All I want for Christmas this year is for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to not ruin Christmas for me next year. The prequels already did a substantial job of thrashing the legacy of the original trilogy — Darth Vader just doesn’t seem quite as menacing after watching Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker whine and snivel his way through two movies. As a result, many of us are understandably gun-shy about the new installments, whether Episode movies or standalone installments.
Throw J.J. Abrams into the mix, and people are even more concerned. I’m not as down on Abrams as a director as a lot of people, but even I have to admit that he’s a hit-or-miss proposition as a filmmaker. His last effort, Star Trek Into Darkness is…well, let’s just say it leaves a lot to be desired, and the prospect of him taking over yet another beloved franchise has some people seriously worried.
Still, despite concerns, I’m trying to remain optimistic, and so far, outside of some rumors that we’ve heard that will be questionable at best if they turn out to be true, it’s been pretty easy to remain stoked. Since purchasing Lucasfilm, Disney has shown that they definitely have a plan in place for expanding the franchise to an unprecedented degree. They’re bringing in people who have a deep love for and connection to Star Wars, and the mix of familiar fan favorites and fresh faces in the cast illustrates that they intend to serve what has come before, but also blaze their own trail.
What we’ve seen of this revamped galaxy far, far away has been strong, and the overall plan shows a great deal of promise. The animated Star Wars Rebels has been fun, even though it is obviously aimed at a younger audience. And that trailer for The Force Awakens is totally awesome, even if you’re not a fan of BB-8, that new ball-rolling droid. With the sinister appearance of Kylo Ren, and the high action of the Millennium Falcon soaring around, they’re hitting on all of the things I love about Star Wars, which gives me hope.
All things considered, I’m cautiously optimistic that Star Wars: The Force Awakens won’t totally destroy what remaining faith we have in the franchise, and I’ll remain that way until something drastic brings me tumbling back to Earth.