The new Star Wars movie trailer is out and it is riveting. J.J. Abrams seems to have a good understanding of where his Star Wars audience is and has contrived a way to connect with them. I’d like to explore that (what I think I see) here.
The crashed Star Destroyer in the desert could represent the crashed legacy of the Star Wars franchise in terms of the disenfranchised Star Wars loving audience. Instead of iconically flying overhead the desert planet as merely a model spaceship, we get this larger than life relic of the past resting in ruin down on the desert landscape itself. Fallen from grace.
The female character is a self-proclaimed “no one” merely living her life deep in Star Wars sci-fi fantasy mythological culture. A place every fanboy, fangirl, and fanqueer would love to be lost in (“Sure I work at Best Buy…*on Nar Shaddaa*.”). She dramatically explores the ruins of the cavernous Star Destroyer, which could represent emotionally inhabiting the legacy of Star Wars itself. The ruins of our childhood are still there and we inhabit them.
Similarly the disenfranchised stormtrooper represents the demographic of disillusioned fandom. What do we do with this legacy? Where can we turn with these Star Wars feels from our childhood? How do we successfully connect with them again? We presumably have these shitty grown up lives (represented by the monotony of life as an imperial soldier dedicated to amoral purposes) and we need to be inspired again.
Of course the bad guy tells us he will finish what Darth Vader started. Our Dark Father of Childhood Feels, George Lucas (who presumably has been paid to claim he’s had nothing to do with any of this) started this and his Star Wars legacy is as burnt and mangled as the crispy helmet of Darth Vader. JJ Abrams and Disney executives intend to finish the job (or rather get the ball rolling endlessly milking this far away galaxy).
Touch on a massive blast of fandom pent up rage and plow through to a glorious shot of the Millennium Falcon flying through this new landscape just like we might have imagined it flying in the midst of our bedroom play areas.
We need to be told from an authoritative source that it all really meant something. And an aged Han Solo is the one to tell us it’s all real and validates that it all really happened. The epic events of the original trilogy are real. The Force is real. Going into hyperspace with the Millennium Falcon really happened (that’s actually my second memory in life).
And together we’ll charge headlong and confront the forces of darkness. We’ll get to step into the types of roles a young Luke Skywalker played in the battle against the Empire and be greeted warmly. Women and people of color, too, front and center. Finally! We’ll explore new places. Passionately fight new battles. Be held captive right alongside our childhood icons.
We’re reminded that our Star Wars feels are calling to us, beckoning us to be inspired again. “Just let it in.” It’s okay to love Star Wars again. Really. Show us on the 5th release of the full boxed set of Star Wars special edition DVDs where George hurt you.
It is convenient to believe that the Force and our inspired childhood feels have merely been dormant in this intervening time. The passionless prequels exist, but weren’t energized (I apologize for the Trekkie rhetoric!). Now we can believe we’re getting a huge Christmas present and the Force will awaken again after its long slumber since 1983.
And I must say, so far it’s working. For me at least. Is it working for you?
May the buckets at Disney will overflow with cash and the shareholders and fandom can rejoice. Corporate-consumer symbiosis properly achieved.