Of course lines of dialogue that are used in a trailer aren’t chosen by accident. But it is fun to explore which character arc they reveal. Let’s look at the most recent Rogue One trailer.It is interesting to take your eye off the Rogue One trailer and to just listen to the words, how they are spoken and how they respond to the music. There is something about how these lines are put together that struck me as nearly poetic. There is a rhythm that was not easy to catch (for me at least) in terms of a separation of these lines into strophes.
The strophes of a poem tell a story by themselves. They delineate changes, mark crucial transformations of character or atmosphere. It is rarely about ‘fixing rhyme’ but it is about rhythm, balance and the flow and progression of language. My attempt at ‘reconstructing’ the poetry of the spoken word in the Rogue One trailer goes as follows.
Jyn, whatever I do
I do it to protect you.
Say you understand!
Go’n get out of here!
Our Rebellion is all that remains to push back the Empire,
we think you might be able to help us.
When was the last time you were in contact with your father?
-What is this?
It appears he’s critical to the development
of a super-weapon.
– If my father built this thing
-we need to find him!
Alright, how many do we need?
They are requesting a call sign.
It’s ehm …
Rogue .. Rogue One.
The power that we are dealing with here
If the Empire has this kind of power
what chance do we have.
-We have hope
-Rebellions are built on hope
-They have no idea we’re coming
Take hold of this moment
The Force is strong
Make ten men feel like a hundred
-We’ll take the next chance,
– and the next
-You’re all Rebels, aren’t you?
Save the Rebellion
Save the dream.
There is indeed a nice progression in the lines of dialogue that were included in the Rogue One trailer.
Jyn is questioned
It starts with 3 sections that end in questions directed at Jyn Orso, first in a situation she is told to understand, then in a situation where she is told what to do and finally in a situation where she does not understand.
Jyn’s situation is clarified as requiring a response
In the 4th section she is told what the situation is and her response is one of wanting to take initiative, of defining a mission. In the fifth and sixth sections the description of her ‘team’ and its situation continues.
The seventh section is her response in terms of a call to action and a description of the situation indicating the tables have turned. The eighth section is a description of the turning of the tide that connects to the ‘hope’ motive of Jyn’s call. The nineth section is her reply to that, now full of confidence and adressing a question at the others … indeed the situation has completely turned around from the beginning.
The tenth section is the epilogue of the call to action. It signifies the end of an arc that, is many ways, a Hero’s Journey in tiny format of 2 minutes. It is really nice to see how you see that content reflected in the poetry of the dialogue.
There is a really nice review of the trailer on YouTube by Star Wars’s most clerical fan (I guess) Father Roderick who analyses the visual language of the trailer in conjunction with the key words of the trailer, Dream, Power and Hope.