Why Am I Suddenly Excited For Star Wars, Episode VII?
The Disney-Lucasfilm corporate fornication did not reach my ears immediately upon its occurrence, as I was huddling in the dark around a barrel fire, eating charred squirrel during the hurricane.
But, once it did reach my ears, my initial response was an overwhelming…
Mnuh? Guh? Eh. Whatever.
Star Wars? Big part of my youth. As it was a part of the collective youth of many in my age range. The first trilogy was a fundamental narrative marker in our burgeoning personalities, for better or for worse. It left its fingerprint. Indelible and undeniable.
Then, the new trilogy came out — and, for that I was geeked beyond belief. That hearty nerd-wind filled my sails until I finally saw Phantom Menace and… was… excited at first? And then after that, a series of diminishing returns. My mind, affected the same way an addict’s mind is affected: that single dopamine rush never again experienced. The new trilogy could not match the power of the first, and with ever repeated viewing and every new film, the geyser of pleasure lessened until eventually it was just an airy splutter from a gassy garden hose. Splurt. Pbbbt. Dribble.
I’m not one of those people who think that the new trilogy is some kind of betrayal to my childhood. I don’t think they’re the worst films ever put on screen. They have some great stuff. They also have some face-punching, head-scratching storytelling going on. I don’t think Lucas betrayed us. I just think he kinda…
Missed the mark. Hubris and hamartia.
So: new trilogy gets announced, I just wasn’t that excited. I had as much excitement as one would have when, say, hearing an announcement for a new “triple-exxxtreme-ultra-mouth-blaster” flavor of Mountain Dew: I’m happy for those that care, but I won’t be partaking, thanks.
And yet, something’s changed.
I have this feeling —
Effervescent. Bubbly. Like Mountain Dew but without the horrible taste. A giddy, giggly something inside.
You might be saying, “Ahh, it’s because Chuck heard that Lucas isn’t really all that involved.”
Maybe it’s that Harrison Ford said he’d be happy to resume the role of Han Solo.
Or that Carrie Fisher wants to play Leia again.
Nope, and nope. (Actually, I’m not sure either of those are a good idea.)
Maybe it’s that Michael Arndt, kick-ass screenwriter and big story-thinker extraordinaire, is tackling the film? Or that they have a number of high-octane directors in line to take control of the franchise?
Nope, but that does inflate the “hope balloon” by several liters of warm, cozy air.
Here’s what it is:
When I saw Star Wars: Episode IV, I was four years old.
And, when Episode VII drops, my son will be four years old.
I’ll be able to take my son to a brand new Star Wars film.
And it’ll be his. It won’t be mine. Maybe I’ll like it. Maybe I’ll love it. But if it’s done right — and I hope that it is — it’ll mark him in a way that it won’t mark me. It’ll be a thing he remembers, a thing that gets him happy and gives him imagination fuel for the next ten, twenty, thirty years.
That’s why I’m excited. Because it’s coming full circle. It’s not about Lucas or Han Solo or any screenwriter or director. It’s about what I can show to and share with my son.
I’m excited because the Force will one day be with him, too.