I was done with Star Wars. The film, television, comic book, video game, pop culture behemoth is overwhelming to me the way the onslaught of superhero films is to others. As a geek and lover of all things pop culture my time is spent browsing websites about film and television. And among all these sites the conversation about Star Wars never ends.
I'm prone pop culture fatigue. I loved the first two seasons of Game of Thrones but bored with it now. I still watch Game of Thrones, but tuning into the premiere last weekend was obligatory. I wasn't excited. I just wanted to see what happens next before social media could inform me against my will.
If Game of Thrones can bore me in a matter of a few years, imagine what a lifetime of every conceivable frame of the Star Wars films being overanalyzed, discussed, spoofed, and referenced in everything would do to your fandom. It killed mine.
So in 2012 when it was announced that Disney had bought Star Wars and that we were getting more films, you bet your ass I was a stick in the mud about it. In the age of social media, anything that can and will be referenced ironically will immediately outstay it's welcome, and never leave. Star Wars is the most ironically referenced of them all.
We've seen little of the new film, but already the Internet has taken to pressure cooker excitement and run wild with every little detail. Think of the newly introduced lightsaber (now with a cross-guard!) In a short manner of time the excitement turned into criticism and hyper-analysis which then turned into a joke. The film is still months away but already I'm exhausted by the Star Wars hype train. (Modern film & video game hype trains are too long as is, with negative results, but that's a separate blog post for another day.)
So now here we are. A mere seven months between now and a seventh entry into the beloved franchise. Excitement is already at peak levels. Just look at the guy who got a tattoo of the new droid with literally no other information on the character. This reminds me of Seth Rogen's character in Fanboys who got a tattoo of Jar Jar before the film opened because "that guy's gonna be the shit!" Set photos are leaking and being studied for every possible detail. Fan speculation is running rampant. And now we have a new trailer
This means I have at least a week of nothing but articles like this and this. And this. The excitement means we'll all speculate and talk, which yes is par for the course with excitment. But with Star Wars it's so much more intrusive. But, I was a Star Wars geek at one point, and my general interest in film means the trailer deserved a look.
Alright. Yeah. I admit. Goosebumps.
There is a lot of good in this trailer. I mean it. I considered ignoring this one in theaters out of spite, but now I realized those feelings were silly. This looks good. A lot to like here.
But the true moment where I finally decided maybe this is worth checking out was at the end.
It was when Harrison Ford stood next to Chewbacca inside the Milennium Falcon and said "Chewie..we're home."
I'll put it to you this way. It wasn't the delivery. It wasn't the line. It wasn't seeing Harrison Ford who still looks old, and I honestly don't care about the geriatric adventures of the original cast.
What sold me was the fact that Harrison Ford was grinning as he said it.
Harrison Ford is Hollywood's crotchety old man. He's notorious for giving shitty interviews and he doesn't ever seem to want to engage with the people who love him. When asked the age old Star Wars question, "Who shot first?" he replied with "I don't know and I don't care." Just because he's involved doesn't immediately mean he's excited about it.
Ford also isn't exactly the most successful actor in Hollywood these days. Aside from his numerous real life plane crashes, his films haven't performed. He's struggled to be the lead he once was for one reason or another. Perhaps he's too iconic and is type cast. Whatever the case the box office hasn't loved him the way it used to. Hell, he wasn't even originally supposed to be in The Expendables 3-the film series about older action icons, but was asked after Bruce Willis dropped out over contract disputes.
So seeing Ford appear to be genuinely excited and actually acting again says more to me than anything that has come before. I still think the title is stupid. (Nothing inspires snoring like The Force Awakens) I still think Star Wars fans are annoying (and yes I was once among them) The prequel films are still irredeemable. And Return of the Jedi still fails to stick the landing.
All of this still stands. I'm still very skeptical. But if one of Hollywood's biggest grouches can genuinely look excited about this, then perhaps I should give it the benefit of the doubt too.