100th Post! Full Circle: “There’s Something Familiar About This Place”

What Can We Expect When The Force Awakens This Thursday? 

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“The secrecy has been beyond ludicrous. For heaven’s sake, it’s a movie. When I got the script it was typed in black on paper of the deepest red so you couldn’t photocopy it…” – Anthony Daniels. 

It’s May 1980.

A new Star Wars movie is just DAYS away. 

An all-consuming swirl of excitement and curiosity warps my infant mind. ‘CAN’T WAIT!!’ is the only – albeit frantic – message my brain will process. It’s impossible to do anything else. How can a second Star Wars movie hope to be (half) as good as the one all of us at school know and love?!

At the cinema, once the Battle of Hoth gets spectacularly under way, all our expectations are met. And then some, as we are thrilled by the AT-ATs, giggle at Yoda (before realising how powerful he was) and gawp at the climactic lightsabre duel. My generation cannot believe their eyes! Or their luck. 

(Fortunately, Dad took me to the cinema five times to help satisfy my cravings for fun, frills, fx and Fett. Actually, we managed to see The Empire Strikes Back only three times, including the much-heralded double-bill – the infamous FULL HOUSE sign was strategically placed outside the main doors twice).

This is not just a smash-hit movie, but a monumental phenomenon! No other movie matters. 

Now that the release of the Most Anticipated Movie of the Decade is imminent, there is an eerie sense of deja vu – the fanfare is cranked up to maximum; the teensiest gobbets of information are trundled out; photos of the stars suddenly become ubiquitous across all media; and – oh yes – the merchandise is being trundled out ad infinitum. Honestly, it feels like 1980 all over again. 

“I sense something. The presence I have not felt since…”

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“If you are telling a continuous story, as we are, then all the episodes have to fit together to form a cohesive piece, and this middle act – The Empire Strikes Back – has to be a slower and more sombre piece in a way…” – Gary Kurtz.  

“It is a dark time for the Rebellion,” so began the legendary scrawl for Episiode V. “Although the Death Star has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and-” 

And you’re thinking: Hang on! Major Bummer! What – and how much(!) – did we miss?! One minute our heroes are receiving medals and the next… they’re hiding in an igloo on one forlorn side of the galaxy(!) How did that happen?! This infant and millions of others of course – demanded a full report. It felt like we had got into the cinema way too late…  

“There’s been an Awakening. Have you felt it?”

Yeah, fella, but – yet again – we feel as though we’ve joined this brand new Episode way too late. Not only have thirty years passed since we last saw our happy heroes in the forest of Endor, but thirty years have passed in this galaxy. In that time, the apparently epic Battle of Jakku was waged, the remnants of the Empire reformed – relatively swiftly – into the First Order i.e. it’s a dark time for the rebellion (now the “Resistance”) once more. So, that party with the Ewoks was all for nothing…

One of the more enigmatic figures to emerge has been Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver). He’s not a Sith, but affiliated with a mysterious sect known as the Order of Ren. Ever since we first glimpsed him staggering through a snow-covered forest energising his fearsome, yet crude, red cross-guard lightsabre, SW fans have speculated who he might be, especially since seeing Vader’s battered helmet in his possession.

The most telling fact is that he works for a character known as Supreme Leader Snoke: “who is a powerful figure on the dark side of the Force,” yet to be revealed, but we know it will be the latest motion-capture performance by Andy Serkis (a personal fave at this blog), responsible for providing the sinister narration for SW:VII’s first trailer.

As a supercool bonus: we have the chrome-clad Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) to savour as well! And watch out for Maz Kanata, (another CGI character played by Lupita Nyong’o): “a pirate who dwells in a castle populated by all manner of aliens and assorted scum.”  

Some intriguing aspects to look forward to…

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“I went up to Skywalker Ranch and they told me they were gonna do more Star Wars movies… So here I am. I got to write for Harrison Ford again after 30 years…” – Lawrence Kasdan. 

Inevitably, the background story of Anakin Skywalker – the Jedi who became a Sith Lord – received the prequel trilogy treatment. Naturally, as one of the original fans, there was a certain curiosity to find out how it all came together. But, oh boy… Talk about having a bad feeling…

There was absolutely no way multitudes of heartbroken fans like us could unlearn the travesty we learned back in 1999. Moreover, in 2002, Episode II did NOT correct the ills of its forebear: no! It succeeded in being an even more painful experience to endure.

This time, though, with reliable Star Wars aficianado JJ Abrams at the helm, particular attention to the visuals – and the script (so glad to see Lawrence Kasdan back onboard) – has been honoured; so far, the clips and stills look impressive – most promisingly, a return to the more practical special effects we know and love is assured.

The first trailer was good, but it wasn’t until the second trailer when my eyes widened – and my jaw dropped – as the camera panned along to this shot: 

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At this point came the realization that something quite special was in the works. Maybe, just maybe, the old magic will be invoked. And why not now? After all, 2015 has been the Year of Nostalgia; with dinosaurs and Terminators making a comeback, it seems fitting that we should be treated to the (ahem) return of the Jedi. 

So, huzzah, 35 years later, we have come full circle. Not surprisingly, advance ticket sales have broken all records. It would be amusing – not to mention, astounding – to learn that my ol’ popcorn parlour has had to dust down its FULL HOUSE sign…

For me, the excitement felt yesteryear may have faded – the memories of those wretched prequels still gnaw at my advancing cranium – but an unashamed desire to find out how the saga that not only captivated but redefined popular culture continues has shone through. 

At least, we all feel more confident now than we ever did back in 1999. And 2002 for that matter… 

It’s December 2015.

A new Star Wars movie is just DAYS away.

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No other movie matters…

 

IN OTHER NEWS:

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Yay! Made it to the Big 1-0-0! Couldn’t be happier!

Believe it or not: this is actually the first time that this blog has appeared during the month of December. The last two years the coming of December meant recharging my batteries over the festive period, but now – especially after having struggled through a rather uncompromising and uncreative November – the need to carry on writing grips me more than ever.

It would be nice to take this opp to express how awesome it’s been to meet so many other amazing bloggers on my wild yet wonderful jaunt through the blogosphere these past two years. 

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Honestly, this blog would not/could not have made it this far without all your support.

So, what should we do next?

Something good?

Something Brad?

Bit of both…?

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A bit of both! 

 

Bradscribe will return. 

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25 thoughts on “100th Post! Full Circle: “There’s Something Familiar About This Place”

  1. Congratulations my friend on the ‘Big 1-0-0!’ I hope you enjoy the movie, let’s be honest it can’t be as bad as the last 3! (and I’m not even a particular fan of Star Wars, and I thought they were incredibly bad… apart from Chris Lee, of course) Hope your stay in the sceptred isle is going well and you have been indulging in mucho thrill-power! 🙂

    • Thank u v much, Bruce! Thot u might b th 1st over here!
      This brand new instalment of SW won’t b as bad as th last 3. NOTHING cld be as bad as th last 3!
      Regrettably, Chris Lee was wasted in Eps I & II – not even his magnificence cld save that mess.
      Unfortunately, th insufferable cold and rain of this sceptred isle hinders my creativity too much.
      Have got th Bumper Book of Strontium Dog to keep me going until I can find another batch of thrill-power – thot u might like to know that I’m on th avid look-out for Nemesis and ABC Warriors
      Hope all is well w u, amigo!
      Cheers!

  2. I LOVE this post, great article and thoughts on the history of Star Wars. I am so excited for this new movie. I couldn’t resist, this morning I checked the Web to see what kind of buzz the reviews were generating and was so excited to see that the buzz is AMAZING. I think we are in for a treat. Looking forward to your review!

    • Thank u so much, Ashley!
      Yeah, it’s really exciting now – so far there has been a terrific buzz: 4, even 5-star reviews coming in across th board.
      Enjoy your treat tomorrow!
      Cheers!

  3. Congratulations on your 100th post, you centenarian blogger!
    Great post, I love how you juxtapose your Empire Strikes Back experience with The Force Awakens hype. I’m massively excited for this film too and the idea of seeing Mark Hammil as Luke again is playing with my emotions so much.
    You know what though, I’m not going to join in the bashing of the prequels. I still think Episode III was a monumentally great piece of work. And there are things I’ve always really liked in Episode I, despite its obvious problems. I’m actually posting up a review I (or a ‘defense’) of The Phantom Menace probably later today – because, dammit, SOMEONE has to! And also a re-evaluation of all six existing films in another article, to mark the release of Episode VII.
    I share your adoration of Empire Strikes Back, needless to say; but my personal favorite of the OT is Return of the Jedi – a movie that seems to be unfairly bashed by a lot of people.
    Anyway, congrats on reaching 100. I also look forward to reading your review of The Force Awakens. Are you going to do one early or delay it a while? I’m planning not to write about the film for at least a fortnight myself.

    • Thank u so much, El Awrence!
      So glad u cld pop round!
      And Thank U v much for th Eliminator-sized Comment!
      Yes, SO looking forward to seeing Mark Hamill again, to see how Luke is pivotal to this story arc and find out at last how much (or little) screen-time he will get.
      I was hoping at some point to catch your thots on defending Episode I – wld b interested to see how u handle such a near-impossible challenge! 😉
      If u had asked me during th 80s, then yes, I wld have agreed about RotJ as being th best entry.
      My review of Episode VII shld b up by Saturday – I look forward to catching your review whenever it appears, effendi.
      Cheers!

      • I might have to avoid your review for a while to avoid spoilers. Due to some circumstances, I probably won’t be watching the movie until some time next week. Do you know how hard it is to avoid spoilers in this day and age? 🙂

      • No worries, effendi.
        I aim to craft a spoiler-free review – it will just praise its brilliance, which, according to th 1st reviews online, seems to b assured.
        To avoid spoilers? About as hard as trying to get tickets for th premiere I shld imagine(!)
        Cheers!

  4. Thanks for commenting on my Star Wars post. I’m glad to have found you and that your yearning for Star Wars through the dark years matched my own. This is a great post and I really enjoyed it. I hope the new film matches up to my review and your dreams!

    • Thank you for your Like/Comment, Stephen.
      Yes, “before th dark times,” before th prequel trilogy, ha ha!
      Just come back from watching it – it’s more spectacular in my dreams, but as it is it’s impressive.
      Most impressive.
      Love Following your travel Posts btw! Glad to have found u too
      Cheers!

    • Thanks heaps, Anna!
      Wasn’t SW amazing?! You remember th scene where Rey plays th Jedi mind-trick on that Stormtrooper?
      Well, u and your partner will b astounded to learn that THAT STORMTROOPER WAS PLAYED BY DANIEL CRAIG ! ! !
      Cantina Royale; From Jakku With Love, etc. etc.
      Listen to th voice next time u go watch! 😉
      WAHOO(7)!
      CHEERS!

  5. Many congrats on 100 posts! I had no idea Kasdan was back on this one, and I’m so glad! I loved seeing the spirit of the original trilogy coming out in this movie. I loved Maz especially – what a wonderful performance. 🙂

    • Thank u so much for your Comment, Sue!
      It’s so good to see u again and on this: my extra special landmark Post.
      Liked to hear your views on TFA – wondered what u thot of th movie.
      Will keep an extra lookout for your forthcoming Posts – dbw is always a joy to read: many thanks
      Cheers!

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