There is something dizzyingly exciting about the Star Wars franchise. Sure, I may have a fanboy bias but, the Force is strong with the film franchise. If the originals were pretty good and the prequels disappointing, Episode VII ‘The Force Awakens’ was a refreshing shot in the arm that rejuvenated a dormant franchise by, doing exactly what the original franchise did. After the success of Rogue One, it is needless to say how excited I was for Episode VII, ‘The Last Jedi.’ As it turned out, the new trailer has only hyped me more.
Here are my thoughts about ‘The Last Jedi’ trailer,
When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power. And beyond that, something truly special.’
# Luke Skywalker is Back …. As mentor?
The original Harry Potter is back. This time, training Rey in the forms and art of the Force. Last time we saw him, he was living out a lonely, secluded life in exile on an island. Maybe, we’ll finally see how he got there. Maybe, we’ll finally see how the Knights of the Ren took over. And maybe, we’ll finally learn of the fate of the revered Jedi temple that Luke has been hallucinating about all these years. What we do know is this, Luke is wary of the power Rey possesses, unbeknownst to her.
# Everyone, Everything Goes Sideways
Boy, that was a pretty serious and dark trailer. Quite unlike the Episode VII trailer with that beautiful theme. What’s striking, however, is how every character and every situation seems to go sideways.
Luke is fearful of the raw potential of the Force in Rey, while Rey is probably upset with Luke at his inability to provide any answers.
I need someone to show me my place in all this, Rey says. Cue an extended hand from Ren. Will she turn to the Dark Side? Or is that just some clever misdirect? Time will tell.
# Princess Leia’s Last Stand
RIP Carrie Fisher. Princess Leia died tragically last year. And, although she died after finishing most of her scenes for Episode VIII, the trailer does seem to reflect the void Leia is set to leave in the Star Wars Universe.
It would seem that Kylo Ren’s path to truly unlocking his Dark Side goes through Leia and ending her one and for all. Cue nervous tension.
# Still Not Sold on Kylo Ren
One of the major gripes I had with Force Awakens was how weak it made Ren seem. This was a Jedi of supreme ability, trained by Luke Skywalker and Emperor Snoke, and he loses a lightsaber battle against a woman of no note? And sure, she has the Force and all but, doesn’t he as well? I really hope Episode VIII of Star Wars sells how badass Kylo Ren is. If Ren can just channel half of how menacing Vader was, I’ll be happy.
Also, I may be in the minority but, I still don’t buy Adam Driver as Ren. A part of me still imagines someone like Colin Farrell in that role.
# A few random notes,
- Poe is back. Finn is back. And, Captain Phasma is back. Now, with extra suit polish. I am so hyped for Traitor Vol. II
- Star Wars has some new characters to unveil. Including Porg, which looks like a Pokémon. Expect merchandise sale to go through the roof.
- New AT-AT and Tie Fighters for the Empire. It astonishes me how the Empire seems to upgrade its military with every new movie. Maybe, the Indian military should get on it. Be inspired, maybe?
- Every Star Wars film looks even more beautiful than the last. Also, what about those amazing variations of the theme. Hyped, is an understatement.
Star Wars, India and Bhai
The Star Wars franchise is one of the oldest, and the first truly great franchise to grace the world’s silver screens. George Lucas’s world of Jedis and Wookies and Walkers captured the imagination of the world in a way no film before it had.
India is no different. However, Star Wars has never sent Indian cinemagoers in a crazy, standing in the rain for six straight hours way.
The primary obstacle to the release of Star Wars films in India is its release date. Disney and Lucasfilms releases these films to coincide with the festival season, around Christmas to maximize their profits. That’s well and good in the international market. When it comes to India however, a release around Christmas almost always means it has to clash with bigger, homegrown releases starring some of our bigger stars.
In 2015 for instance, The Force Awakens’ release coincided with that of SRK’s awful but, superhit ‘Dilwale’ and Bhansali’s period drama, ‘Bajirao Mastani.’ Further, Disney’s requirement that it only release films in DCI compliant theatres makes its reach limited to multiplexes.
And sure, it did earn almost $5 million in India but, this was nowhere near the earnings of the Marvel, DC films or Jurassic World or even Furious 7. Rogue One, the standalone Star Wars film that followed did worse, in the face of Aamir Khan’s overrated ‘Dangal’ next year.
This year, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi will be competing against Salman Khan’s ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ when it releases. A Salman Khan film. Now, that is a toughie. And sure, Tubelight was a box office disaster but, his charm at the BO is unlikely to wear off soon. Even if it did, doesn’t really mean Star Wars is in any position to benefit from it. And, that’s a shame.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi may win accolades and may make box office history around the world. In India? Na. Bhai will see to that.
Image Sources: Google Images
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