Remember early 1977? The Oakland Raiders had just won Super Bowl XI in Pasadena, California. The Raiders! I know! The game drew an estimated 62 million viewers and had a half-time show produced by Disney. Just across town in Hollywood, a tsunami was coming and there were few who knew about it; the Star Wars phenomenon was about to begin and it there was nothing to stop it from permeating American culture for the foreseeable future.
What am I on about? On ESPN this very week in 2015, these things were brought together once again — Star Wars and the NFL, now multi-billion dollar Empires, joined Forces to promote the hype, not to mention Disney being back in the mix as well. In case you missed it, the official (non-teaser) trailer for The Force Awakens debuted during Monday Night Football, and I’m here to break it down once again. Bear with me because there’s a lot here compared to the teasers. Get excited.
A single piano note plays. Intriguing. Who’s this? A
Oakland Tusken Raider?
Looks like Daisy Ridley’s character, whose name I still don’t know (and will try not to find out until I see the movie.) She’s in the wrecked hull of a crashed starship on Tatooine (that’s a lot of assumptions), perhaps the one the Falcon flies through in the second teaser.
She rappels down into a hangar bay, ruined by time and nature. There’s a TIE Fighter wing in one of the bays. Definitely Imperial, probably a Star Destroyer.
“Who are you?”
I was just wondering that! Daisy walks along Tatooine at dusk followed by soccer ball robot, BB-8.
“I am no one.”
Thanks, Arya Stark. If this girl gets an Arya-like story arc, I will be happy with this new trilogy.
A starship takes off as Daisy watches, a wondrous smirk growing on her face. Looks like she has bigger aspirations than being a scavenger on Tatooine. She’s our Luke, I would imagine.
Pan over a group of soldiers in formation, in front of them an elevated platform on which a black robed figure speaks. Behind him, a large red banner with a pseudo-Imperial sigil. A similar shot was used in the second teaser, albeit with the troopers facing the other way. Still no idea who this figure is, but his entourage is less hidden from this vantage point.
“I was raised to do one thing…”
What’s that, pant and look worried? ‘Cause that’s all you’ve done through three trailers so far, John Boyega. Something to note, he speaks with an American accent, despite being British. I wonder why that decision was made, given the proliferation of British talent throughout the saga.
An explosion in space and a TIE Fighter careening toward Tatooine like a wounded bat, wings folding in the outer atmosphere.
“…but I’ve got nothing to fight for.”
Mos Eisley Spaceport. Just kidding, it’s clearly Daisy’s little scavenger village. Isn’t John-Boy lucky to have crash landed near there, considering the probe droid that was pursuing him in the first teaser?
Alright alright alright, here’s our villain. On the bridge of a neo-Star Destroyer. God I love this. The classic ship architecture, the unmistakeably Imperial helmets, the red illumination (plus lense flair), everything.
“Nothing will stand in our way.”
Looks like a World War I era gas mask. Retro, but super creepy.
“I will finish what you started.”
Melted Vader mask makes a re-appearance, and now we know it’s likely in this guy’s hands, not Luke’s as I had previously imagined. I wonder what he thought Darth Vader’s mission was?
The music swells as our bad guy hovers his hand over another man’s face, who then begins to scream. Some kind of Force mind-meld, maybe? And this other guy, he kinda looks like Oscar Issac, does he not?
Fade to a shot of a forest exploding in a wall of flame. My first thought: new Death Star attack (see poster), second-person view?
The Millennium Falcon! Every time, man. It’s fleeing a single TIE Fighter on Tatooine, flying among the ruins of crashed Star Destroyers. This setting has been pretty well fleshed out among the three trailers; how this scene comes into the narrative, I am very curious to find out.
“There were stories about what happened.”
“…All of it.”
Here we go again. Han Mothaflippin’ Solo. On the Falcon. Accompanied by the “Han Solo and The Princess” motif from The Empire Strikes Back. This looks like a good movie already, but dammit J.J., that’s emotional manipulation! How am I supposed to be objective when you pull that?
Hyperspace! Was there ever this shot in the prequels? I honestly don’t remember.
Our villain, with a red cross-guard lightsaber, standing in the rain with a bunch of guys who look like knights. All around lay bodies. That’s… cheerful…
A shot of X-Wings locking into attack formation over water precedes this shot of them bearing down on a garrison of Storm Troopers among ruins.
“The dark side…”
The best Star Wars movie is the one that prominently features a Terran battle scene, rather than one set in space. Here’s a battle scene set on a planet. This bodes well.
At what looks like a Rebel base, a militant John-Boy, gun in hand, walks by and locks eyes with X-Wing pilot Oscar Isaac, who gives him a pat on the shoulder.
John-Boy stares back. Not a very emotive look, but he seems like a relatively naïve character from what I’ve seen. If that’s true, it gives him an easy narrative and story arc. Han Solo’s narration would certainly frame him as a Jedi-to-be.
Third-person X-Wing battle. Can we have this in video game form, please?
TIE Fighters? Here? We’re in danger! What’s that? I’ve already used that one before? Hmm…. Well, it looks like the neo-Empire has followed John-Boy to Daisy’s camp and now they’re attacking.
From the looks on our heroes’ faces, that was their ride.
This is almost a throwaway shot, on screen for less than a second. It’s John-Boy, BB-8, and Han Solo coming upon a temple-like building. There’s a crudely constructed red droid walking away. It’s probably CGI, and hopefully something that wasn’t added just to make the shot more dense. On the building, there are numerous flags with a myriad of colors and sigils. I can only hope this is where hermit Jedi Master Luke Skywalker resides.
This shot is re-used from the second teaser trailer. It’s clearly Luke Skywalker, so perhaps my logical leap in the previous paragraph is not unfounded. (It’s also the only appearance of Luke in this trailer. That intrigues me.)
An Imperial shuttle lands in a camp of Storm Troopers. Embers and smoke fly around, not unlike those from Luke’s fire above. The shuttle is clearly the one flying to the Star Destroyer from the second teaser, and the troop transport on the right side is clearly the one on which the Storm Troopers from the first teaser are deployed. What does this all mean? Not sure yet.
Dark Helmet super Storm Trooper (played by Gwendoline Christie, I believe) marches toward/out of the shuttle. She (?) must be the film’s secondary villain; the Emperor to Vader-Junior’s Vader. Does that make sense? No?
Cross-guard lightsaber comes crashing down in a re-used shot from the second teaser.
Daisy Ridley cries over what looks like a body. A hairy body. That’s not Chewbacca… is it…? …
Oh shit, it’s Chewbacca. Scenes aren’t put next to each other in trailers for no reason, you know. Here John-Boy, Chewie and Han appear to be surrendering on a battlefield, likely the planet with the X-Wing fight. But they look confused…
BB-8 pulls Astromech droid duty on an X-Wing, presumably piloted by Oscar Isaac. The frozen landscape behind is probably the one where the Imperial installation with the Storm Troopers and black-robed figure were. The swarm of TIE Fighters closing in kinda confirms that, doesn’t it?
“…it’s calling to you.”
*points at self* “…me?” So what I just said it now pretty much 100% confirmed. After a re-used shot of Oscar Isaac piloting his X-Wing, we see the above. That structure jutting out of the mountain is probably that exact installation. Pretty impressive wall, too. So this means so far we’ve got X-Wings on a jungly planet with lakes and a snowy planet. Hopefully they don’t overdo the battles here.
Storm Troopers run off of a troop transport, firing away. Different angle of the sequence from the first teaser. Lots of re-used scenes in these trailers — this tells me that tens of minutes of film aren’t even a little bit touched here. That’s good!
Fierce, angry Daisy Ridley fires a blast rifle. It’s got a red beam, so you know it’s an enemy weapon (right?). She’s pissed at whomever killed Chewie, I bet.
X-Wing guns down a Storm Trooper. Nice shot, Jansen!
Rapid fire trailer climax sequence starts with this re-used shot.
Pursued by a TIE Fighter into the wrecked starship hull, an explosion catches the Millennium Falcon on fire. Those visual effects are already excellent.
The bridge of a Star Destroyer explodes. If this is the same ship as earlier, spoilers.
Princess Leia! She’s sad…
But she’s there with Han Solo — that makes is better, right? I really hope she’s not crying about Chewbacca. Dammit. Meanwhile, in the background we see a bunch of familiarly dressed Rebel folk. This jungly planet with lakes must be the new Yavin IV.
John-Boy lights up a blue lightsaber. He’s in the woods and it’s snowing. Still makes me think of Game of Thrones. Star Wars is coming (this winter.)
Does he really think he can take this guy? I have a bad feeling about this.
“Just let it in.”
God damn. God damn! I am excited for this film!
Which means I’m done talking about it. Yep. There will undoubtedly be more trailers coming for The Force Awakens before it hits theatres in less than two months; I will not comment on them, nor the film until it’s been watched multiple times. Not a peep until then. Hell, I might not even watch the next trailers voluntarily in that time. (Lies) Gotta keep those expectations in check.
Two months isn’t a long time, right?