So, the countdown to December and Star Wars Episode IX is underway…
This week saw the leak of merchandising poster art and a series of character designs for the new JJ Abrams film. The designs correspond with leaks reported at Making Star Wars, which gives weight to some of the rumours about plot revealed there – but then, we’ve all been burned before by fake spoilers.
Click through to see the images and read more!
Taking the poster at face value everything looks OK (or at least up to the standard of that horrific modern photo montage style that Star Wars uses now). Rey’s costume looks boring, Kylo Ren’s costume looks good again. The Knights of Ren will finally be a thing.
Oh yes, and C-3PO is armed to the teeth. Obviously.
What’s more interesting to me is that everything looks enough like Star Wars to pass. Finn looks cool in a traditional Star Wars sense, while Poe Dameron is rocking a 1930’s pulp adventurer look that’s long overdue and absolutely welcome in the Star Wars universe. Both the Knights of Ren and Zorri (the helmeted lady in purple) would look at home in the Prequel Trilogy. Speaking of which, the new red Stormtroopers have something of a Phase 2 Clone Trooper look to them as well.
This is all good stuff.
Hype vs Hyperspace
The leaked character art all but confirms how the cast are going to look. My overriding sense is that it’s a shame the creative team are only now finding their feet at the end of the trilogy, but ah well. If the film sucks at least we may still get some good toys from it.
This little bit of hope bring us on to the crux of the issue. Despite widespread disenchantment in the wake of The Last Jedi, you can sense the fan hype engines starting to rev into action once more. Of course it’s OK for people to like things and be excited, no qualms there. Yet for me, after The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, there’s a ceiling on my enthusiasm. Even though I’m excited to see what happens my excitement is tempered by experience.
Let’s not forget, people. JJ Abrams is to blame for a huge number of the issues in this trilogy.
So at this point my expectations are truly mixed. Abrams was constrained with how he could use Leia, and I hope the character gets the respect she deserves. I hope Lando isn’t trashed but I’m not going to hold my breath. I would put money on Abrams treating Luke Skywalker (Force ghost or otherwise) with more respect than Rian Johnson could muster… but then, that’s not exactly hard.
He undoubtedly brought some strengths to The Force Awakens as well. His enthusiasm for the new cast has been the creative high point of the Sequel Trilogy, and it will be exciting to see those characters in his hands again. Kylo Ren in particular will benefit from Abrams’ vision. Meanwhile, if Poe’s adventurer outfit plays out into any kind of on-screen escapades then I’ll be very happy.
This is it, then. The hype train has started. Check your expectations now, and strap in for the ride.
It’ll be over soon enough.