Colin Trevorrow is doing the promotion tour for his new movie Book of Henry and, as expected, he is fielding a lot of questions about Star Wars Episode IX...
Most of the questions Colin Trevorrow has been answering of late have related to the sad passing of Carrie Fisher, but he did make a comment to Fandango about how being a father is helping him shape the final entry in the Star Wars saga sequel trilogy.
Good science fiction is a mirror of it's time. In some cases it addresses the political issues we struggle with (Star Trek) and in others it addresses broader more spiritual struggles (Star Wars). In 1977 we saw a band of misfits group together to take on a mighty Force. Luke, Han and Leia could have been Lucas and Co. as they reshaped Hollywood, but they could have easily have been identified as stand ins for the Vietcong, a theme George would revisit again in his movies. Colin Trevorrow pointed out that whatever the narrative intention at the time, the characters were easily relatable for the audience.
It's interesting to think what Rey represents to audiences today. For me, a 40 something white guy in England, she is a paragon of virtue, the new hope, and new hero coming to deliver the galaxy from the clutches of evil. I wonder what Rey represents to children, both male and female, as they watch The Force Awakens. Is she a noble warrior fighting for good, or something more simple. Well Colin Trevorrow seems to have the right idea as he develops Rey (and the other new Star Wars heroes') story for Episode IX.
I find Colin's comments extremely reassuring. To know that a creator is able to set aside what we know about Star Wars and the hero's journey and look at the franchise, and these wonderful characters from the point of view of the younger members of the audience. It could well prove to be the cracking of the code for Star Wars story telling.
The way I relate to and interpret these characters today, is very different form the way five year old me connected with them back in 1977. Back then it was the whiz bang and the buckling of squashes that won my heart. The good guys being good and the bad guys being bad that had me recreating these stories with the toys as a child. Only later did I start to appreciate the real story being told and how that reflected the climate of the world in 1977.
I think it's very wise of Colin Trevorrow and future creators of Star Wars, to consider how a child will first form a relationship with Rey and her friends, and the events of Star Wars in today's world. They will see the layered narrative as they grow with the movies. But only if you get them to fall in love with them now. I'm certain that Colin's children will help him craft a third chapter to this Skywalker saga that will honour and respect what came before.
What do you think. Is Colin's approach the correct one? Did you connect to Star Wars as a young person in a certain way? Has your reading the saga changed as you've aged? Leave you thoughts in the comments below.
Thank you for reading,