China’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer Gives Away More of the Plot Than …

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

John Boyega got some superhero help for his role in The Force Awakens.

Today the release of a movie trailer is an entertainment event unto itself, with hyped teases, huge plot information dumps, and hours (upon hours) of scene-by-scene analysis after the fact. The 23-year-old star of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was starting to question a lot of things about what life would hold now that he was part of what’s expected to be one of the biggest films of all time. A few years ago those games took the form of console titles that told largely the same story as the film, but more recently they’ve shifted to mobile, where it’s faster and cheaper to develop a game alongside a movie. In fact, movie trailers used to be much simpler, with straightforward voice-over explaining why audiences should go see a movie, and little of the stylistic flourishes we take for granted today.

For the unlovely architects of this slogan, the appearance of London-born actor John Boyega in the new film was evidence of #whitegenocide and “cultural misappropriation”. Conspiracy theories took note that JJ Abrams, the talent behind the Star Wars reboot, was both Jewish and a “known” Obama supporter. “It’s just Black Lives Matter in Space” shouted one protester into the echo chamber.

Normal folks everywhere, by way of response, sighed or face-palmed before moving on to the next tale of internet crazies: What do you mean, Mad Max: Fury Road has been taken over by the bloody wimmin? #whitemaleextinction. But a new add-on released this week lets players explore the “Battle of Jakku,” an event alluded to in the upcoming movie, but never really explored before (it’s the reason you see all of those downed Star Destroyers rusting away in the desert in the trailers). Disney Infinity 3.0, the first game in the toys-to-life series to introduce Star Wars characters, which launch an expansion on December 18th that covers the new movie, and includes toys based on characters like Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren.

Abrams, who scored his first major TV hit with the female-centric Felicity, may have occasionally attracted flak for being too fast and furious with his exciting but unphilosophical Star Trek films or for being overly Spielbergian with Super 8. He didn’t want to burden his fellow veteran cast mates like Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill with questions about their experiences and how they handled their light speed ascendancy to otherworldly stardom. Meanwhile, EA just launched Galaxy of Heroes, which mashes together characters from every era of Star Wars for a free-to-play, collectible RPG where you create teams of iconic characters from the series. Just ask Gwendoline Christie, who plays Captain Phasma, a role that was originally written for a man but was gender- swapped to facilitate more equitable representation and to make room for the rather wonderful Christie.

The actor, by now, is well-accustomed to androgynous military women, having spent several seasons in armour as Game of Thrones’ Brienne of Tarth and having lately stepped out as Commander Lyme in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. “In film and television, there’s a long tradition of non-essential women,” says Christie. “Being in Game of Thrones, where you are surrounded by well-rounded, brilliant female characters, has taught me a lot.” “It’s just the biggest thing,” Christie says. “One of the reasons that I loved Captain Phasma is that not only is she the first female villain in Star Wars, but I think it’s unusual for a female character to be presented in this kind of uniform. “Whatever wonderful random series of things that cause us to look the way we look is not relevant here. It was the start of a true friendship that’s since resulted in more hours-long chats, hang-outs, and even a chicken and waffles date. “Good lord we get deep,” Boyega said of their conversations. “For the most part it’s definitely private, but in general, his thing has always been inner peace and how to deal with this on a mental level. Add the loss of various senses and it really felt like you were working in another dimension.” It’s not just equal opportunities on the Dark Side. Taking care of your mental health is something that he talks to me about.” Whether it’s Downey’s influence or not, Boyega has been weathering the attention with expert grace — even the ugly stuff.

Elsewhere, the film, which is set some years after the events depicted in The Return of the Jedi (hence those roles for Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher) utilises a dual protagonist structure, as reformed Stormtrooper Finn (Boyega) teams up with Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger from the planet Jakku. So as other people are moving into it, we have precedence in some places.” In other words, each game provides a tiny taste of the upcoming film, and each offers a very different experience.

The fast-paced action of Battlefront, for instance, is great for showing off a huge battle, giving players a real sense of the scale and size of the conflict by actually putting them there. A lively creature in an androgynous striped suit, she looks as if she might have been cloned using spliced DNA samples from Keira Knightly and Natalie Portman. “I get Keira a lot,” she says. “I really don’t look that distinctive.

The more story-driven Uprising, meanwhile, was a better choice for filling in some of the gaps between the original trilogy and the upcoming slate of films. The multi-game approach is something EA and Disney plan to continue as more and more Star Wars movies launch, but it might not be a strategy that can apply to other franchises. After all, there are few properties that can support multiple game releases, across mobile and console, simultaneously, the way Star Wars can. “I think Star Wars is unique,” says McCully. “I can’t think of another franchise that has the depth and the lore and the ability to have that many different experiences.”

Who one day is alone and scavenging for food and the next finds herself on a great adventure. “I don’t think it’s just girls that will look up to Rey. By 19, he had tread the boards at the National Theatre and was named by Screen International as one to watch, based on his screen debut in Attack the Block.

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