By James Nelson
At last, the last days of waiting are upon us! We have our tickets (of course), and are patiently deciding what to wear to the IMAX premiere (some TK armor, or maybe a Jedi robe?), and for the next 58 days we have one last trailer to obsess over. It’s time to talk about the best Star Wars trailer I’ve seen since Revenge of the Sith (you know, the Nostalgia teaser). All in all it was action packed, and by the end of it, I wasn’t even mad that I didn’t get to see Luke Skywalker’s face.
The Williams is BACK
Before I go into detail about any of the glories we saw, the first thing to mention is the sound pumping behind the visuals. It’s not just John William’s score, its classic John Williams. It’s not “Duel of the Fates” or “Battle of Heroes” we’re listening to, it’s a mix of “The Ice Planet Hoth” and more modern tones. Without even realizing it, it brings us back to Tatooine, and to Luke hearing about the Jedi from Ben Kenobi, while at the same time holding much darker, and higher stakes.
Who are you
The best thing this trailer does, better than any of the others we’ve seen, is emphasize the new cast. The first one just showed off the lack of CGI. The second teased us with Luke’s voice. This one gives us an idea of who they are. Rey, the female (and most likely primary) protagonist of the film is introduced with the question, “Who are you?” Her response is “No one.” We know that can’t be. No one is no one. Everyone is someone. This could be some misdirect by Abrams to throw us off the idea of her possibly being connected to the Skywalker legacy, but I believe it’s connecting her to the sense of being no one important, like a certain nephew of an moisture farmer on Tatooine.
I was raised to do one thing
Finn, the black stormtrooper, and the one we’ve seen wielding the Skywalker lightsaber in previous trailers, we learn was “raised to do one thing.” But what is that one thing” Was it to fight for the Rebellion? The Republic? The Empire? First Order? His Family? We don’t know. We do know however, that he’s “got nothing to fight for.” Could this be alluding to the fact that the universe has devolved into a “failed state” era, that after the Empire was wiped out, the weaker Imperial Remnant and New Republic were never really able to re-assert order and peace in the galaxy?
Or maybe he grew up in a sort of Hitler youth type atmosphere, and after figuring out that being a space nazi wasn’t for him, then he is left searching for some greater cause? I can’t wait to find out.
I will finish what you started
Then we meet the villain of our piece, Kylo Ren. The mysterious Knight of Ren is left brooding, and we get our first taste of his voice (that is if you ignore the toys that were released). He is looking to finish what Darth Vader started … whatever that is. Was that the death of the Jedi? We don’t know, but each one of these threads sets up a mystery and gives us, seemingly, the primary motivations around these characters. There is no doubt in my mind that all three are connected to the Skywalker legacy, somehow. It’s also interesting to have a villain that wants to be Darth Vader as bad as we want to.
The Dark Side, the Jedi, they’re real
I’ll admit it. I got goosebumps hearing Han Solo speak those words. It’s a great juxtaposition compared to him in New Hope. “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a blaster at your side” seems to be an opinion that is long gone in Han’s mind. But at the same time his line belies a more important, and scarier question: if Luke is still around, why don’t people know about the Jedi? They don’t know because for whatever reason, Luke has not re-established the Jedi Order (or at least as we know it from the prequels). Even more than that, in the intervening years since the end of the Clone Wars Imperial propaganda and probably from the First Order, has hidden the truth about the Force from the general public at large. In this one broken sentence the mystery and awe of the force is restored. There’s no scientific method to divine the existence of the Force, it’s mystical, it’s a hidden truth.
This movie looks gorgeous
Seriously, I never thought I’d see a movie that simultaneously looks more like Star Wars, and less like Star Wars, than anything we’ve seen before. They’ve returned wholeheartedly to practical effects, a used universe, classic uniforms (stormtroopers and rebel pilot outfits), and X-Wings and TIE Fighters.
Not to mention, a lightsaber battle that doesn’t seem like it’s using a lot of fancy choreography. At the same time, there’s a much better use of three dimensional space for the battles, sweeping crane and track shots, and that rapid zoom on Kylo Ren on the bridge seemed remarkably alien to the conventional way that George Lucas usually shoots a movie.
- The battles in this movie look sufficiently epic and plentiful. Theres at least four that I can figure. The shootout in the desert, the TIEs chasing the Falcon, the battle over the Resistance forest base, and the air battle over Starkiller Base.
- Starkiller Base may be some sort of planet that they’ve modified into a Death Star. That would sort of eliminate the problems of making a massive battle station that keeps getting blown up because of its power systems. Theoretically, you could use the geothermal power of the planet. And the foreground of this shot looks awful lot like a Death Star trench.
- BB-8 in an X-Wing!!!
- Luke has about three seconds of screen time in this trailer (nor is he in the poster). That might mean he’s barely in this movie, so set your expectations.
- Are these the Knights of Ren?
- I’m thinking Captain Phasma may be the Boba Fett of this series, look cool and do absolutely nothing.
- Rey is seen crying over someone in a jacket. Can’t tell who though from the shot.
- That shot of the ship Rey is watching in the distance looks a lot like a Republic Cruiser. It’s definitely a Correllian design.
- What is this? I’m glad they can surprise me with weird new things.
- Han and Leia might still be together.
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