Although JJ Abrams told us there would be no new trailers, well it was only true from a certain point of view. It did not exclude the possibility that a different country could get a different trailer. And that happened with today’s emergence of the Japanese trailer to The Force Awakens
Let me try a quick first impression of this trailer! There may be spoilers in this text, so stop reading here if you want to remain spoiler free!
What a gorgeous shot!
The trailer starts of with what probably is a shot just ahead of Rey’s entry into the bowels of the crashed Star Destroyer on Jakku followed by a sequence of shots we have seen in the ‘final’ trailer released in October. Again the question is asked ‘who are you’ and again she replies ‘No one’. That seems to be a key theme of the early movie. After the Lucas film logo the darkness is lifted to another new shot however one that resonates with the iconic shots fo the Lars homestead in the previous Star Wars installments, yet the single Sun leaves little doubt: this is Jakku! Then we see, probably Rey’s, speeder skim in the distance before we turn to yet another new shot. This time it is the reverse shot of the one in the final trailer and Rey turns aroun and asks BB-8:”Where do you come from?” The following dialogue is very revealing! Not only does it indicate Rey doesn’t know BB-8 and they have just met, and she can actually understand his beeps, but also she confirms in the dialogue she is waiting for her family. So she is not just a scavenger in an outlying system far from home. She is an abandoned scavenger!
The a new shot again, BB-8 seems to alert Rey & Finn to the impending First-Order assault on Jakku and we see a gorgeous shot of Tie fighters approaching against the silhouette of the setting sun, the curved edge on the sun indicating it is actually a moment during a (partial) solar eclipse! It is a gorgeous shot! The only other time we have seen an eclipsed star in the Star Wars Saga was in Revenge of the Sith when Anakin was standing looking over the lavafields of Mustafar. There the shot was full of symbolism and it seems very fitting that here we again see the start of an eclipse as the darkness approaches.
After some shots of some raid by the First Order with the flame-troopers and Captain Phasme we get a tiny nudge of extra dialogue from Kylo Renn. Instead of saying ‘nothing will stand in our way’ as in the final trailer, he says ‘I will fulfill our destiny’. Now of course the ‘our’ in this sentence is extremely important if not unambiguous. The Knights of Renn could be the ‘us’ referred to, but it could also be a family ‘us’ where Kyle does what his other family members have shied away from.
It would make sense in this context for Kylo to seek out the lightsaber Luke lost just prior to rejecting Darth Vader’s offer to ‘rule the Galaxy like Father and Son’. It may be an element that has survived in myth and lore and which part inspires Kylo to seek to take Luke’s place and fulfill the destiny of the Skywalkers to rule. If the ‘our’ indeed is interpreted this way then a Skywalker lineage seems almost inevitable.
I don’t know your name
After a few more shots we already know from the final trailer, there is a new shot inside the Falcon where Rey says to Finn, ‘I don’t know your name’.It is emphasizing once more that the key theme of this filom is reconnecting with a past that was lost, which is of course fitting for a film that wants to reconnect to a trilogy that was made 38 years ago. It gives a very good entry point for the new fans who were to young during the Prequel-age and for all those who have not really been exposed to Star Wars before, whereas for us fans there seem to be plenty of nuggets of Saga-gold to enjoy it a little bit more.
But Rey’s words also suggest they have up until that point hardly had a chance to speak as ‘action’ was required. To me that sounds as if Finn’s arrival on Jakku is followed very swiftly by the raid by the First-Order probably in search for him. Note that this is a daylight raid, at least sufficient daylight, so it seems unlikely that the raid that involves flame-troopers & Captain Phasma is the same one. These are different raids and I have the impression the nightraid is the one where the Knights of Renn commit their massacre potentially sending Finn on his arc out of their service. I would not be surprised if that is close to the opening of The Force Awakens and we meet Rey and Jakku only about 20 minutes in to the film … the Luke-moment! Their escape from the incoming First-Order forces then takes another 15 minutes or so with no Poe Dameron in sight.
Too many goodies
What follows is a fast sequence of shots, many we have already seen, some very short ones that are new, one including Leia although we did see her in that same setting of what seems to be a Resistance base. There is also a chilling shot of Kylo holding his sword at Rey’s throat. The trailer definitly does not hold back in depicting how high the stakes are for our new characters! What is totally novel in terms of atmiosphere is when the trailer cuts to Rey’s tear-streaked face we know hear Maz’s voice stating
“Hope is not lost today … it is found!”
Then the Star Wars logo appears! Thus concludes what is an excellent trailer with definitely lots of shots I have missed. I look forward to your reactions here, on YouTube and everywhere! What did you think?