The name’s Bond, James Bond
007 is extremely versatile, and I don’t just mean because he can drive any vehicle and is handy with a range of weaponry.
The hero of the series and the series itself have managed to move with the changing decades quite seamlessly. The longevity and popularity of the series is a remarkable achievement, considering there have been new films released in every decade since the 1960s.
The Bond we have seen in recent years is a far cry from Sean Connery’s Bond in 1962, ranging from the villains he faces to the clothes he wears. One thing has remained constant, though: his resolute and charismatic persona. While Daniel Craig’s 007 may not have Roger Moore’s smoothness or George Lazenby’s perma-grin, he does have the same allure.
You can read my hopes for Spectre here but one thing is certain about the super spy series: it has an appeal that has captured the imagination and attention of its audience for years and will undoubtedly do so for many more.
Changing the scenarios to fit with contemporary themes but keeping its leading man at around 35-years-old is a winning formula. If that decision hadn’t been made, Bond would be around 88-years-old now, if S.P.E.C.T.R.E. hasn’t finished him off…
Verdict: Bond is an ageless chameleon, changing with each film to suit that year’s audience. Is this the key to the series’ success? Undoubtedly.
In a galaxy far, far away…
Releasing three films and then releasing three prequels is an interesting idea, and one that George Lucas pulled off with varying degrees of success with Star Wars.
10 years after releasing Revenge of the Sith, Lucas returns to a galaxy far, far away with The Force Awakens, which is set 30 years after what is now referred to as Episode VI, Return of the Jedi, released in 1983.
Confused? You might well be, but spare a thought to those experiencing the space opera for the first time this year. Do they watch The Force Awakens first or wait until they’ve seen the previous six? If it’s the latter, do they watch Episodes 1-3 first or Episodes 4-6? The answer depends on who you ask.
In terms of how the passing of time will be portrayed, while you’re able to make reasonable guesses for Jurassic World and Spectre, it’s very difficult with The Force Awakens, which in some ways is exactly how you want it to be.
From the trailer you’re aware that Han Solo and Chewbacca will make at least a cameo appearance while there have been strong rumours that Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2-D2, and C-3PO are also returning.
How they will fit in with this new, post-Galactic Empire world is unknown. Also unknown are the backgrounds of the new lead characters: Finn, Rey and Poe Dameron. Could they be relations of Han and Leia? Did Luke find someone? The answers might be revealed but I’m thinking that they’ll be staggered, in true Star Wars fashion.
Verdict: A sci-fi legend, this universe isn’t comparable with anything else. As long as there are nods to characters and places featured previously, audiences will be kept happy.