Monday, December 14, 2015

Star Trek Beyond

Well, J.J. Abrams's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh episode in George Lucas's popular franchise and the first in a new trilogy of films is just a few days away from hitting theaters. Reviews will start spilling through the Internet Wednesday, so those of you weary of any spoilers be careful of what you read not only in reviews but anywhere on the Internet!

In the meantime, however, the countdown has begun for the return of another popular Sci-Fi franchise: Star Trek. 2016 marks Star Trek's 50th Anniversary and Paramount (despite plenty of behind-the-scenes drama) have managed to pull things together in time. The first trailer is set to be attached to The Force Awakens (most appropriate) but it's already found its way onto the Internet.

My upcoming Force Awakens review likely be my last Star Wars-related post for the foreseeable future as I shift gears from one of my favorite franchises into my other favorite franchise. Yes, those who prefer one over the other, it is possible to love both Star Trek and Star Wars! My family is evidence enough of that!

So here it is, our first glimpse at the newest Star Trek move due out late-July 2016!

While this trailer is likely to divide a very finicky fandom, I must fancy myself impressed. There's something I find irresistible about this trailer. The look and feel strikes me as being very much akin to the original series and it just looks like it'll be wacky and fun! Plus, there just seems something refreshing about the thought of the Enterprise being destroyed and the crew being stranded, forced to improvise and resort to their basic skills for survival. I like that since it forces the crew to be themselves and not rely upon their technology.

I guess we'll see in July.

Let the countdown begin!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

My New Star Wars Trilogy Theories

In less than two weeks, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will open to what is sure to be huge box office numbers. Questions will be answered, many more will arise. Amongst them will be whether J.J. Abrams's Episode VII will be more akin to the original 1977-1983 trilogy or the 1999-2005 prequels that many Star Wars fans dismiss as awful and unimportant.

In the meantime, many fans are busy posturing their own theories about the new trilogy which will be released every two years until Episode IX debuts in 2019. So, I thought I'd offer my own theories about what will happen and hopefully I have more success than my 2015 Postseason Baseball predictions!

Now some of these predictions aren't just for The Force Awakens, but for the trilogy as a whole. So while some of these may not transpire in two weeks, I'm putting them out there as long-term possibilities.

  1. The opening movie in both trilogies have each featured a prominent death (Ben Kenobi in Star Wars and Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace), so it's safe to assume something similar will happen in The Force Awakens. While the leading rumor is that it'll be Harrison Ford's Han Solo (he wanted Solo to die in Return of the Jedi), there are some suggestions that it could be Chewbacca. Will I'm not entirely discounting the possibility that Chewie will meet his end, I think it's more likely that for greater dramatic impact Han Solo will die.
  2. It hasn't gone unnoticed that Luke Skywalker hasn't been featured in any promotional materials. This is fueling many questions about that has happened to Young Skywalker in the 35 year timeframe between the events of Jedi and Force Awakens. The most interesting theory is that Skywalker has turned to the Dark Side (some going as far as suggesting he is the masked Kylo Ren) and that it happened during the events of Return of the Jedi. While this would definitely be very interesting to explore, I find it unlikely since whoever it is that follows the path of the Jedi (whether it be Daisy Ridley's Rey or John Boyega's Finn) will need a mentor and unless Leia has become a Jedi, only Luke can fulfill that role. So I believe Luke has been in hiding because he has become a legend for defeating the Emperor and Darth Vader, but because he is also hiding from Kylo Ren. Which leads me into my next theory...
  3. Kylo Ren is Luke's apprentice who fell to the Dark Side. Following the events of Return of the Jedi, Luke sought to rebuild the Jedi Order and thus sought out to train a new generation of Jedi, beginning with Kylo Ren. But Kylo Ren, in learning of the history of the Sith and Darth Vader, found the idea of power too tempting and fell to the Dark Side. So, Luke has gone into hiding until someone else is ready for him to teach them, much he had been hidden by Obi-Wan and Yoda at the end of Revenge of the Sith.
  4. Rey is the daughter of Han and Leia who was hidden away to protect her from Kylo Ren. While the theory that Rey is their daughter is a popular one, the reason she doesn't know who her family is remains a mystery. And I believe she was hidden away for her own protection when it was discovered she was strong in the Force with the hope that one day Luke would return to train her to become a Jedi.
  5. Finn is the son of Lando Calrissian. Now as for whether or not Finn will train to become a Jedi, I think that remains a mystery but I think it's a definite possibility since he's seen wielding a lightsaber in most of the promos. Given Billy Dee Williams's notable absence from The Force Awakens, I find it likely that this won't be revealed until Episode VIII.
  6. And finally, for what I believe to be the whopper...Kylo Ren is the son of Han and Leia, making him the brother of Rey and nephew of Luke. Now, this isn't one I've seen yet but I think this is a strong possibility, likely to be revealed as Episode VIII's big climactic twist (a-la "I am your father"). Kylo Ren was probably born within a year of the events of Return of the Jedi with Luke beginning his training a few years after that. But as said in Point 3, Kylo feel to the Dark Side likely during his teenage years around the time that Rey was a small child. Because she's his sister, he would immediately be aware of her and view her as a threat, leading to the need for Han and Leia to hide her. It would also likely lead to the inevitable attempt at Kylo's redemption on the part of Rey in Episode IX, just as Luke tried to save Anakin in Return of the Jedi.
Those are my big New Star Wars Trilogy theories. I guess we'll see which ones come to pass in a couple weeks and likely have to wait four more years to see if any of the others take place as well.