May the Fourth be with you Star Wars fans!
Since today has become the unofficial Star Wars holiday where all us fans are meant to honor and remember everything we love about our favorite space franchise – and forget everything that was done to it with the prequels – I thought I would talk about some Star Wars-related news.
I’m not sure exactly how or who started this ‘Star Wars Day’ thing. I understand May 4th sounds sort of like “May the Force….” but aren’t there more appropriate dates that could have been chosen? Like why not May 25 – the date when Star Wars was first released in 1977? Or how about May 14 – George Lucas’ birthday? Was there ever a date specified for Life Day in that Star Wars Holiday Special?
Anyway, I’ll play along with this Star Wars Day thing.
I thought I would take a moment and talk about the big casting announcement for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. It was made official a few days prior to Star Wars Day, so they kind of botched a well-timed piece of news on the unofficial holiday by jumping the gun a bit. I imagine if George Lucas was still left in charge he would have made a Special Edition Star Wars Day for this casting announcement.
It really wasn’t that much of a surprise anyway was it? Didn’t we all know the original cast were going to appear in Abrams’ Episode VII film? I recall writing a blog about this over a year ago. So even if the news coincided on Star Wars Day it still wouldn’t have exactly rocked my world.
Original trilogy stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker will be back to reprise their roles they first made famous in that little movie from back in 1977.
Now think about that for a minute. Just let that sink in.
It’s been nearly forty years from the time we first met them in these roles. Thirty-two years since we last saw them in Return of the Jedi and now they’ll be stepping back into the intergalactic boots of Han, Luke and Leia for fans.
Not to take anything away from Mayhew, Daniels and Baker, but they all returned to their wookie and droid roles in the prequels before. I don’t think it took much arm twisting to coerce them to come back again.
Other than signing autographs at conventions, they probably didn’t have much else going on anyway. Plus, in the movies they’re covered in metal and hair so it’s not like we see their faces on the big-screen. They’re characters are ageless. Oh well, Chewbacca he’s probably getting some greys at this point. The bigger more exciting news is their human co-stars are making their return.
I think this might be some sort of record. I remember when The Odd Couple II came out and that was supposedly the longest gap between a film and its sequel with the same stars. The original came out in 1968, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau returned in 1998. That was thirty years.
I guess we’d have to go by Jedi in 1983 since that was the last appearance we saw the trio. So between then and Episode VII’s release date of December 19, 2015 that’s thirty-two years. It has to be some kind of record here right? If anyone knows for sure let me know.
I suspect the three will only be supporting players, offering sage advice to the new younger heroes and will step aside for them to handle all the action. Disney and Abrams have to consider action figure versions of these elder heroes won’t fly off the pegs as the more youthful exciting characters the movie is bound to have. Five-year-olds like to play with Star Wars characters that shoot guns and run around and stuff.
Hamill and Fisher supposedly have been assigned nutritionists and trainers to help prepare for their roles. Hamill will look fine as an older, wiser Jedi. Ford, well Ford hasn’t stopped kicking ass since his Star Wars days so there’s really no problem there. He’s maintained a prolific career, we all know how he’s looking these days. Fisher is the one who will probably get most of the scrutiny for her appearance. It’s always tougher for women.
Fisher has had health problems for a long time with her weight going all over the place. Her reprising her role, a role that famously sent young boys into hyperdrive and has since been immortalized as the pinnacle of geek and sexual fantasies colliding together, will undoubtedly draw a lot of attention.
I saw some recent photos of her and it looks like she lost a bunch of weight and should look fine as the middle-aged princess. No one should expect her or any of these guys to look the way they did. It’s been over thirty years! But they want to make them look the best they possibly can.
This casting all could be a very calculated way to overstep the prequel mess George made and remind older fans that these new batch of films will be nothing like those. Like they’ll attempt to use the nostalgia factor of the three stars to welcome cynical fans back from the Dark Side.
What’s funny to me is how some have already taken to calling Episode VII ‘the real sequel’ and completely dismissing George’s own prequels as nothing more than a soulless batch of movies that were an animated toy commercial. These are the ones we’ve really been waiting for. Look you have the original cast, it will literally take place after the original trilogy, Laurence Kasdan is back helping with the script and ironically George is nowhere near the thing!
Already Abrams and his cast have ignited a new hope.