1)The Original Opening Crawl intro-
“IT IS A PERIOD OF CIVIL WAR. REBEL SPACESHIPS, STRIKING FROM A HIDDEN BASE HAVE WON THEIR FIRST VICTORY AGAINST THE EVIL GALACTIC EMPIRE.
DURING THE BATTLE, REBEL SPIES MANAGED TO STEAL SECRET PLANS TO THE EMPIRE’S SECRET WEAPON, THE DEATH STAR, AN ARMOURED SPACE STATION WITH ENOUGH POWER TO DESTROY AN ENTIRE PLANET”
Star wars 1977 original opening crawl text.
So, here it is, 39 years later- the film based on that background text that introduced the very first Star Wars movie, later renamed A New Hope and the Fourth Episode of a projected nine. It’s got a heap of expectations on it though.
2) Hints in other media-
There was a radio play set beforehand and some of the novels had their own interpretation. The Han Solo Trilogy by AC Crispin told of a raid on Toprawa by Bria Tharen and Red Hand Squad. Battlefront 2 on the PS2 had a breakout on the Death Star and plans transmitted to Polis Massa and then the Tantive 4. So this would be the fourth version, since Disney took over and everything written beforehand has been shunted into a parallel universe, giving them a blank slate. (Although Grand Admiral Thrawn is turning up in Rebels series 3, which means they haven’t jettisoned everything like a load of Spice from the spice mines of Kessel then)
3) “That’s no moon, it’s a space station”
Obi Wans ominous recognition of the sheer, err enormity of the problem facing them is played well. The look of horror on his face as the Millennium Falcon approaches the Death Star is priceless- Immense, powerful, the ultimate power in the universe! About time it was revisited, shiny and new!
4) Obi Wan’s Narration over The First Trailer-
“For a thousand Generations the Jedi were the Guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the Dark Times, before The Empire.”
As a Tie Fighter soars over a jungle, the outline of the Death Star is seen for the first time- an iconic image and one that sent a shiver up my spine! The trailers since then have built upon that, as well as giving more tantalising glimpses into the characters (and ships/vehicles- the AT-AT’s are back!)
5) There’s more to come!
If I was going to be cynical, then I’d say since taking over the franchise, Disney has upped its marketing and merchandising, milking the SW cashcow for all it’s worth.
Well, I won’t. Like I stated earlier, Lucasfilm has created a blank slate between Return of the Jedi and The New Trilogy. Rebels has been pretty good. The Live-action series has yet to materialise, but a number of spin-off/stand alone films has been announced. Boba Fett, Han Solo and even Yoda are getting their own films, but I’d love to see some of the Beings from the Cantina get their own film- Muftak the Talz or a Snaggletooth movie! Yeah, that could work- explore the difference between the tall blue snaggletooth’s and the smaller red ones! Maybe the red support the Empire and the rarer blues the Rebellion maybe?
Come on Lucasfilm, get it done!