There has been an awakening, have you felt it?
Darkness rises and heroes must answer. It is an epic struggle between the forces of light and dark. Sound familiar? Well, in less than a month, Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits a cinema near you. This film does not merit the simple category of motion picture, it is an event – the film event of the year, in all honesty.
This is due to the simple fact that we know next to nothing about the development of plot, nor character. Luke Skywalker, played with robust zeal by Mark Hamill, appears as perhaps the main villain of the piece. Maybe. Daisy Ridley’s fish out water Rey has had every last name conceivable – from Skywalker, to Kenobi to Solo. Apparently. The mystery involved in the run-up to this nerdish nadir has not been topped, at least not in recent memory.
Usually, the run-up to a release of a new film is the constant stream of small plot points and secrets, which usually spoils the development of any sense of wonder. The Last Jedi, which will be enthusiastically reviewed next month by this humble author, has struck the correct balance between light and dark, remaining decidedly ambiguous in the face of the most intense scrutiny since The Who Shot Mr Burns fiasco of 1995.
While the tone of this article is one of light and self-deprecating humour, the serious undertone should not be lost. This film has rightly been heralded as a game changer, not just by director Rian Johnson (recently handed the reigns of another trilogy from 2020). As far as we can see, it aims to create a set piece reminiscent of the excellent addition to the LOTR franchise, The Two Towers. One can hope that from a fans perspective, that they do not rehash The Empire Strikes Back, much like the force awakens did with A New Hope.
But, the key power of the star wars franchise is to turn word of mouth into wide-eyed awe. You go to the cinema, expecting greatness – and then that score from John Williams kicks in. It inspires a sense of childlike wonder not heard for many years. Ultimately, more than a film, it is the event we deserve and need right now, in a year of despair and woe.
Remember, just breathe. Breathe…
Words by James Hill