The FORCE is with you. It always was… The wait is over. The TRAILER for the new STAR WARS has debuted today. And it was out of this world… um, pun intended (?).
For me, this sneak preview totally delivered. It teased me just enough. It didn’t reveal too much of anything. There’s no dialogue. There’s no big actors revealed. There are no original actors revealed. Yet, this brand spanking new trailer for EPISODE VII is totally satisfying.
“Run through the tape.” It’s a sports analogy. It means don’t give up, don’t let up for one second, until you cross that finish line. For me, THE PHANTOM MENACE trilogy – let up. It nearly tarnished the franchise for good. But now that GEORGE LUCAS has passed the baton, in this metaphorical relay race, on to JJ ABRAMS, I feel like we have a chance for a reinvigorated approach to the galaxy.
The trailer begins with a quiet shot of the parched Tattooine, that holds for a long moment. Then JOHN BOYEGA (a revelation in the super fun alien invasion flick ATTACK THE BLOCK) suddenly pops up. A storm trooper “awakens”. Hmmm. He seems at least mildly panicked. Who’s after him? And what did he find?
And did he awaken metaphorically, as well as literally? Are we looking at the worried face of a new Jedi?
What I really appreciate here is the staging (the set-up). I was missing this from the new JURASSIC PARK trailer. Have no fear, STAR WARS did the early trailer right.
The musical score also helps sets the stage. I’m not sure if it’s John Williams’ work earlier in the trailer. I’m definitely sure on the end though. For me, it felt like Abram’s regular collaborator, Michael GIACCHINO (LOST, THE INCREDIBLES). Regardless, the stirring velocity of the score builds excitement with each passing second. Brilliantly engaging and energetic.
We get brief glimpses of old familiar tropes we expect from these movies. We get cute little droids, land speeders, storm troopers, lightsabers, TIE fighters, X-Wings, and the Mother Blippin’ MILLENIUM FALCON. It’s all hinted at. None of these reveals feels heavy-handed. These images are matched to a fairly ominous sounding narration. The TONE is PERFECT for this entire trailer – even when it shifts from mystery to excitement.
I love how this trailer is so super nerdy exciting and we never ever get a glimpse of the original characters. We never see Luke or Han or anyone. We don’t even meet the bigger names in the new cast, like ADAM DRIVER, or LUPITA NYONG’O, nor BRIENNE of TARTH.
You think I’d be ticked off or something, being a passionate movie nerd, but I really do appreciate this approach. I can wait to see the old familiars. Right now, I was more curious how ABRAMS would handle STAR WARS. Heh, fanboys, not a single long lens flare in sight.
We briefly get a glimpse at the villain and his blaring red lightsaber. It has 2 small horizontal blades at the hilt, making this seem like a Scottish Highland CLAYMORE or something. It also makes it feel more like a (Jedi) Knight’s actual sword. I wonder if this is Driver’s character, or if he will play Solo’s son?
Nostalgia really sets in near the end, as we watch the MILLENIUM FALCON arc skyward. It flips back down at impossible angles and takes our breath away as it skims (inches) over the sand. JOHN WILLIAMS’ familiar score returns with the shot, building us towards (nerd) climax. This was the money shot for me – the Falcon running from TIE fighters over Luke’s home planet.
Already, this new STAR WARS feels like EPISODE IV, where the storyline is largely a giant CHASE. I appreciate this dialed back plot. I hope it stays simple, and avoids the political meanderings of the recent trilogy.
We get a brief glimpse of OSCAR ISAAC (from INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS) as an X-Wing pilot. I wonder if everyone is looking for Boyega’s storm trooper? Or is the X-Wing stuff on the same forest planet as the Sith? At least we got to see one of the bigger name actors playing new characters.
I love how this trailer focuses on the new characters. It helps establish those that will take over the sequels (?) But it also says right up front that THIS is a new STAR WARS universe. It is so refreshing to NOT know where this new story will go. The previous trilogy was confined to an established outcome – Ani becomes Vader. THE FORCE AWAKENS has no limits. Maybe the Sith are recruiting for a large battle against good Jedis?
Another subtle thing I didn’t notice until reflection… we never see outer-space. We never get a shot of a dogfight amongst the stars. Again, I love this restraint. This is only the first trailer, of what I assume will be many more. I know we will get more plot revealed and more action later. For now, I really like that the trailer focuses on staging the universe. I like how it lets the audience fill in the blanks.
I was so satisfied with the trailer for EPISODE 7. For me, there wasn’t one thing wrong. I loved it. LOVED IT.
What did you think? Did the marketing team nail this trailer?
Were you upset that you didn’t get to see the original cast? Or the big name new ones?
Are you counting down the days, already?