Star Wars Rant Episode 2: HYPE-RDRIVE

By Ryan

SWr2-1Ah yes, like the eruption of John William’s opening crawl music after our hand clenching anticipation, we finally got to see more about what Abrams and crew have been crafting for the past two years. The Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens poster and trailer came out last week, and I couldn’t be more excited. As I’ve said before, we don’t know where we are going in the new movies and that is the greatest risk of all. With every great risk there could come an even greater reward.

I was raised on the tit of the mother sci fi. It is a big freakin’ deal. There are those that could say that this long milked series isn’t all its hyped up to be. That it was good for its time, and substance has since been lost to the sands of Tatooine in the Prequel Trilogy. I say you’re half right, and the other half of me squeals like a little fan boy.

And so this rant today is allowing me to awaken my inner fan boy. To discuss my curiosities and favourite glimpses from the new poster and trailer. In the article ahead, I don’t spoil anything really, but ask questions of speculation. But as always, proceed with caution.

This is no Drew Struzan poster, but it does tell a story worth looking into. The most obvious standouts of this poster is on the left and right sides. Kylo Ren and Rey have their weapons paralleled, and Finn is holding Anakin’s old lightsaber in front of what appears to be the revealed StarKiller Base.

Kylo Ren is a title, much like Darth Vadar, except we’ve been told by JJ that he is not a Sith. Could JJ be lying? Could they explore further the idea of a Dark Jedi? Vader was described by The Emperor as a Dark Jedi, but not a Sith. Could the Sith have fallen down to the depths of the death star with Palpatine? I excitedly digress! Kylo Ren is gripping his controversial crossguard lightsaber, which was revealed to be constructed by him, and is aligned with one of the main characters of The Force Awakens, Rey. Notice another main character/symbol of Star Wars, as well. The rising sun of a new day. A new hope?

Rey, who may or may not have a familiar last name, is standing next Kylo, who may or may not have a familiar first and last name. Rey (or possibly Rachel) wears a Skywalker-inspired scavenger outfit perfect for the sandy setting of Jakku. Is Rey the Catniss Everdeen of the new trilogy? Is she a twist on the boy that could? Or is she completely unrelated to the Original Trilogy characters? Could this be JJ building new family trees into the Star Wars cannon? Will she be force sensitive? Will she turn? Either way, she looks like a badass, and she looks fucking gorgeous doing it.

SWr2-2Taping into many old MacQuirrie and Lucas concepts for inspiration, the Starkiller Base name comes from the old last name of Luke Skywalker, and sounds eerily similar to the Original Trilogy’s Death Star. “An ice planet converted into a stronghold of the First Order and armed with a fiercely destructive new weapon capable of destroying entire star systems.” (

This is a planet! A new take on the Death Star idea. The new and the familiar. This is the only thing on the poster that actually has me worried. But is this not the logical step the empire/first order would take? Does this section of the planet open up, or is it always there? Is this an improved version with a different weakness? Can this planet move?

That’s no moon, and that’s also no Skywalker wielding the lightsaber. Or is it? We could be played! Finn, who also doesn’t have a revealed last name, is striking a confident pose in the back of Rey. Finn could be his last name. Is he related to anyone of the Original Trilogy? Do we discover his roots in the movie or a television series? Is he the love child of Leia and another character, possibly Lando? Could that add a new tension to the Han and Leia’s relationship? Or does JJ show us that the force can awaken in anyone that chooses to do what is right? That the light side is always there in anyone one who has the potential for greatness.

We see new and familiar faces and machines on the poster as well. The new and the familiar – a motif that we will see throughout the movie. The Resistance has: Chewy, Han, Leia, C3PO, R2, the X wings, the Falcon, and assuming the new characters as well: Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac plays the best damn pilot in the galaxy), what appears to be Maz Kanata (Lupita N-yongo’s possible Yoda like character and what could be a big middle finger to Jar Jar Binks), and everyone’s new favourite cutie-pie BB-8! The enemies on this trailer are: the newly designed, yet familiar looking, troopers of the First Order. Along with their leader Captain Phasma, who will probably take on the Boba Fett like role of looking badass and kicking serious ass. Star Destroyers are also seen on the poster, most likely redesigned in the First Order.

The one thing that leaves you wanting more is the absence of Luke Skywalker. Abrams signed on after hearing “Who is Luke Skywalker?” so this is feeling more and more like JJ’s most arousing use of his mystery box to date. Where is Luke? What has he done? Is he the last Jedi? Is he the Yoda of this trilogy? Will he be more of a main character in the next movie? What will he look like? How will he sound? Is he hiding? Is he hiding from something or hiding away with a mysterious motivation? Where does he stand on being a Jedi? Will we see the return of Darth Vader? Ok that last one is a stretch but you never know. The mystery surrounding Luke’s character is not only genius from a story stand point, it’s bound to sell new Luke toys off the shelves for the next marketing phase!

With so many new characters and the much needed tribute to the older ones, this is probably one of the best posters we could ask for. It’s alignment is different from any poster in the past. It gives us a reboot feeling with the new logo at the bottom, and really makes you wonder how much is given away on this poster without anything being said at all.

Onto my post game wrap up of the Giants and Eagles game! No! But seriously, I was angry at the clock guys who added seven minutes to the ticker with only six seconds left in the 2nd quarter!

SWr2-3Here are my top favourite moments from the trailer!

The opening swipe from stars to Rey’s scavenger mask was a jaw dropping moment. Those re-purposed storm trooper goggles are perfect. The high notes of piano combined with the mystery of the character and scene almost made me drool.

SWr2-4Onto the matte painting set of inside the Star Destroyed and my first thought was “This! Now this is Star Wars.” This reminded me of Oblivion which was a visually striking movie. Great inspiration for the open frontier and a down to earth Star Wars setting.

SWr2-5“I am no one.” “…I’ve got nothing to fight for.” I smiled hearing this dialogue. Meaningful dialogue is always welcome in Star Wars. There’s nowhere to go but up into the Stars. This shot made me smile and reminded me of The Phantom Menace. A new hero coming about a desert settlement. Could this be where the pirates live? Why is Finn wearing all black in a desert world? He’s carrying that jacket like it isn’t his and he’s got to bring it back to its owner…perhaps like the lightsaber? It’s assumed he gets the jacket from Poe, but how does he get Anakin’s lightsaber?

SWr2-6“Nothing will stand in our way.” The talk of a man of purpose. A man who believes he is doing what is right. This is one of, if not my favourite clip from the new trailer. The tone of the music changes here, you hear is ominous voice, and I just fucking love it. Could Kylo Ren be our main anti-hero of the new trilogy? Is there an anti-hero’s journey we have yet to explore? My only gripe with this scene is that Kylo’s helmet looks a tad bit large without his hood.

SWr2-7Poe is now a POW, and a subject for what Leia resisted so well in A New Hope. We get to see the force mind pull in action. What does this force power do to him? He looks really beat up, and we can see that in earlier trailers with him sporting new wounds on his face. The music swells here to John William’s Love Theme, and it sent shivers throughout my body. Do we see the Starkiller Base in action? Will we see the destruction of any planets and moons from the previous trilogies?

What is there not to love about that sequence of shots. And to top it off, we see what is probably an IMAX chase on Jakku!

SWr2-8 I absolutely loved this part! Han’s character arch is just perfectly revealed here. I’ve seen some shit kid.

SWr2-7The Knights of Ren. This is just badass in every sense of the word. The words “Holy Shit!” came out of my mouth. I would love to see the knights get medieval on our heroes asses and stir up some evil.

SWr2-8Another shot telling me that the sets in this movie are practically beautiful. This limping robot looks like it is protecting the castle. Kind of looks like JJ’s Bad Robot eh?

SWr2-9Yes! A glimpse of Leia. Wow they really tightened her up for this!

SWr2-10And finally the trailer comes to a close. I love Finn’s reaction to the impending doom of Kylo Ren. That’s a perfect expression to the looming menace. Give him a hand! He might need one.

Overall, this trailer gives me a somewhat clearer sense of the plot, but also makes me wonder what surprises have yet to be shown. What twists JJ and crew has in store for us. With all the conjecture, rumours, speculation, expectations, and hype surrounding even just the teasers and trailers, we are witnessing entertainment history. There’s no telling what the future of this franchise holds. I know I’ll still be a fanboy at heart.

May the force be with you,




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