Yesterday afternoon husband showed the new Star Wars teaser trailer to the kids. Star Wars (the original trilogy from the 70’s and early 80’s) was hugely influential to my husband. I mean, he can recite the films line by line entirely from memory. The epitome of geek, right? The kids have already seen Star Wars: A New Hope more times than I can count. Daughter has seen The Empire Strikes Back only once and she just turned six.
In our household Episodes 1-3 do not exist. Husband was so disappointed in that trilogy that he desperately tries to erase it from his memory and if has anything to say about it the kids will never know those movies. I have to agree with him – those films are pretty awful. So when we heard earlier this year that Disney (of all companies!!!) bought the rights to the Star Wars franchise and were planning a series of movies, husband and I were skeptical. Then when it was announced that J.J. Abrams (Felicity, Alias, Lost, Fringe) would be directing the first film of the new trilogy – well, husband was just beside himself and not in a good way. J.J. “Lens Flare” Abrams? Now in his (J.J, not the husband’s) defense, the reboot of Star Trek was pretty darn good. Maybe J.J. would pay homage to the original trilogy with his film? One dares to hope, right?
I haven’t been following the news of Episode 7 as closely as husband so I wasn’t aware that the teaser trailer was being released. When I got home from work yesterday afternoon, husband and son were screening the trailer for the … wait for it … 5th time!! Was it that good? Husband wouldn’t say until I watched it.
And watch it I did. And I loved it! I actually got a few goosebumps. The images reminded me a lot of Episode 4 and that has me encouraged that J.J Abrams is respecting the original trilogy and what it meant to the fans. Watching the kids react to the trailer was so amazing. Daughter will be 7 and son will be 4.5 when it is released in theaters next December. What a perfect age to bear witness to a brand Star Wars Trilogy.
I saw Interstellar last night. I haven’t enjoyed a film like that in quite some time. Space travel in films has always fascinated and excited me. There are few films that depict space travel well. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Moon, and Apollo 13 come to mind. These film are visually stunning as well as captivating in the way their stories are told.
Last year a film called Gravity was released to rave reviews. I didn’t see it until it was released on Blu-Ray. Visually stunning, it really should have been seen on the big screen but last year I was preoccupied with nursing an infant and had other things on my mind. When I finally did see the film I was completely disappointed. I felt nothing for the characters and some of the plot holes were too large to reconcile. Even for a film nerd such as myself who can suspend her disbelief for two hours and believe giant alien robots are invading the earth, there was just something about Gravity that felt fake to me and I couldn’t get into the film. But don’t listen to me, renowned physicist Neil De Grasse Tyson said it much better.
And then a movie like Interstellar comes along and reminds me that films can still be made that touch your soul, despite their depiction of fantastical stories and ideas. Quantum physics, wormholes, black holes, interstellar space travel, tesseracts, and the bending of space and time. Interstellar is all of this and so much more. At its core there is a father and the love he has for his children. It is a story of a father and the connection he has with his daughter. It spoke to my soul as I thought about my own daughter and her father. Anne Hathaway’s character says it all in a profound and moving speech:
“Love isn’t something we invented — it’s observable, powerful, it has to mean something… Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space.”
Movie critics will find a lot in this film to pick apart, maybe even some of my readers will too and that’s okay. I know what this movie meant to me and even if some of the ideas are hard to reconcile it’s okay because the emotional connection I felt with those characters will stand up to repeated viewing.