The Star Wars franchise is enormous, spanning from movies to comic books to LEGO sets. In the years since the release of the movie prequels, the entire enterprise has slowly expanded. The release of the Star Wars animated series and the Clone War movie were test runs for a massive expansion of the franchise: three more movies. Episode VII: The Force Awakens proved to be a massive success in the box office with over 2 billion dollars.
However, can Episode VIII live up to the commercial success of the franchise?
The Episode VIII Teaser Trailer was released on April 16; as of April 20, it had nearly 30 million views. Clearly, Star Wars fans are excited about the new film–but some are worried about the characters.
Nathan Gamble, a senior at Leesville, sees a parallel between the original three movies and the new releases. It’s that parallel that worries him.
“In the middle of the original trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back, our expectations were subverted, and the movie ended without a really happy ending. Our heroes–instead of triumphing and saving the day–were battered and beaten down,” said Gamble. At the beginning of the trilogy, A New Hope, the main characters reigned triumphant over a defeated Empire; at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, they barely escaped with their lives.
“Han was frozen, Luke was missing a hand–and turned out to be the son of the most feared villain in the galaxy. So with that history from the original trilogy being a loose guideline for these upcoming movies, I’m really on eggshells for what will happen with Rey, Finn, and Poe,” said Gamble, naming the three new protagonists.
The trailer runs just over two minutes, filled with rushed action and beautiful vistas. It also includes a number of hints to the plot of the movie, spanning from a montage of Rey in Dagobah-esque training to a shot of Kylo Ren’s shattered mask. Shots of Finn in a medical tank and an explosion at a Rebellion base show that the First Order has begun serious counterattacks against the Alliance. Long-term fans will be excited to see the return of the Millennium Falcon, and people who follow the comic book series will see several references to ancient Jedi manuscripts. The trailer closes out with a shot of Luke saying, “It’s time for the Jedi to end.”
What does this mean? We’ll find out in December of 2017.
“I’m just really excited to be along for the ride in a new age of great Star Wars movies,” said Gamble.