Trailer Thoughts: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

In just eight months or so, we will have the first new live-action Star Wars movie since 2005. The Force Awakens is the name of this movie, continuing on from the legacy of both the original and the prequel trilogies. The trinity from the original trilogy will be returning in The Force Awakens, older and wiser, but still alive and kicking, and I think that it is going to be a glorious time for Star Wars fans. Some months ago, we had the teaser trailer that kicked everything off last year, and just today, we got to see the first proper trailer for the movie.

Before we start with the whole thing let me make one thing clear, while I understand Disney’s decision to scrap the Star Wars Expanded Universe canon, I am also completely opposed to the whole idea since the SWEU contains such a wealth of incredible lore shaped over decades by hundreds of people. To just throw it all by the wayside… well, that rubs me the wrong way. Either way, having seen the new trailer, I’ll be going into the movie with an open mind, largely because I love how tasteful the trailer is and how it completely pulls me in, which is invaluable.

Star Wars Ep 7 Logo 0001When the teaser trailer was released last year, there was a lot to like about it, even though somethings didn’t quite make sense, such as the crossguard lightsaber, which strikes me as really impractical and I haven’t really been convinced by any of the explanations for why it would be a good thing to have in what is essentially a laser sword. Eh. Let’s focus on the good things shall we?

Well, with the teaser trailer landing, we also got to watch a really epic moment towards the end, when the good old Millennium Falcon is being chased around in the atmosphere of a desert world by a bunch of TIE fighters. The mood of that entire closing scene, with the way that it is shot and the accompanying score, well, it did give me something to latch on to, something to point at and say, “I really like where this is going despite some of the silliness like the new lightsaber and the football droid”.

Now, with the new teaser, things seem to continue in the same vein. And like I said, I love how tasteful the trailer is. It captures some really epic moments, both the grandiose and the more subtle ones, and it seemingly tells me, “dude, you need to watch this movie, this is gonna rock!” How can I resist something like that? To be honest, I really can’t. I check all my news feeds and chats and I’m really struck by how much positivity surrounds the new trailer. People are hyped about the movie more than ever before and they are all chattering about it as if it is the greatest thing since Darth Vader became a BAMF in The Empire Strikes Back.

Before I get on with the breakdown, here’s the trailer for your pleasure:

Just that opening shot with the half-buried Imperial Star Destroyer and what looks like a crashed X-wing? That opening alone sells me on this movie. It sells me on the visuals. It sells me on the direction. Why? I can’t really say or explain it, but I just love that shot. The whole panoramic thing is impressive in the extreme and I think that it instantly sets the context of what Star Wars has always been about: the struggle between the good and the bad, the struggle between the Empire and the Rebellion (later the New Republic). It also tells you that the story is yet another take on the old Goliath versus David tale. After all, it was a single X-wing that destroyed the first Death Star. It was a farm-boy from a remote world who destroyed the Emperor and set Darth Vader free. It was an X-wing and a beat-up old freighter that took down the second Death Star. This is a story about the long odds, the impossible fights.

How can you resist something like that? I certainly can’t.

Then we move on to Luke Skywalker’s voice-overs when he talks about the Force and his family’s deep connection to it. Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa Solo, Mara Jade, the Solo twins Jacen and Jaina, Anakin Solo, Ben Skywalker. The Force does indeed run very strong in the Solo-Skywalker clan, and Luke’s voice-over attesting to this seems to be the story of a man reflecting on his life and what has brought him there. There’s a certain… wistfulness to the tone, one that evokes some grand tales, and some very tiny ones too. It really makes you want to sit up and listen, to pay attention.

The fact that we don’t actually see any of the people mentioned by Luke directly (not Anakin Skywalker, not him, not Leia, nor even the next generation of the clan) is also significant. The trailer wants you to be excited for whoever it is that Luke is talking to, and let me tell you, I’m pretty damn excited myself. Disney has kicked out the SWEU so it is anybody’s guess who Luke is talking to. Jacen? Jaina? Anakin? Ben? Someone else? Maybe Disney has changed the names? I don’t know and right now, I also don’t particularly care since I want to remain positive about the movie and not reflect on how it might treat my beloved SWEU.

And then things kick into high gear and the action takes off. John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac are the new additions to the cast, and we follow them along for quite a bit of the trailer. The chase. The battle. The emotions. The feels. Man, the feels are really strong with this trailer. As the time-mark winds up, so does the music. It soars, and you continue to get pulled into the latest Star Wars experience. While John Boyega was initially somewhat confusing for me to follow as a main character, the new trailer seems to do a much better job of focusing on him, and I think that’s great. Stormtroopers haven’t really had starring roles, even in the SWEU in my experience, so this is an interesting turn of events as far as I’m concerned, and furthermore, I really like this. Especially in the context of that badass new Stormtrooper we see, decked out in all polished greys and blacks. Now that’s impressive too.

The trailer ends on a really great note, with Han Solo and Chewie together in what I think is the Millennium Falcon, and that final scene just sealed the deal for me. The production team did the same with the teaser trailer last year, and this full-on trailer is no exception at all. A fantastic scene to end on, and to get the viewers really excited.

Trust me, I’m hell of a lot excited for this movie now. I don’t know what all the changes are going to be. Whether characters previously dead will be brought to life or not. Whether characters previously alive will be killed or not. I will be saddened at the major changes, but I will still go into this with an open mind. I hope. I would like to.

You know what, just watch the trailer again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

Trust me.

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Posted on April 17, 2015, in Movies News, News, Trailer Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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