Posts Tagged ‘the force awakens’

I asked a knowledgeable friend to write my Star Wars post. He is probably more of a movie buff than me! I’m not the biggest fan and I wouldn’t do it justice. Contact me for more info on him! Thanks again for writing the post. If you want to be a guest feel free to contact me on Twitter.

Well it’s here, it’s finally here. Unless you’ve been living long ago in a galaxy far, far way then you have heard about Star Wars and more importantly for this conversation Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ inaugural teaser trailer. And if you do live in another galaxy in the past then we have other issues. Anyway, that trailer….As you can imagine, the response, views and reactions for it have been massive–record-setting–which isn’t surprising for the world’s largest movie franchise and, as a result, the world’s largest nerd community. The trailer was so big that at least two separate versions of it have registered 10 million+ views of it on youtube in 3 days; the Star Wars and MovieClips channel with the latter having 36+ million. Then there is the George Lucas-ized parody version of it with 5.5 million hits in 1 day and the lego version with 2.5 million in two days. It is probably needless to mention the many other uploads across youtube and the web that have hundreds of thousands and millions of hits as well. This movie is humongous and really anticipated.

And you must be thinking with that kind of pressure and that kind of angst and especially that kind of expectation this teaser will be 3 minutes and spoil half the movie? Well you’d be wrong because that isn’t Star Wars or J.J. Abrams style. Let me preface this by saying I am a prequel fan and an Abrams fan and so my opinion may not and probably is not the prevailing attitude of the Wars community at large–at least when dishing out praise for those two subjects. Anyway, back to that trailer topic. It came to my attention through an Abrams interview with Howard Stern on Stern’s radio show that Abrams has major reservations about revealing much of anything in marketing and prefers to keep the audience guessing and off-balance. As a result I did not expect much with the rumored teaser at all. As expected, the trailer was short, sweet and revealed nothing of import plot-wise. What we got were flashes of a handful of figures and then one massive fanservice tease that would make any fanboy with a soul or a pulse shit their pants. All of this was pleasantly positively received, fans of course have craved for another Star Wars since 2005 when the saga under George Lucas concluded, but when Disney purchased and announced new episodes anticipation was at a fever pitch to see what they can do; this may have colored a few opinions both ways but nevertheless the reaction to it had to be what Disney was pleased with. It was just like 1998 again when The Phantom Menace was teased–the first film from the second Star Wars trilogy. It did all it set out to do and left people wanting more excited and hungrier for more footage or info, a perfect storm for The Force Awakens.

Now to the part a lot of people may be looking for, a break down of some sort. To be honest the trailer was so short, so sparse with information and connectivity it will be quite difficult to make a proper breakdown, this will mostly be filled with background information, conjecture and facts about it that don’t involve the plot. So yeah I suppose it is time to start.

The teaser opens quietly on a very familiar landscape, one featured in every Star Wars film to date bar the highest-received on (Empire Strikes Back). That landscape, or should I say planet, is the desert planet Tatooine, the homeworld of the Skywalker boys Anakin and his son Luke. This time however there is a decidedly different character popping up. With voiceover provided by Andy Serkis (mentioning the film’s subtitle no less), a disheveled man stormtrooper armor sans the helmet rises into camera view in a befuddled tizzy. Said man is actor and presumed lead actor John Boyega. Anyway, the character who has yet to be named publicly appears to be in a sweaty frenzy in the middle of Tatooine’s harsh, rolling desert (with a slight audible probe droid transmission in the background–or at least the probe droid’s speech sound effects from Empire Strikes Back–perhaps hinting that he is being hunted for by Imperial Forces?). Next we see a squat, rolling droid/robot with the head of an R2 astromech (the production model/droid type made famous by R2-D2), making cute little beeps while rolling through a junkyard(?) in one of Tatooine’s many famous towns (Anchorhead, Mos Espa, Mos Eisley, etc) and surveying its surroundings. This character was also not given a name. Next couple shots deal with a squadron of stormtroopers in low blue lighting and traveling aboard a gunship or spacecraft of some sort before a ramp opens up, suggesting they jump out. Either this is hearkening back to Boyega’s character in full uniform or this is a separate Imperial Stormtrooper (maybe they are hunting him?) . Either way, eagle-eyed fans will notice the armor has been touched up with a slightly different helmet than what was issued in the classic original trilogy from 30+ years ago (upgrades?). They prepare to go out into a windy, dark, somewhat lit place.

After the brief glimpses of stormtroopers we see yet another new character being introduced on Tatooine–playing an important role in the film perhaps?. This one is a woman dressed in local/peasant garb riding a speeder bike of some sort. She quickly looks back behind her and races off toward a town. Maybe she is the object of the stormies search or the droid’s or even Boyega, either way she seems to be a popular character at this point. The actress playing her is Daisy Ridley, she has long been rumored to be the child of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa/Skywalker–two important characters from the original films. No confirmation has been made on her as well. Now we are getting into the juicier stuff. Adam Driver has been the center of a great deal of speculation, with many stating he’d be a villain or working his way up to one starting with this movie. It is clear off the bat that the former rumor is false considering he is an X-Wing pilot and a member of the Republic/Rebellion’s militia who were the good guys in the older films. This, however, does not preclude him turning later on. We do know that X-Wings and Rebel pilots are still operating in some capacity which also makes one wonder whether the Galactic Civil War is still raging 30 years from the onset of the destruction of the First Death Star or if a tenuous peace was consummated between the Rebels and Empire–which leads to the crux of the conflict in this film and beyond. One thing is clear–both factions exist still, long after Darth Vader and the Emperor’s death.

Serkis’s narration continues over a mysterious cloaked figure trudging with purpose through a dark, wintry forest. He waxes philosophically about the dark side of the Force while the character reveals what happens to be a lightsaber hilt in the style of medieval broadswords such as Excalibur or Lord of the Rings styled swords. A red blade emits from the hilt and two smaller ones jut out as handle guards to protect the user’s hands from an opposing lightsaber. As we all know red is the color of the Sith which were purportedly destroyed some 30 years prior, have they returned? Was the Force not balanced or does that mean something else entirely now? Who is this guy and is he the leader or someone else leads him? Is he the narrator or not?

And boy oh boy did they save the best for last. I really mean that. This is where fanboys crapping their pants would occur. The one moment that makes this trailer worthwhile and quite possibly better than any other trailer that have graced our memories recently (many competitors for that between Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, etc). I mean the scene is just that epic for fans. And that scene (with Serkis talking about the light side in juxtaposition) is the sudden appearance of the Millennium Falcon in full glory–AND ENGINES GOING FULL BLAST!–flying over the sunny sand dunes of Tatooine with the majesty and beauty of the Star Wars theme blaring (complete with a blaring brass section–did I mention the man was composing for this film? John Williams). It does a quick loop just before flying low over the dunes toward a duo of TIE fighters. Their familiar roar of their engines renewing a sense of nostalgia in us–as well as their horrendous aim–heading on a collision course with the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. SPOILER: They do not crash. Further, sharp-eyed fans will notice the replacement dish on the Falcon in place of the one she lost at Endor at the end of Return of the Jedi.

Roll title and release date. And that is that. That is the trailer. It may be sparse and mysterious but that is how we like it and that is how Abrams likes it. Since he likes what we like or vice versa, it can be reasonable to state this franchise and we are in good hands.

We saw none of the familiar faces that made us fall for the series in the first place but it did have some epic moments and the return of our baby–the Falcon. All of that was against the teaser and it still worked. A trailer that doesn’t spoil anything and leaves us with a mere taste, fancy that. It was well-worth the wait and praise and I can’t wait for the next glimpse like everyone else. The intrigue and suspense will remain for a long time still, probably until December 18th, 2015 but it will be a fun ride.

Star Wars will live on in long, long from now in a galaxy near you.