When the Star Wars: The Force Awakens final trailer debuted on Monday, I was hit with an emotional hammer that I didn’t expect and could’t understand. I expected to feel something, but what I didn’t expect was to quite literally tear up during a two minute movie trailer. I mean, of course I was and am excited about the new Star Wars movie. Who isn’t? But the thing is, I’m not one of the obsessive Star Wars fans – I can’t tell you the name of the two scoundrels that confront Luke in the Mos Eisley cantina and end up losing some appendages (Thankfully, there’s Wookiepedia for that! Their names are Ponda Baba and Cornelius Evazan, in case you were wondering.) – but I’m still pretty steeped in the lore, nonetheless. So why such an intense response?
I realized this morning that it comes down to a word that’s simple to say and infinitely more complex to explain: nostalgia. Specifically, the sense of nostalgia that was so artfully explained by Don Draper in season 1 of Mad Men, as he was pitching to Kodak about their new Wheel slide projector.
In retrospect, the nostalgia I felt watching that trailer should be no surprise; J.J. Abrams’ obvious reverence for the early works of Steven Spielberg make it almost inevitable. Spielberg’s films have so often invoked nostalgia of coming of age, or childhood, or just the past in general, but more importantly, they usually have a clear emotional thesis: you know how you feel at the end of a Spielberg film. Abrams’ Star Wars Trailer, intentionally and clearly, evokes an intended emotion, and if the film is even half as successful as it’s trailer in that goal, it will be a great pleasure to watch.
To steal from Don myself: This trailer isn’t a space ship. It’s a time machine. It goes backwards, forwards. Takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It lets us travel the way a child travels. Around and around and back home again to a place where we know we are loved.
Or in other words, it has successfully fired a proton torpedo into the un-shielded exhaust port of our collective hearts.
When we were last with our heroes, they had just made their way to Wrigley Field, where they found a chaotic battle between the police and the Thule Society. Battle ensues, plus, I break the news about Jared Fogel to the table.
Alternate Titles:Ally McBeal Had an Abortion or Who Let the Dogs Out? I Let the Dogs Out.
When we were last with our heroes, Chuck had just dropped a running band saw on a werewolf. The mess was considerable. In this week’s episode, the party interrogates their prisoner, who turns out to be a very odd German, indeed.
Shia Lebouf Video
Several times during this episode and those that follow, we talk about a video called Shia Lebouf by Rob Cantor. The video is embedded below for your watching pleasure. I suggest you enjoy with friends or a loved one.
For this week’s episode, we watched the John Carpenter directed 1988 cult classic, They Live. Starring “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Keith David. This movie spawned multiple parodies, is referenced in the “OBEY” posters created by artist Shepard Fairey, and contains the greatest line ever committed to cellulose: “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.”
Sadly, between the recording of this podcast and today, Roddy Piper passed away from a cardiac arrest at the age of 61. We talked about what we wanted to do with the podcast, and decided to go ahead and release it, as we all really love the movie, and Roddy himself. Our thoughts go out to Roddy’s family, friends, and many many fans. He will be missed.