I’m excited. Really excited actually. I finally got a chance to watch the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and while it IS only a teaser, I’m sold.
Mind you, I went into this whole thing with the trepidation and fear many Star Wars fans have been left with following the incredibly disappointing prequel trilogy. Not to mention the undeniable feeling of “hmmmm” surrounding the director, J.J. Abrams. Unlike most of the internet, I don’t hate Abrams. The first Star Trek reboot breathed new life into what was almost certainly, at the time, a dying franchise. While hardcore fans of Trek feel like Abrams missed the general theme of Trek by focusing too much on action, space lasers and that trademark lens flare rather than the diplomacy, dry rhetoric and philosophical musings the series is famous for, this style fits perfectly with Star Wars.
Plot details have been swirling since the sequels were announced, with leak after leak being dissected and debunked. One of the biggest worries voiced by the legions of internet fans was that the new films would rely too much on the star power of the big three: Han, Luke and Leia. Harrison Ford turned 72 this summer, and Hammil and Fisher aren’t exactly the hot young twenty-somethings they once were. It’s a difficult line to tread for studios hoping to attract long-time fans who want to see the characters they grew up with and love, and newcomers who lack the same kind of attachment and don’t want to watch three seniors ham it up for 2+ hours.
Prior to the Disney buyout, the Star Wars Expanded Universe, meaning the games, novels and comics, were a cluttered mess of stories by an overabundance of writers all trying to create the next Darth Vader or Han Solo. In a bold but brilliant move by the company, they decided to axe everything outside of the existing films and the Clone Wars TV show, removing the restriction of having to tie everything in with the thousands of extra stories and characters from the expanded universe. Doing this has wiped the slate clean, and allowed the writers absolute freedom to take the series in whatever direction they want. This is great news in one respect, but some fans feel that because of this, creating new and entertaining characters to base three films around won’t happen, and the movies will continue revolving around the aforementioned trio of Luke, Han and Leia.
But enough conjecture, let’s get down to the concrete details shown in the teaser.
A stressed and sweaty storm trooper, X-wings, the Millennium Falcon and a lightsabre with a cross-guard. That basically sums up what was shown, so we don’t have a hell of a lot to go on right now. Just enough to get people amped without giving away ANY solid plot details. We know there is a bad guy, and we know the rebels are still kicking, but that’s about it.
This is how you make a trailer that gets people excited enough, but still hungry for more. Also of note was the lack of Mark Hammil, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. We know they’re in it, and it bodes well for the movie that the studio feels confident with what they’re doing and don’t need to plaster their famous faces all over the clip.
At the end of the day, all Disney needed to do was show a Star Wars logo with John Williams’ score playing and a date, and people would have freaked. After 30+ years the Force is still strong, and love it or hate it this movie is going to make bank. Even if the prequel trilogy left a sour taste in the mouth of fans, the well-received Clone Wars and several half decent videogames have helped bring massive amounts of new fans to the Star Wars Universe. Combine these numbers with the legions of existing fanatics, and you have what is arguably the biggest sci-fi/fantasy franchise in history.
So please Disney, pretty please make this movie awesome, there’s a lot riding on this.