​Can The Force Awakens Live Up To The Insane Hype It's Already Created?

So apparently some kind of Star Wars trailer dropped last week? I live in the future, so I'm not sure, but since I could do two whole PAs just on The Force Awakens questions, I feel pretty good about making the assumption. But don't worry, we still have time for Marvel movies, DC TV, Evangelion, and, of course, fictional characters' genitalia.

Rude Awakenings


What did you think of The Force Awakens trailer? I loved it, but I'm trying to keep a level head about it. Do you think it has any chance of living up to the hype its already built up for itself?


I loved it, but please understand I honestly have no ability to temper my emotions when it comes to Star Wars. Oh, I may think I do; I may have thought the prequels have allowed me some emotional distance from the franchise, that I can accept the series has its flaws, that my expectations have been tempered by disappointment and experience. I honestly have spent most of the last decade thinking this. And then the goddamned Force Awakening trailer comes out and ruins me.

There's a lot to love about the TFA trailer — the fact that it has practical effects and sets, that the Star Wars universe looks used and dirty and real again, that it focuses on new characters as opposed to shoving classic characters like Artoo and Chewbacca in our faces — but I personally know that there's no way the movie can live up to the hype in my head, because the hype in my head is insane. As it turns out, I'm still the Star Wars-obsessed kid I was growing up (and in college), just trapped in a bloated, ever more decrepit body. I see the trailer, notice no immediately discernable problems (and if you're about to bring up the hilt, please see the next letter) and suddenly I think The Force Awakens is going to be that perfect Star Wars movie I've been waiting for pretty much since Empire Strikes Back came out.

I'm afraid way too many Star Wars fans are exactly like me — we want this upcoming Star Wars movie to reach a level of perfection that only 33% of the film franchise has managed to achieve in our eyes. We know how insane this is, but we can't help ourselves. Our brains understand the odds against J.J. Abrams making a Star Wars movie equally as great as Empire Strikes Back are outrageous, even if Abrams had somehow made Star Trek movies that Trek fans universally loved (which he didn't). But our hearts — well, our hearts scream "Never tell me the odds!"

So no, The Force Awakens will not live up to the hype, because anything other than perfection will be criticized — remember, we Star Wars fans didn't get over the Ewoks until Jar Jar came around to bear the brunt of our scorn. By looking so damned good, The Force Awakens trailer gave us… well… a new hope. Too much hope, in fact. If I were a more sensible person, I would merely cross my finger that TFA would be a better-told story in a universe more recognizably Star Wars-y than the prequels. I am not a sensible person. We're all doomed.



There'll Be Hilt to Pay




I'm going to take a wild guess that if you're upset about the claymore-saber in The Force Awakens trailer and are writing a fake post-apocalyptic mailman about it, you've heard the theory that it isn't in fact a crossguard, but two small energy exhaust ports, needed because of the poor construction of the lightsaber. Moreover that you don't buy it. I don't begrudge you refusing to accept theories that aren't backed up by the film (although since the film hasn't come out yet, we're all flying blind). But I would like to point two things out that hopefully will allow you to get to sleep tonight.

1) No one in any of the six Star Wars movies has ever needed a crossguard. Seriously. Not a single lightsaber as used one, and of all the hands that have been cut off, a guard would not have prevented any of them. Maybe it's just the accepted style of lightsaber dueling, maybe it's a technique that lightsaber wielders learn early so they don't have all their fingers cut off. Either way, if no one ever needs them, it implies that this dude doesn't either.


So what are these little light-nubs, then? I think it could well be a small offensive weapon — a small pointy bit with which to stick the enemy just in case. It's exactly like an axe may have a sharp tip up top, on the very off chance you need to stab instead of chop. If you're wielding a lightsaber and need to punch somebody — which definitely happens — and you have what is essentially a small light-dagger in your hands, you're better off than someone with out it.

Or it could just be decorative. Maybe this dude likes 'em because he thinks it looks badass. That's a perfectly valid reason to me.


2) It looks badass. I don't particularly care what the reason is. Guard, not a guard, whatever. It looks awesome and I don't need to get bogged down in the actual "science" of lightsabers to think so. You do realize that Luke's lightsaber in Return of the Jedi basically cut nothing, right? It's wasn't a bade on Jabba's Sailbarge, it was a baseball bat. No one just sliced in the slightest. It was like Luke had it on "bludgeon" or something. Compared to that, this "handguard" is nothing.

Look, if you want to freak out about the lightsaber, by all means. I'm sure there's shit I'm going to freak out about when I see the movie. But I've seen The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, and I know what actual Star Wars problems are. This lightsaber is not one of them.



Take a Kree


I just saw Guardians of the Galaxy for the 3rd time this past week. I picked up on something that I didn't really think about too much before. Nova Prime mentions that Star-Lord's dad is from an ancient species. Given the goings on in AoS and the announcements of the Inhumans movie, could Quill's dad be an Inhuman?


I don't think so. The Kree — the blue guys whose juice helped resurrect Coulson on Agents of SHIELD — did experiment on early homo sapiens, thus creating the Inhuman race. But the Inhumans are pretty strictly earth-bound, and it said quite specifically that Star-Lord's dad came from space. Thematically, it would be weird for Quill to be half-human, half-Inhuman when his destiny is supposed to be somewhere in the stars, don't you think?


Justice for Some

Bruce O.:

Mr. Postman,

You recently answered a question about the possibility of the CW spinning off the Atom into his own show. I am wondering what you think of the possibility that the CW might be working toward a Justice Society show? The Golden Age Flash, Atom, Black Canary and Wildcat were all Golden Age members of the JSA. Plus, the Justice Society could differentiate from the Justice League movie universe, giving the TV universe an additional Earth-2 kind of feel?

At the very least make the Atom the main character of a Brave and the Bold or Showcase team-up show with a rotating cast of the other heroes we've met. It would give a spotlight to some of the introduced characters outside their tangential relationships to Barry and Ollie, plus allow for some TV versions of as yet un-introduced characters.


I'd say a Justice Society show is possible in the sense that the DC/WB/CW might not feel the Atom is a big enough draw to support his own hour-long superhero show. A team show might be the way to go, but the members would have to have some very mild-looking powers to make the sfx cost of such a show feasible.

But say they have the budget and want to do a team of lesser-known DC heroes like the Atom. They absolutely wouldn't do the Golden Age Flash, because that just screws up their already successful Flash TV series. Black Canary is an Arrow character and important part of the mythos going forward, so she's off-limits. I can see Wildcat moving from Arrow to a Justice Society show, and he basically just punches people, so he'd be cheap. Limit Stargirl's power to her staff and she'd be a shoo-in. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Mr. Terrific would be a good option — he's like Tony Stark without the Iron Man armor, which wouldn't be hard to portray onscreen.


Hmm… maybe Doctor Fate? Doctor Mid-nite? Maybe Sandman, although it's possible that the potentially upcoming Sandman film would cause a WB movie executive to forbid a TV Sandman, even if they were totally different characters.


Skull and Bones


Haha, amazing answers, Rob. I'm now curious about why Skeletor's head is a floating skull, though.


It's because Skeletor used to be Prince Adam's uncle Keldor, the brother of King Randor, but was denied the throne because of his bue skin and Gar heritage (Racists of the Universe!). Already a bitter, evil dude, he tried to toss a bottle of acid on his brother Randor's face, who deflected it back onto his own. With his face effectively melting off, Skeletor ran back to his mentor Hordak, who merged him with an extradiensional demon named Demo-Man, as is a completely normal thing to do in these circumstances. While Keldor didn't die, exactly, this did form a new being who was sorely lacking any part of a face — Skeletor.

If you're wondering how his disembodied skull works, well, I can only answer as a He-Man fan who has thought way too much about this. Neither Skeletor's jawbone nor the skull proper are attached to anything, but they are connected to his torso and each other thanks to the magic of being merged with Demo-Man. This is also how he speaks. Although one could run his hand in the space between Skeletor's jaw and clavicle and pass through it unobstructed, for all intents and purposes his skull is as firmly attached to his body as any head is.



Rebuild Me Up, Buttercup


I hope this letter finds you well and your geiger counter silent! My question is this: do you think that the Rebuild of Evangelion movies represent Anno's authoritative reimagining of his original masterpiece, a stealth-sequel, a cash in, or somehow all of the above?


Mostly a cash-in. I guarantee Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno only cares tangentially about the four movie remakes of his beloved series, if he cares about it at all. The rumors were that he was over Evangelion even before the End of Evangelion movie, which popular legend he made depressing as hell specifically to spite the fans that bitched about the end of the TV show (when he and Studio Gainax basically ran out of money for the last two episodes).

I don't know if that's true, but I know that if Anno was really concerned about the artistic integrity of the Evangelion franchise he wouldn't have made these new Rebuild of Evangelion movies, which are pretty and different, but haven't come close to improving on the original series. And if he meant them to be his "perfect" rendition of Evangelion, then I think he'd probably have chosen to direct the four movies himself, instead of handing off it to others and merely writing the movies.


I have heard some theories that the Rebuild of Evangelion movies are in fact a sequel to the original series — that after the world ends in the show, something happens to restart the events, but with a slightly different outcome. I'm not sure I buy that, but even if that's what Anno intends, I still don't think it's making the original Evangelion series any better. But remember, I'm also the dude who prefers the TV ending to the movie ending.



Crisis on Multiple Box Offices

B. Vega:

Mr. Bricken,

Long time, first time. Love the show.

After reading about the rumors of how Fox is driving the FF franchise into the ground. I'm sorry, I meant grounding it in reality, I wondered aloud if a Convergence style event would ever happen/work for a cinematic universe?

Follow me here. Disney/Marvel get the film rights back to all their characters. We're talking Spiderman, FF, X-Men, Man-Thing... the whole kit & kaboodle. They then work in an after credits scene at the end of Infinity Wars numero dos, where you see, I don't know, Kang looking out at different monitors aboard his ship (does he have a ship?) On these monitors are clips from various other studio films showing all the different versions of these characters. Then Kang gets all expository (does he do that?) and he (along with Disney/Marvel) tells the audience, "Just kidding about all these other shitty versions, we're blowing this mofo up and making it right." Maybe not exactly that, but along those lines. Humor me. I'm not as smart as say... Kang (he's smart, right?).

I guess it's more a solution to re-booting franchises the "Marvel Way" after so many failed attempts and getting people excited about seeing another Spiderman, FF, X-Men, Man-Thing movie. I also guess that I can't ask a focused question.

Thanks for taking my call. I'll hang up and listen off air.

It could work — kind of — but I wouldn't happen. While it's feasible, it's just too much work for too little benefit. Say somehow Marvel gets all those rights back on the same day and can do your crisis on multiple Earths scenario. What's the benefit of trying to link the Marvel Cinematic Universe to these other movies?


With the exception (X-ception?) of the X-Men movie franchise, they're all kind of crap — and even if you're an Amazing Spider-Man apologist, surely you admit that Marvel would certainly prefer to create their own take as opposed to continuing Sony's. And as regards the X-Men, yes, they've been doing well, but wouldn't it be easier for Marvel to start the franchise over, planning for it to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the beginning than suddenly bringing Kang in and having him try to explain why all these movie franchises suddenly co-exist even though Spidey and the Avengers have never acknowledged each other?


God I Love My Job


do the people in tron have dicks and pussies

Yes, but they're just USB 2.0 dongles and ports. Unfortunately, they're in-scale to their bodies, by which I mean they're the size of an actual USB as compared to our bodies, which is why Tron and Clu and the rest don't have giant rectangular boxes sticking out of their crotches.


Also, when two programs from the Grid fuck, the points they've scored appear over their heads so they both know who won.

Do you have questions about anything scifi, fantasy, superhero, or nerd-related? Email the postman@io9.com! No question too difficult, no question too dumb! Obviously!

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