Stealing From Don Draper’s Playbook: The Force Awakens and the Power of Nostalgia

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.

S2E22 – Double Your Fun Pt 8: Did You Put This on Snapchat?

When last we were with our heroes, we talked about Jared Fogel, Chuck was trying to shoot someone, and Sammy broke the mic stand. This week, more shooting!

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Dummy Plug Podcast Ep. 028

Kaworu

Dummy Plug Podcast Ep. 028 – Kaworu Did Nothing Wrong

The Dummy Plug Podcast returns from a long hiatus to discuss the intricate relationship between Kaworu and Shinji. They also take some time to talk about wrestling for some reason.

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S2E21 – Double Your Fun Pt 7: So How Do You Spell Wiskeydorf?

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.

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S2E20 – Double Your Fun Pt 6: Actual Cannibal Shia Lebouf

2GAGAAG_DON-2048

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.

 

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Dummy Plug Book Club Ep. 06

BookClubLogo

Dummy Plug Book Club Ep. 06

The Dummy Plug Book Club returns with it’s sixth episode. Iowa, Nico, and Unit-02 discuss the sixth volume of the Sadamoto manga.

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Dummy Plug Podcast Ep. 027

Mari

Dummy Plug Podcast Ep. 027 – Live from Anime Iowa 2015

Gaynor79 and General_Iowa head out to Anime Iowa 2015 to discuss Evangelion and answer fan questions…all before a fire alarm threatens to kill them all.

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Dummy Plug Podcast Ep. 026

Shinji

Dummy Plug Podcast Ep. 026 – The Podcast that Shouted “I” at the World

A case study of a certain Evangelion character…

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S2E19 – Double Your Fun Pt 5: Witness Me!…Again!

2GAGAAG_DON-2048When we were last with our heroes, Chuck was just trying to throw a werewolf into a running band saw.  Find out how that went in this exciting episode!

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GLRL Episode 9: “They Live” (1988) with Aaron Waltke

GreenLightRedLightLogo2BigFor 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.

Our guest for the main episode is Aaron Waltke of DreamWorks Animation, who hosts two podcasts of his own, My Arms are Lasers and Paranoia Shoppe, both available on the Explosomagico Network.  You can find Aaron on Twitter at @goodaaron.

Copyright Universal Studios
Copyright Universal Studios

The movie is available from Amazon, on Blu-Ray, DVD, or Watch Instantly.

Music: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music