“The Force is strong with this one.”
It certainly is. Not only is Episode VII the first new Star Wars release in ten years, but it is also the first in a planned reboot of the franchise – something that promises to bring us spinoff characters and a broadening of the movie’s universe as a whole. What makes that interesting is that it will be the first high profile attempt to do that with a movie franchise that isn’t about comic book superheroes. Sure, Marvel Studios famously made the ‘universe’ approach trendy and profitable, but it is surely no coincidence that this plan for Star Wars kicked into action when the franchise came under the ownership of Disney (also owner of Marvel).
‘The Force’ is now right there in the title: The Force Awakens. What, if anything, does this tell us about the movie? Well, there are the obvious points – that it highlights a reawakening of the franchise, and indicates it being an extension of the original trilogy. But for the title to be revealed as effective, it must work with the chosen storyline, as well as the status of the movie itself.
Now, we can look forward to months of wondering what the implications are in terms of the characters of the film. We know that those characters will be played by Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Peter Mayhew, and we also know that we will be seeing characters played by Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max Von Sydow, among others.
The title itself creates a sense of something powerful stirring, and looming large. As fans, we associate The Force mainly with the side of the righteous, but we also know that it can be a powerful tool for the Dark Side. If The Force is awakening, who will use it most, and for what purpose? Additionally, and in conjunction with the knowledge that Episode VII is set some years after the events of Return Of The Jedi, we have to wonder, why has The Force been slumbering?
– Sarah Myles