After the release of the third and final Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, it’s become clear that the fan base is all the more optimistic that J.J. Abrams’ entry into the franchise will be a rousing return to form for the saga. The director seems to have recaptured the tone and magic of the beloved classic trilogy, creating an exciting space adventure with strong characters and thrilling action.
However, some moviegoers are wary to buy into the hype too much, since they recall the memories of being burned by the anticipation of new Star Wars before. The hype surrounding 1999’s The Phantom Menace was unparalleled, and the film ended up becoming one of the more disappointing movies ever made. And to remind us about what could happen, the Internet has created an amusing (?) mashup of the latest Force Awakens preview.
YouTube user murdockmotion created a version of the trailer (watch it above) that injects reviled Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks into Episode VII. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to where the Gungan is included, as he sometimes is in the background of shots and in the place of characters like Kylo Ren in others. The point of the video seems to be that his mere presence would ruin scenes and kill any excitement viewers have for The Force Awakens.
Towards the halfway point, the mock trailer becomes more of an indictment on the prequel trilogy as a whole and not just the creation of Jar Jar. Young Anakin in the Episode I space battle, Hayden Christensen’s Return of the Jedi Force ghost, and even Obi-Wan’s “You were the chosen one!” monologue from Revenge of the Sith are thrown in for good measure. Since this trailer bestows that title The Binks Awakens to the new film, these elements make it lose its focus, and its effectiveness as a horrifying “what if?” scenario is lost a bit.
Fortunately for those who did not like the prequels, it doesn’t seem those films will have any impact on the events of The Force Awakens. In the Star Wars timeline, roughly 53 years have passed between Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens, meaning there are few (if any) ties left between them. Abrams even joked about adding the skeleton of a dead Jar Jar into the Jakku desert landscape, so his feelings on that particular set of films is well-known. Episode VII is first and foremost using the classics as inspiration.
It’s true that The Force Awakens may not be able to live up to the high expectations many have for it, but the chances it is an inherently bad movie are low. There’s much talent involved in front of and behind the camera, and those participating understand the importance of doing the material justice. Even with the prequels tainting the brand, Star Wars is still something that means so much for so many people, and a die-hard fan like Abrams is not going to take that lightly when making a new Star Wars film.
Even though nobody on the production team has said it directly, the vibe generated from the Force Awakens marketing campaign is that Abrams and company looked to distance the series from the prequels and take it back to its roots. There’s a greater emphasis on practical effects, the process is more collaborative, and it’s apparent that there will be more focus on galactic war than galactic Senate negotiations. So ideally, history will remember this parody trailer as a fun little joke, and not a haunting reminder of what “new Star Wars” can do.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.