Back in January, I watched Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens live in theater at the Regal Birkdale Stadium 16 and RPX Theater. I would have watched it in December when it first came out, but the challenge in providing access for DeafBlind patrons is due to the pace of such a film, interpreters would need to be able to watch it themselves first. We watched the movie in Regal Cinema’s RPX screening of the show.
Interpreting Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens live in a theater is very challenging and exhausting for both the consumer and the interpreters especially when it is provided through tactile. While an interpreting team can switch off, the consumer has no opportunity for a break and must continue onwards.
Because of the visual complexity of such a movie, we usually do not have time to expand upon the visuals all the time, so we have to focus more on the auditory and provide visual information in description ASL when it is important to the plat or if the consumer is asking for clarification. Otherwise, in order to keep up, the interpreters need to focus more on the dialogue, and when there is no actual talking involved, they can describe the action being done on screen.
Because I had also managed to get halfway through the novelization by Alan Foster before I watched it live in theater, I had an easier time understanding the concepts and information conveyed via ASL. However, once we got beyond the point that I actually read in the book, sometimes I had difficulty understanding what was being conveyed, and the interpreters had to explain it in a different way.
Yesterday, I finally finished the book, and thought I’d write a review of it here.
For the past several years, I’ve read some of the other books in the Star Wars franchise, such as The New Jedi Order series, which “happened” after the point in which this story actually happened–that being in quotes because none of the books that were written about after Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi are valid anymore. This means that all of those books created an alternate path that could have been. This, unfortunately, made me very confused while both reading and watching Episode VII!
For example, in that alternate path, Luke Skywalker eventually marries Mara Jake, the former Emperor’s Hand, and had a son named Ben who fell to the Dark. Han and Leia also married and had three children–the twins, Jacen and Jaine, and their younger son, Anakin.
One thing I’m wondering about is who exactly Rey’s parents are, as Kylo Ren seemed to know more about her then she side herself, and Han Solo seemed to recognize her. I guess we’ll find out in Episode VIII.