NEW STAR WARS.
Sorta feels like a trap, doesn’t it? We’ve been here before, and it ended horribly. For the first time in decades, we, the adoring viewing public, are being promised new Star Wars. And we are so damn excited. Again. Have we learned nothing? Are we truly ready to walk into this experience once again, high on hope and nostalgia, even though we know what it feels like to be disappointed? What’s different this time?
Its name is BB-8, and this is pretty much all we’ve seen of it so far. Just this shot, from the teaser trailer to Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens that premiered this past Thanksgiving. We only know this little droid’s name from a silly retro trading card that premiered at Entertainment Weekly shortly thereafter. That’s all we know about BB-8 and its role in the movie. (We don’t even know if it’s referred to with a gender pronoun, like spiritual predecessor R2-D2.) At some point, this adorable little soccer ball rolls gaily across the sands of what appears to be the planet Tatooine. That’s all we got.
Except for one amazing behind the scenes detail: BB-8 is real.
In a December interview with Yahoo! Movies, star Mark Hamill revealed the amazing truth that, unlike just about everything seen on screen throughout the three George Lucas-directed Star Wars prequels, BB-8 is not a computer-generated effect but a practical, remote-controlled robot. Certainly, the clip seen above has been touched up with computer graphics, but the fact remains that a real BB-8 exists. The human stars of the film could interact with him, act against him in their scenes together, rather than having to imagine that he’s there.
This tells you everything you need to get excited about this new chapter in the Star Wars saga. Director J.J. Abrams is committed to avoiding the mistakes of the prequels, to creating a real story starring real people and even real droids. The heart, the humor, the visceral emotional connection that was so sorely missed in Episodes I, II, and III, will be at the forefront of the new trilogy, heralded by this little rolling ball with a tiny semi-sphere head.
BB-8 represents the redemption of the Star Wars franchise, and perhaps of genre film as a whole. BB-8 could change the way view and create film across genre. And from there, maybe, just maybe, the long shadow of this short hero could extend beyond the canvas of film, to television, to video games and music. To economics. To politics. To religion. BB-8 could save us all.
That’s why today, Deadshirt is proud to announce that BB-8 will serve henceforth as our new brand mascot, a symbol to represent the principles on which this website is based: sincerity, personality, cuteness, color-coordination. We will supply round-the-clock updates on BB-8, not just his role in the film but in His moods and whims. We will be your one-stop location for news, criticism, thought, and spiritual guidance as viewed through the convex lens atop His sacred dome.
Welcome to the new Deadshirt.net.
May BB-8 be with you.