‘Star Wars 7’ TV Spots Are Coming, But No More Trailers

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Darth Vader actor ‘not a bit interested’ in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

In terms of rampant hype, it is even giving the original space opera trilogy, which helped usher in the Hollywood blockbuster era and sold hundreds of millions of plastic lightsabers, a run for its galactic credits.Three important things happened in the middle of 1977, each separated by a little more than a month: “Star Wars” was released, I celebrated my 11th birthday and Elvis Presley died.

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailers released thus far have given us a good look at returning characters like Han Solo, Chewbacca and Princess Leia, but one has been conspicuous in his absence – original protagonist Luke Skywalker. One of those things is not like the others, I know, and strictly speaking there wasn’t then and isn’t now anything beyond calendar coincidence that links them together.

Asked by the Associated Press if there was a reason for Skywalker’s minimal screen time in the trailers, director Abrams replied: “It’s no accident. Dave Prowse, who portrayed the deadly Sith Lord onscreen for Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), told Yahoo! Others have speculated that a hooded figure who places a black, artificial hand on droid R2-D2 in the promo might be Obi-Wan Kenobe’s erstwhile disciple in disguise. Movies he wasn’t “the slightest bit interested” in any of Disney’s new Star Wars films – at least four are currently planned – unless he got to play Vader once again. “It depends,” he said. “It depends if I’m playing the part of Darth Vader in it … Yes – then I’d be very interested. I can’t wait for you to find out the answers.” Skywalker’s absence has inspired such frenzied speculation not only because Hamill was the ostensible star of the original Star Wars trilogy, but also because Abrams has previously revealed the question, “Who is Luke Skywalker?” inspired him to sign on for the long-running space opera.

Elvis, in his mid-40s at the time of his death, was for kids like me immutably the property of the old, a reminder of the moment in our parents’ youth when everything had changed. Advance ticket sales on both sides of the Atlantic have obliterated previous records, leading to speculation that Abrams’ film might challenge Avatar for the mantle of highest-grossing movie of all time. You know … not a lot, no.” The 80-year-old actor and former bodybuilder was in the Vader suit for much of the Sith Lord’s screen time and reputedly even got to speak his lines on set, though his west country tones were dubbed over with those of American actor James Earl Jones in post-production, and many of the fight scenes featured British Olympic fencer Bob Anderson. Prowse has previously signalled his disinterest in Lucas’s oft-maligned prequel trilogy, which attempted to tell the story of how Jedi Anakin Skywalker was turned to the dark side. “I didn’t like Star Wars I, II and III at all,” he told the Hull Daily Mail in 2013. “I think the common opinion now is they were really bad movies. Twenty-first century grown-ups who bemoan the hegemony of fantasy-based franchise movies — which is to say most of us, at one time or another — have only our own youthful enthusiasms to blame.

But the first “Star Wars” trilogy is also credited with opening up a dazzling world of fan culture, liberating nerds and geeks from the condescension of their elders and the mockery of their classmates and placing their passions at the center of the universe. Like rock ’n’ roll before it, this cultural dispensation may not have been immediately respectable, but it proved to be instantly profitable and endlessly renewable. Elvis made his indelible mark on baby boomer consciousness by putting a white face and an adolescent pout on a style of black Southern music that had been around a long time. In his generous, slightly patronizing New York Times review, Vincent Canby noted the movie’s evocation of “Flash Gordon” serials and “a variety of literature that is nothing if not eclectic: ‘Quo Vadis?,’ ‘Buck Rogers,’ ‘Ivanhoe,’ ‘Superman,’ ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ ‘The Gospel According to St.

Matthew,’ the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table.” George Lucas’s fellow cinephiles could point out his debts to John Ford and Akira Kurosawa. “Star Wars” might have looked like science fiction and played like an aerial-combat film, but it was also a western, a samurai epic and, at least when Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford were on screen together, a screwball comedy. Every teen nobody wonders how her life will turn out, but an insignificant pipsqueak inhabiting a vast landscape, be it Tatooine or the Montana of my youth, feels especially specklike staring up at an infinite sky. An exemplary act of what some of us would learn, in college a few years later, to identify as the distinctive postmodern aesthetic strategy of pastiche.

There were action-adventure movies, multi-sequel science-fiction allegories, comic books that had initiated generations of fans in the pleasures of serial narration. There was “The Lord of the Rings” (the books and Ralph Bakshi’s animated movie); “Planet of the Apes” (the movie and the animated Saturday morning cartoon spinoff); “Star Trek”; Mad magazine.

So David Puttnam, one of the greatest producers I’ve ever worked with and the most fun, said, “Screw them, let’s go see [“Star Wars”] at the Chinese [theater].” It was the first week. Here was the nascent population not yet known as Generation X, hungry for novelty, distraction, comfort, order, mythology, heroism — whatever it was that our post-’60s, recessionary moment seemed not to be supplying. I’m not sure how many times I saw “Star Wars” the year it came out, but I am certain that until the arrival of my children, a DVD player and a copy of “Toy Story 2,” there is no movie I have seen as often in such rapid succession. Hormones, hormones and “Star Wars.” That’s why children should watch “Star Wars” and not 21-year-old women, because you get very maternal toward Yoda. The novelist Jonathan Lethem, two years older than I am, has written (in a piercing essay called “13, 21, 1977”) about seeing it 21 times, usually by himself, during an especially painful period in his life.

You would be in someone’s rec room playing air hockey, or trying to pop wheelies on your bike, and you’d get bored with that and, if you hadn’t already spent your allowance, you’d head to the theater where the movie had been playing continuously since the end of the previous school year. My dad and I drove to the mall and stood in line three hours, for opening day of “Empire Strikes Back.” A whole lot of dads, a whole lot of screaming kids.

When my daughter Athena was 8, I showed her “Star Wars,” on the theory that as I was 8 when I saw that first film, it’s the perfect age to see it. They existed — the whole cosmos, or gestalt, or whatever it is, exists — in a realm beyond such judgments, and also beyond the ordinary operations of nostalgia. “Star Wars” is an old movie now, older now than Elvis Presley’s first records were in 1977.

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