You may have heard about the release, last Friday morning, of the trailer for the eighth chapter in the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi. These days, trailer releases—at least the big ones—get almost as much fanfare as the films themselves, and their online views can number into the hundreds of millions. In some ways, all this hubbub is well-deserved, for trailers raise questions and get the fanverse all atwitter. Frequently, as it happens, on Twitter.
This is especially true for a Star Wars film. The trailer for The Force Awakens saw 128 million views in the first 24 hours. The Last Jedi’s trailer is tracking a bit more slowly. It got 40 million view in 24 hours, and as of this writing the YouTube page featuring it has seen 26 million. And, to be sure, this number is steadily rising faster than the Millennium Falcon in a power climb.
In due course, we’ll be covering the new film. After all, Star Wars is an enormous father/son epic. In fact, The Force Awakens introduced another father/son story into saga, between Han Solo and Kylo Ren. Beyond these direct, bloodline relationships, there are father-figure/son relationships throughout the series, such as those between Qui-Gon Jinn and the young Anakin, Darth Sidious and the teenaged Anakin, and Obi-Wan and Luke. And of course, Rey, the girl at the center of The Force Awakens, has a dad—and he might even be an important person in the story. Eventually we might learn who he is; right now we’re not even sure she knows.
One of the most powerful elements of the Star Wars movies is that they illustrate how critical the father/son relationship is. Think about it. The universe would be a very different place if Anakin had shown up for Luke and Leia at all and if Han had shown up a bit more for Ben (Kylo’s given name). It just goes to show you how important being a present, engaged dad is, no matter what planet you call home.