Did May the 4th get you amped up for Star Wars? Let JJ Abrams take your excitement down a notch.
With Star Wars Episode VII getting ready to start production in earnest, and interest in the galaxy far, far away at a newfound high, May the 4th this year seemed like the perfect opportunity for Disney and Abrams and company to do something to really elevate that excitement to the next level. I assumed they would have announced their stellar cast today, but that news came on Tuesday, which to me seemed like one of two scenarios– A) they had something even cooler planned for the 4th, or B) they honestly thought they could keep the cast under wraps for almost a week and announce today (before realizing this was a fool’s errand and course correcting).
It looks like the answer was B, because the day is coming to a close, with nothing but a quick video message from Abrams and screen writer Lawrence Kasdan in London, wishing everyone a happy Star Wars Day and emphasizing they are hard at work on the Episode VII script:
This is a bummer for two reasons– obviously, because fans were hoping for something more. A day like Star Wars Day seems perfectly in line for Abrams to pull something else from the mystery box– a title, some of the principal cast in costume (or at least character art)… but no. And to add insult to injury, the brief video’s only message was that, basically, the script STILL isn’t done. With filming about to begin, that doesn’t seem like a good thing.
It seems like the latest in a long, long line of missed opportunities to promote this film. Buzz around the cast reveal has been huge, even days later… but upping the ante again would have made even more Star Wars converts on this sunny Sunday. Instead, the message we got says maybe it’s too early to get as excited as we all did last Tuesday… because the filmmakers don’t even have their story nailed down yet.
Overall, this feels like a weirdly un-confident addition to today’s celebration. The Star Wars Rebels people nailed it, with a new trailer, and lots of new character details being peppered in throughout the day. Hasbro got in on the action, revealing their SDCC Jabba the Hutt last night, as well as the Black Series Yoda today. But Episode VII? The main event? Nada.
I’m gonna level with you– I’ve never cared much about Star Wars Day. I’m the guy whose geek and non-geek friends alike raise their eyebrows when I complain about the #Maythe4th hashtags clogging up my Facebook and Twitter accounts for the day. So Disney not really playing ball for a made-up fan holiday like this isn’t a deal breaker for me. It doesn’t do much to damage my interest in the new movie… but I’d be lying if I said another reveal, no matter the importance, would have left me even more eager with anticipation. Instead we got a message that only serves to shake the faith I now have in this project, and that’s kind of a weird and lousy feeling to end the day with.