The Force Awakens, Sort Of

The much-anticipated seventh Star Wars film, titled The Force Awakens is slated for a December 2015 release.  It’s really too bad, since its first teaser trailer debuted the day after Thanksgiving and, while the prequels did take a dent out of my expectations for canon films within the universe, what was given in the teaser was all at once too much Star Wars and not enough information for me to retain my sanity over the next 13 months.

Needless to say, I’m excited.  How about that trailer?

1Oh hey, Tatooine!  We’ve been there many times before, in every film in fact, except for the best one.  That’s bad.  Looks more like Return of the Jedi than the prequels though.  That’s good!

“There’s been an awakening… have you felt it?”

2Bam! John Boyega!  As a Stormtooper!  Or he’s pulling a trojan horse stunt a la A New Hope.  If that’s the case, my thoughts turn immediately to J.J. Abrams’ treatment of Star Trek: Into Darkness.  I really hope they don’t rehash original trilogy (OT) ideas.  After all, nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake doomed the prequel trilogy (PT)… among many other things.  I’m inclined to believe he’s in disguise though, since he’s not only rumored to be the main character, but he also seems to be quite panicked here.  Did I just hear an Imperial Probe Droid!?

3And now, this:  several seconds of soccer-ball robot.  Not really sure what the point is with this shot, though I can imagine it being the first half of an establishing shot of one of the film’s locales on Tatooine.

4“Aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper?”

That was said about Luke Skywalker, of course.  How tall is Mark Hamill?  Google says 5’9″.  John Boyega is also (perhaps pretending to be) a Stormtrooper.  How tall is he?  5’9″.

Here a squadron of Stormtroopers is landing for an infantry assault in a stormy environment.  The trailer sequence is very twitchy with the lighting and momentary close-up shots, which seems very unlike the OT (that’s okay), but also very unlike the PT (that’s good).

5And back to Tatooine.  It’s Daisy Ridley, and she too looks panicked.  I wonder what everyone is running from?

6She scoots away on a very Star Wars-y vehicle off to civilization.  I would say that’s likely where the soccer-ball robot is putzing around.

7Now we’re talking!  The pilot of an X-Wing (Oscar Isaac, I believe) shot from the console as we’ve seen in the OT countless times.  Except it’s not in space, it’s…

8….skimming the surface of a large body of water in attack formation with a few other X-Wings, all painted with blue stripes.  Those engine sound effects — perfection.  I got serious chills.

9Speaking of chills, Winter Is Coming.  At least, Game of Thrones is what immediately popped into my mind during this shot.  A man in a black robe hobbles through snowy woods, stops and whips out a red lightsaber.  The lightsaber then pops out adorable little light-crossguards.  It’s cheesy, at first glance.  What utility does it serve?  And do we really need more variations of lightsabers after the double-bladed fiasco of The Phantom Menace?

Except this might be more interesting, because unless the new trilogy is using different lightsaber effects, this blade demonstrates a much more flame-like texture, with the crossguards shooting out with a wavering flicker almost like gas out of exhaust ports.  A couple things here: there are lightswords with crossguards in the Expanded Universe.  I also read this effect might be caused by something like an unstable synthetic lightsaber crystal and the crossguards actually are exhaust to release pressure (or something).  In any case, I’m intrigued to see what this guy’s story is.

(Aside, it’s been an absolute struggle here to write lightsaber and not lightsabre…)

“The dark side, and the light.”

10Star Wars fanfare!  The Millennium Falcon!  Nostalgia overload!  Hey, look at that, they replaced the radar dish with a newer looking model!  Nice attention to detail.  They’re back on Tatooine (again) and the Falcon does some crazy flippy-floops as the camera tries to follow.  This to me screams J.J. Abrams;  the first thing I thought of here was how similar the Enterprise was shot at times during the Star Trek reboots.  The vapor effects and lens flare only add to the similarities. (That is the only lens flare in the trailer, by the way.)

11Tie Fighters? Here!?  We’re in danger!

And that’s it!

1288 seconds later, I still know nothing more about the movie than I did when I first clicked play.  I know it’s got a Star Wars-y feel, as far as locations, props, costumes, vehicles, sounds, music, and casting is concerned.  The cinematography feels different, naturally, however it’s impossible to draw any such conclusions from less than a minute of actual scenes, especially in a teaser trailer likely meant to obfuscate and entice.

So now I’m here in this weird place where I’m all of a sudden excited about Star Wars again, yet it will be months of agonizing waiting, tracking all of the speculation and news that’s to come.  Right now I’m cautiously optimisic.  J.J. Abrams has done some questionable things with Star Trek.  He’s also done some awesome things with it.  All word from the cast, notably Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels, has been overwhelmingly positive so I have faith it’s been done right.

We’ll find out next December.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s