It’s here …
Finally we have a full new trailer for a fully new Star Wars film since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith. I have only seen the trailer a few dozen times as I write this, ever since it appeared on ESPN last night around 3h15 am UK time. Just like the British need to reconsider some of the Cricket rules if they ever want to make it comprehensible, so I suggest US citizens not to confuse issues about ‘the clock’ with a game of football. Those last 6 seconds of play seemed to take 6 hours of waiting. But then at half-time there it was!!!
A “No Review” review
I am not going to give you a shot-by-shot review of this trailer. This will just be my first impressions! I love it and every time I see it I like it better. In my mind the time of shot-by-shot reviews is over. what I love about this trailer is that is tells us very little plot yet provides us with an excellent idea of where The Force Awakens will kick off.
The whole feel of the trailer breathes an atmosphere of Luke & Anakin having gone into ‘legends‘. That makes a lot of sense. When 20 years after the Imperial take-over by Palpatine hardly anyone recalls the Jedi and their religious practices, then another 30 years later an entire second generation has grown into adulthood without any knowledge of these things. In a speculation about Episode VII I wrote months ago that I could very well imagine the current news themes of radicalization and sectarianism to make into the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. What I saw yesterday night strengthened that idea. Kylo Ren as the radicalized youngster who has construed a twisted interpretation of the spirituality of a mythical leader from a glorified past, Rey as a resigned youngster who has been attempting to disassociate herself from the burdens of misunderstood past and in between Finn who as a catalyst, and possible as a detonator, brings things into motion. The moment where, of all people, Han Solo confirms to Rey that this past has truly happened, all of it, was one of the most touching moments in the trailer for me.
The first thing I noticed was that the score sounded differently from the traditional John Williams Star Wars score. I already picked that up on the teasers that had appeared earlier in the past two days, but in the trailer it was unmistakable. Williams has evidently updated the ‘sound’ of the Star Wars score and from what I heard he has done so in a fantastic way. The 2 minutes of score that we heard was epic yet sounded fresh, it was familiar yet in no way sounded like a rehash. I have high hopes for the score now and I believe we are in for a treat. Having a soundtrack that sounds different without borrowing from the fantastic Lord of the Rings soundtracks, that adds a new generation of music to the Saga is just what we need. I love all the Saga’s scores, but I was hoping we would move into new territory with the Sequel score and it seems we will. I guess it is just in my ears, but there is even some influence of the way Kevin Kiner’s score for the Clone Wars sounded.
I like the way this movie looks. It perfectly combines the ‘realistic feel’ of the Original Trilogy with the ‘grand scale’, sense of beauty and smoothness of the Prequel Trilogy. I saw many individual shots that could have come straight from the Prequels or from the revised shots in the Originals. Not just a matter of blending the two together though, but very much a matter of using them as inputs into something different and new. Visually I think this film will manage to pull of the feat of perfectly fitting into the tradition while taking it to a new place at the same time. The star-destroyer bridge shot was superb … and that’s no lense-flare!
For me personally, the absence of Luke Skywalker from the trailer is a second excellent way of giving us a feel for the atmosphere in which The Force Awakens will start without giving away any plot-points. Yes, we will be dealing with a ‘Skywalker-less’ galaxy and probably recovering some of that Skywalker heritage will be part of the plot line. It is the logical and, in my view, correct consequence of Luke throwing away his sabre in Return of the Jedi. It was the single biggest mistake of the EU to completely ignore that crucial point in the final episode of the first six films. I am happy that in this sense The Force Awakens starts where the Original left off. Quite honestly, this is the only apropriate way to start a new Star Wars Trilogy that connects both to the Originals as well as to the Prequels.
Prequel haters ahoy
I guess Prequel haters will find a lot to dislike about this trailer, and probably about this movie, if they insist. But honestly? I think Han Solo was speaking directly to you: “It’s True … All of it!”