Expectation can be a double-edged sword. Yes, it can be hopeful of something good or wonderful. But it can also result in disappointment that the hoped for thing didn't materialize the way you might have wanted.
I mention this because everyone who knows me knows I'm a big, big Star Wars fan. And my anticipation of the new Star Wars movie has me giddy every time I find out new information about its pending release. Each time I see a new photo, hear a behind the scenes comment or just told gossip, I get excited all over again. My desire to see this franchise succeed has as much to do with how much I enjoy the Star Wars universe as it does to the connection I have with it that spans more than half my life.
And therein lies my dilemma: Expectation.
From what I've seen and heard, it looks great. It looks fantastic. But what if it can't deliver? I don't mean that it won't try. But what if the cards are just so stacked against it because we are all expecting this monumentally amazing film that anything short of spectacular will result in a tinge of disappointment.
Recently I read an article that stated the movie is expected to make some gazillion dollars (okay, it didn't actually say "gazillion," but that was the implication) and I couldn't help but wonder about that. Is our my anticipation so great that it'll be considered a failure if it doesn't make a gazillion dollars? Or will I be disillusioned if all of the things I want to happen in this move don't come to pass?
When I learned Disney would be purchasing Lucasfilm Ltd., I was a little concerned, not because of anything having to do with Disney, or event Lucasfilm, but my concern centered on how the production entity that was responsible for so many of my favorite movies would fare under a new owner. Then I heard that Kathleen Kennedy would be the president of Lucasfilm and I sighed with relief.
Longtime genre fans know Kennedy's name well. She (along with Frank Marshall) was involved in some of our favorite films from the 80s and 90s. She may be a fan, or may not, I honestly don't know, but one thing I do know is that she has a fan's eye, even a fan's mentality. She speaks geek and the realization that she would now head the company gave me hope that Star Wars, the one franchise I loved above all others, would not just be in good and capable hands, but would be fiercely protected and suitably explored. Of course the announcement that J.J. Abrams would direct the next Star Wars movie just seemed like icing on a really, really great cake.
If there was any apprehension (and I think there was) it was laid to rest when the first teaser trailer was released, as I was astonished at how great it was. Then the second teaser that featured Harrison Ford and, well, it was not just great but had an emotional pull that was experienced by fans all across the country, maybe world. And it occurred to me that while there is tremendous expectation, maybe that's a good thing. Maybe there is great expectation because we've been able to see elements that we had hoped for. A feeling that reminds us of our first Star Wars experience.
Another teaser released just the other day. Again, I got chills because it was so, so right. It looks menacing and yet hopeful, dangerous and exciting. And there was an element of a scene that some may have overlooked and that is the light saber wielded by actor John Boyega is not just another light saber, it looks to be Luke Skywalker's original light saber.
I know this seems like a silly thing to be excited about, but then I've been accused of being excited about far less. If it is Luke's saber, how did this new character come by it? We know Luke has it at some point because we see him handing it to someone in an earlier trailer. But that also begs the question: how did Luke come back to it? Or did it come back to Luke? Are sabers like magical wands in Harry Potter? Is there more of a connection between the saber and the Jedi than we originally were aware of?
So all this brings me back to expectation.
I have great expectations for The Force Awakens. Not just because everything I've seen has wowed me in a way that I haven't been since perhaps the first three movies. It's not just because our original heroes have returned for this next installment. I think my expectation is so great because Kennedy, Abrams and the entire team behind this endeavor seem to understand what long time fans have been hoping for. And that has manifested in showing us scenes that bring us back to the excitement and awe we all experiences nearly 40 years ago.
So when the ominous voice in the latest teaser declares, "There's been an awakening... Have you felt it?" I can answer the only way I know how.
YES! YES I HAVE!