Squeaky Mouse Droid: “It’s about to go down!”
“You have to pause, take a breath, slow down, and really not freak out.”
– John Boyega, The Force Awakens Comic Con Special Effects Reel
John Boyega’s quote is particularly apt as we approach the homestretch – those last few months – leaving up to the release of Episode Seven and, subsequently, the relaunching of the mythology under the Disney banner. Considering that, for many people, this is not just a franchise but a sort of mythology that has been with us for nearly forty years and has seeped, like the Force itself, into all aspects of popular culture, actually seeing something new, actually seeing where the stories will go next, is something that takes a moment to sink in. Like Boyega, it would be wise for us fans that have been with this franchise from the beginning to pause, take a breath, and slow down, and not freak out.
It may be too late to pause. It may be too late to not freak out! The real push by Lucasfllm’s marketing geniuses is about to begin.
Next week, on what is dubbed “Force Friday” (September 4), a new assortment of toys relating to the new film hit shelves. Star Wars and its corresponding toy-line have always been a strong symbiotic relationship right from the word “go” in the mid-seventies when the fist film was being made: while the movie studios never would have guessed that a toy line based on films would be truly successful, Star Wars creator George Lucas had different instincts, and the studios didn’t mind giving him the rights to market the film using toys, and the rest is history. His foresight about toys bolstered his personal fortune in a way that simple making movies never could have, but what’s interesting about Star Wars toy-lines is how they enhance the film-viewing experience. Every character imaginable has a toy, and thus, a unique name, and a potential backstory. Certainly seeing the toys form the new glimpse can only add to the speculation about where the story for the new film will go and how the pieces will fall into place.
With Force Friday a week away, Lucasfilm has dropped a little nugget of new footage – something really really brief, but it’s enough to whet the appetite and really consider where this story is going: a fifteen second teaser has dropped on Instagram. It starts with a shot of the First Order gathering (which had previously been seen in a Korean TV spot) before cutting to a shot of a concerned Rey who is with BB-8 in environment we hadn’t seen the two of them in before, before we come to the most interesting part of the teaser. We see that familiar shot of Kylo Ren traipsing through a dark snowy forest igniting is broadsword lightsaber, and then we see Finn there, standing in the same environment, igniting his won blue lightsaber. In face, it might not be his own blue lightsaber; it’s likely that this lightsaber once belonged to Luke Skywalker, and the relic itself plays an important part of the plot of the film.
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We had previously seen this shot of Boyega in a sense, as part if a painting by the legendary artist Drew Struzan which was used for a Force Awakens teaser poster exclusive to the recent D23 expo. Now, with this teaser, the painting has some context: Is Boyega’s Finn really going to throw down with Kylo Ren? As with all the other footage we’ve seen of Finn, he looks positively out of breath, but here, it’s easy to gather that he’s out of this depth. Oh, and you bet Boyega – the real Boyega who had to show up on set to film scenes like this – was loving every minute of this. It’s probably those moments he was actually referring to when he said the above quote.
Pause. take a breath. slow down.
Speaking of Kylo Ren, check out this awesome picture of him with the broadsword lightsaber. This guy is awesome in ways only Star Wars could give us.
Other news and rumors have been bandied about these last few weeks, such as the notion that Tarken will appear in Rogue One (due next year) as a CGI recreation of the late Peter Cushing. It’s important to again – take a breath slow down.. all the rumors, reports and actual news that;’s true, will all start to come thick and fast. Everything from leaked concept art to screenshots to wild rumors – they could all be in these upcoming films. Oh, by the way, did you notice someone that could be Lobot in the very background of the first official image from Rogue One’s cast, which dropped at D23 and you can see below? Maybe it’s him, maybe it’s not, but there’s plenty of time to find out.
It’s easy for all this new to blend together. It’s also not all that difficult to figure out what’s actually real news and not just click bait. It’s also easy to come to terms with the fact that, after over thirty years, we are going to find out what happened after that celebration on Endor. It’s easy to come to terms with all of these things, so long as you follow Boyega’s advice.