Sunday, November 11, 2012

Skyfall, Halo 4, and Star Wars VII: A Non-filmy Prelude to Something More Filmy


(This post isn't directly about film, but it preludes one that is, and I thought it was important to get these thoughts out first. Another post more directly related to film will follow.)

On Wednesday night, I went to the theater for the first time in quite a while to see Skyfall. When I was a kid, sometime during elementary school, probably around fourth or fifth grade,  I couldn't get enough of James Bond. dad would take me and my brother to this video rental store called West Coast Video (now closed), and one by one we rented and watched every single Bond movie. It was glorious, and at time, it was probably the most fulfilling accomplishment of my life.

Looking back, I realize now that I have absolutely no idea what was happening in any of those films. I had a good sense of the Bond formula. There's Bond, the girl, sometimes there a girl that you think is the girl, but she dies a little less than halfway through the flick, one really bad dude that Bond plays cat and mouse with, and his countless disposable thugs that get mowed down left and right. However, I was pretty fuzzy on the details. What was Live and Let Die about exactly? I have no clue.
The other night after watching Skyfall, I realized that what happened to me after watching so many of these films is that I got really, really attached to some characters. If you've seen the film (and if you have made it this far, I assume you have as I included a giant spoiler warning sign up top), you know that M dies. I was heartbroken. It seemed to me that Bond spent the entire film attempting to save her and in the end, even though they got the bad guy, she just didn't make it.

Now, I know that M won't be coming back in the form of Judy Dench. For one, the actor is ill, and for two, that would be ridiculous to try and pull off (especially after the Daniel Craig reboot). But this brings me to Halo 4. I blew through the campaign this weekend. I thought it was really, really good. The character development really stuck out to me this time as something that 343 Industries (the studio now in charge of the Halo franchise post Bungie) really put a lot of time into. And that's why it was so hard to swallow that Cortana, Chief's companion for (to us fans, anyway) over ten years now, might not be making a return.

Who knows? All plans for future Halo games are kept under wraps pretty tightly until launch, and for all we know, in another 3 years we might be playing Halo 5: Cortana Returns or something like that, but we can't know for sure. Unlike M however, even if 343 had no plans to bring Cortana back, fan reactions might just twist their arm a bit.

Right now on forums across the web, Halo fans are reacting to Cortana's death, as well as trying to figure out how 343 could potentially "bring her back" because it seems that the general concensus is that the Chief and Cortana are part of a unit. This is particularly interesting for the Halo series, as it's always been said that Halo really forces the player to embody the Chief in a way that other games just can't pull off. So, it would make sense that Cortana would be closer to a lot of Halo players than other characters in other games. (I'll admit I'm totally biased about this. I love these games.)

As you may or may not know, fans got Bioware to edit the ending (sort of) to Mass Effect 3. They could do the same for 343 and bring Cortana back for Halo 5. But what does this have to do with film?
Good question. M isn't coming back. The Bond series wouldn't allow something like that. Now, with Halo, we have a sci-fi setting, and a little more wiggle room to play with what is and is not impossible...
What I'm wondering is what this sort of possibility could mean for Star Wars VII, which was recently announced by Disney after their purchase of the Star Wars license. Bye-bye midichlorians?
Next time, I'll be looking more closely at Star Wars VII and what the possible effects that fandom and Internet culture may or may not have on the upcoming film.