but there will be other destinies to face. Is he ready to head a new Jedi Order, as some story theorists have suggested? After the climatic battle in RotJ, The Empire is defeated and what survives of their forces are scattered all over the galaxy. As the trailer indicates, one faction has fought their way up the ranks to be the new galactic threat. But a lot of people, myself included, will want to know what Luke is up to. The only telling moment is when he passes on his lightsaber to another character, presumably Leia (maybe Rey), to deal with establishing a new army of Force sensitive individuals. The Jedi were the peacekeepers of the galaxy once, and Luke cannot handle it alone.

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Thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Second Trailer

16 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

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The second trailer to Star Wars: The Force Awakens is certainly signalling the passing of the lightsaber. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) narrates this second piece by saying, “The Force is strong in my family. My father has it, I have it, my sister has it (whereupon Luke gives his original lightsaber away to who may be Leia) … you have that power too.” Just who is it? There’s no direct image to indicate exactly who, but it may well be with the Poe (Oscar Isaac), the X-wing pilot or Rey (Daisy Ridley), the lady running in the foreground. Usually, when constructing a trailer, it’s best to have the images flow with the text. When the trailer is meant to tease, it should not reveal exactly what’s going on, but instead suggest one of a few possibilities to have watchers guessing.

If the editors and J.J. Abrams are clever, it’ll be neither of the above, and just who is in the family bloodline has not been revealed yet. In the Expanded Universe created by Dark Horse Comics and various authors, Han and Leia are married, and they have children: Jaina, Jacen and Anakin. When the Walt Disney company acquired the franchise, they declared all of that as “Legends,” or rather an alternate universe that’s no longer considered canon. To be fair, to work the new film based on what’s created with no consortium would have led to a less than stellar screenplay, and to wonder what’s new, or if Poe or Rey are related to the Skywalker family is more exciting.

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One Otaku’s Take on Stars Wars VII Teaser Trailer

28 Nov

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

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J.J. Abrams teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode VII “The Force Unleashed” is here, and what can fans discern from it? There’s an opening line of dialogue, “There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it?”

In this trailer’s case. everyone has and they are showing it! There’s a cut to what is presumably Tatooine, with John Boyega looking rather scared, if not worried, that someone is going to be looking for him. He turns, and instead of storming off into the distance, looks far over yonder to see where he’s ended up almost like how C3P0 and R2D2 left the Rebel Blockade Runner and landed on the same planet from long ago.

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