Why I’m psyched for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Happy Star Wars Day! May the 4th be with you! (Don’t believe the date at the top. It’s still the 4th where I am.)
This article was released today with photos of the cast and I could not be more excited. My reasons stem from things other than childhood nostalgia.

1. “Force Awakens” has a female protagonist

I love princesses. I like tiaras, I like ballgowns, I will buy any Disney princess merchandise you tempt me with. I have no problem with princesses. All the important ladies in “Star Wars” were princesses. Or queens. Or senators. Or decoys. Or Mon Mothma.

And her job was…something.

But when I watched “Star Wars,” I never wanted to be a princess – I wanted to be a Jedi. In the prequels, female Jedi existed, but they didn’t have much bearing on the plot. Other than Master Librarian, female Jedi were just…there.

I had to look up her name on Wookieepedia…and be honest, you did, too.

Not anymore! Now I can experience sci-fi wish fulfillment thanks to Daisy Ridley! Hopefully, as far as protagonists go, she has more in common with Leia Organa than Luke Skywalker. I would have made a way better (read: less whiny) apprentice than Luke…as long as I got a purple lightsaber.

[Side note: Gwendolyn Christie has a role. I love Brienne of Tarth; I’m sure I will love Brienne of Tarth IN SPACE.]

2. Adam Driver, John Boyega, and Domhnall Gleeson

I am incredibly shallow.

Helloooo…

Adam Driver fascinates me. He’s like a tall, hilarious monster and I’m excited to see him play a villain.

No fair…they don’t make ’em this cute on my planet!

I’m not familiar with John Boyega, a fact I will gladly remedy. I’m wondering, though, how Finn can serve as a Stormtrooper when he’s clearly not a Maori clone.

Bill Weasley!? Of course you can star in this “Star Wars” movie! Be my quest! You did not get enough screen time in “Harry Potter.” (Please don’t play an alien and cover up that beautiful face.)

Oh, and Oscar Isaac’s in it, I guess. The only reason I’m not excited is because I’ve been fighting with a friend about the appeal of cocky space pirates/fighter pilots and I’m afraid Poe Dameron will fit that mold. I prefer angst to swagger (i.e., Finn and Kylo Ren).

3. The original trio is back

I might have cried during the new “Star Wars” trailer when Han and Chewie showed up. I heard some upsetting rumors about Harrison Ford wanting to be killed off and I hope that’s not true. Even if it is, I’m pumped to see how Luke, Leia, and Han will be incorporated into the new story.

4. The trailer promises action

I’ve been staring at this gif all day:
As loath as I am to admit it, I’m easily impressed by shooting, explosions, and desperate escapes. This looks so cool.

5. J. J. Abrams promised less CGI

I thought this was a smart move on Abrams’ part, especially after the prequel backlash. This sequel is 32 years in the making; fans who saw the original trilogy in theaters and people who grew up watching Star Wars on VHS will be swarming the theaters. To honor their nostalgia by creating a similar feel to the old trilogy is a nice–if shrewd–gesture. I’m hoping this means the movie is heavy on story rather than spectacle.

6. It’s an original story

There’s something exciting about not knowing what to expect. Abrams and his crew are releasing information bit by bit. While I’m going crazy knowing there are 8 months of torture until “The Force Awakens” is released, I’m also glad that the movie will be a surprise. I’ve read some of the Expanded Universe and wasn’t particularly impressed with the stories they were considering for the seventh film, especially the ones with Han and Leia’s kids. I didn’t think Space Hogwarts would go over well with long-time fans, and I didn’t love Jaina Solo or Tenel Ka in terms of female representation.

My high school physics teacher told a story about seeing “A New Hope” for the first time in 1977. He said he couldn’t hear any of the dialogue because the audience cheered the entire time.

I have a feeling, once the music starts and I see the text scroll, I’ll be the one cheering my head off and driving future physics teachers insane.

December can’t come quickly enough. I’m hoping for greatness. As Canadian folk hero Zap Rowsdower put it: “Come on, baby, don’t let me down.”

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