Video: "Star Wars Episode VII" trailer -- the George Lucas special edition

To cleanse the palate, the only way to be sure it’s a parody and not the real deal is to remind yourself that Lucas no longer has the right to gouge SW fanatics by re-editing official releases after the fact and selling them as special editions. But if he did, this is what the new trailer would look like. Nothing says “Lucas” like overkill (and, yes, leaden dialogue) and overkill is definitely the name of the game here. Congrats to the parodists in resisting the urge to toss a Jar Jar cameo in here. The pressure must have been enormous.

Now, can anyone fill me in on the “black Stormtrooper” controversy that’s not actually a controversy? What I mean is, what is the controversy supposed to be? Is it that some racist “Star Wars” fans allegedly object to having a black actor play a Stormtrooper? Why would they do that? Stormtroopers are bad guys; racists would presumably prefer to think of them as black. They can’t be objecting to the fact that a black actor’s been cast in a major role. After Lando Calrissian and Mace Windu, anyone that troubled by non-white actors in the “Star Wars” universe would have bailed long ago. Maybe the fake controversy is coming from the other direction, i.e. some SW fans object to the fact that a black actor has been cast in a villainous role, thus “Otherizing” him or whatever. But that can’t be it. We don’t know that this guy is an actual Stormtrooper rather than just posing as one, a la Luke and Han in the original film, or maybe he’s an actual Stormtrooper who’s defecting from the empire to the rebels (which is why he seems so nervous in the trailer). Whatever the answer, it’s a safe bet that one of three things is true: The black Stormtrooper will either (1) be one of the good guys from the start of Episode VII, (2) start off bad but become good over the course of the film or several films, or (3) be bad and remain that way but be “balanced” by another black actor in a hero’s role on the side of the rebels. It’s hard to imagine an industry like “Star Wars” risking political fallout by restarting the most popular movie series ever and relegating its lone black star to a sinister role. My money’s on door number 1, that the Stormtrooper outfit here is some kind of big fake-out.

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