After being off last week, celebrity nerd Stephen Colbert said he just had to talk about the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer. The host is an outspoken fan of all things geek, though Star Wars does come second to his love of all things Tolkien. He admitted that he and director J.J. Abrams are good friends (the two are having a "celebrity nerd-off" in about a month, after all), but joked that Abrams "hasn't told [him] anything - including what J.J. stand for or his phone number."
First, Colbert expressed his excitement for the trailer. "Seeing the Millennium Falcon again, I got this combination of weeping and giggling, that I call 'Geepling' which I believe is also one of the names of the new Star Wars characters." He joked as well that seeing "Chewbacca reunited with Han Solo's grandfather was incredible."
He then guessed the plot of the film. His idea is that after the events thirty years ago, the "First Order has stepped into the power vacuum once held by the Empire" and the "newly-named Resistance fights in place of the Rebel Alliance." Okay, we're with you so far, Stephen... but then he gets a bit crazy.
His theory is that the Rebel Alliance made a "tragic slip to the Dark Side" and that the "new new hope comes from the enemy that we've been trained to hate," positing that "the Dark Side was never explicitly tied to the Empire" and that the "good" and "bad" in this film have been flipped.
Well, Stephen, that's a lovely theory, but it's also wrong on many levels. First off, we know that the power vacuum was filled by the New Republic - at least partially, and at least for a time. That's been established in the comic books and novels that have been published in the last two months, and explicitly stated. As far as the Dark Side not being tied to the Empire, you're wrong again there, my friend - remember, the Empire was ruled by the literal leader of the Dark Side, the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, aka Emperor Palpatine. Everything the Empire did was meant to serve the Sith and grow their power, as part of Palpatine's manipulation of the forces of the Galaxy. That's as "explicitly tied" as you can get.
It is fun, however, to see just how far the reach of Star Wars is, when you have the hosts of late night talk shows on major networks debating and theorizing just like a geek journalist or fans sitting around at a comic shop or bar might. Even when they're dead wrong.