Kudos to J.J. Abrams for doing something extraordinary: he has made me not care about Star Wars for the first time ever. I’m kind of relieved that it’s over, because it has stopped being fun.
This is a geeky rehashing of The Phantom Menace, after a summer of six viewings of the movie and endless debates and discussions with other fans and friends in person and via e-mail, and in response to some of the criticism that has been aimed at the film by various folks online and off.
Honestly, I’d pay cash money to see either Neeson or Ewan McGregor on his own read from the phone book, and the two of them together is almost too delicious to bear. His Obi-Wan unfortunately doesn’t have an awful lot to do, but McGregor wastes no opportunity to be brilliant, reigning in a young man’s impetuousness with a Jedi-in-training’s emotional control — that these two opposing forces are at war within him is clear throughout the film.
Of the original trailer, I wrote, “It’s like coming home to a place I’ve never been.” Just the snippets of the film we’re shown in the new trailer make that feeling all the stronger. The organic reality of Lucas’s imaginary universe appears not to be diminished by the abundant use of CGI — the rolling hills of green grass, the city on the cliffs we see as the trailer opens look as real as the faces of the actors. Their faces already seem like those of old friends.