Do not force me to choose between Star Wars and Star Trek because, unlike Sophie, I do not have to make a choice.
And I thank my lucky Alpha Quadrant because had I not been a huge fan of both, I never would have stumbled upon a prediction for the upcoming J.J. Abrams-helmed Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
My prediction: We will be brought to tears within the first 12 minutes. (Well, all of us except for you robots out there.)
My parents are to blame, you see, because my sisters and I grew up on a very healthy diet of both Star Trek and Star Wars.
Even as an 8 year old, I was taking in Star Trek: TOS in the evenings, while also watching Return of the Jedi over and over and over again because a movie theater is a better place to stash your kids instead of a house full of moving boxes. I heart my mother.
My early understanding of human evolution didn’t come from books. It came from these two classic stories. Our human past took place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, and our human future takes place during stardates that I can’t even calculate. (Unless you adhere to Cylon mythology – and for that I’m sorry, you toaster.)
As you can imagine, when it was announced that J.J. Abrams – the movie god who brought us the Star Trek reboots – was going to help birth the next generation of Star Wars storytelling, I wept.
And I bought this t-shirt.
My anticipation of this film and what I imagined J.J. would do with this mega fan favorite was so intense that it prompted me to do yet another back-to-back binge-watching of the Star Trek reboots.
The more you watch J.J. Abram’s storytelling, the more you start to see his patterns and trademark techniques. Most fans already know about his love of lens flares and shaky cam work in film. But I stumbled upon something new (at least to me) in my Star Trek and Into Darkness marathon. Somewhere between 10-12 minutes in for each movie, I became an emotional mess.
In Star Trek, we are rockin’ and rollin’ from the word “go.” There’s no time to catch your breath or wonder how this all fits into the Star Trek universe you grew up with. You’re just enjoying the ride – until you realize you aren’t. At about 10:30, you’re faced with life beginning and life ending. Tissues, please.
Into Darkness takes you on a similar ride, except that instead of an intense space battle, you’re running for your life on an alien planet and forced to dive into the ocean. Without realizing it’s happening, the powerful score is replaced with a solemn piano solo, words are replaced with dread and sadness, and then at 11:45, we understand why. (Where are my frakin’ tissues?!)
That is why this is my prediction: In the first 9-10 minutes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Abrams will entertain us with action and flares and details that will delight the most diehard of fans. However, it’s at about that 10-to-12-minute mark that he’ll break our hearts. And before we know it, we’ll be 100% invested in the outcome of these characters’ lives.
Am I sure about that 12 minutes? Well, I only have two movies to compare, which is not a huge sample size. But it’s enough to make sure that I have my tissues right where I can get at ‘em. Will you risk it?