As I knew it would, not only was the teaser trailer for TFA uploaded online, I was able to see it a few more times on t.v….there it was on one local t.v. affiliate during its morning show, there it was again on Fox News’s “The Five,” and again on the local NBC evening newscast. So I’ve had a few opportunities to watch and see others’ reactions.
In terms of “teases,” this was the teasiest one I’ve ever seen. It’s a series of quick, seemingly random shots that go by so fast, just as you’re digesting it all, it’s over. This was probably put together so fast, they had no production logos and the film’s title just splashes on at the end, nothing fancy. I am very skeptical that John Williams did any new music for this, as was rumored a couple of weeks ago. Why they decided to do a trailer now is anyone’s guess, other than the folks behind the movie deciding, “Why not?” It’s rare there’s any kind of promotion like this a year before a film’s release. But it got attention and on that front, mission accomplished.
I was pleasantly surprised that what we did see focused on new characters. It would have been super easy for them to show us the OT3, Chewie, et al. for the pure nostalgia factor. It also would have been really easy to show us a bunch of footage from the existing films, especially ROTJ, and maybe a couple of quick flashes of new stuff at the end. The biggest bow to nostalgia was the Falcon, which in its final form on the big screen might turn out to be a pretty impressive shot. Oh and all of this stuff about practical effects? Yeah, riiiight.
Now we know John Boyega’s playing a stormtrooper…or is he? Maybe he just disguised himself as one. Or he plays a 501st member who got drunk and wakes up in an actual Star Wars film. We’ll have to wait and see if the Empire has improved its diversity recruiting in its stormtrooper ranks. The other stormies shown look like their helmets were designed by Daft Punk with a teensy bit of inspo from the clone troopers. The presence of stormtroopers of course make me wonder why is the Empire still around? I am not fond of this idea at all. If Lucas intended the Empire to end with ROTJ, then I’m not interested in reviving it just for something do to in this movie.
All hail the Beach Ball Droid! He wins the trailer.
Here’s also our first glimpse of Daisy Ridley in costume. There appears to be a lightsaber attached to that giant rectangle thing she’s flying. Again, based on her slight resemblance to Natalie Portman and the fact she has a lightsaber, I’ll eat my hat if she is not a Skywalker descendant, likely Han and Leia’s daughter.
Then there’s a nice shot of X-Wings skimming above water and the usual shot of some guy in the cockpit. The Rebel insignias are there, but the uniform is slightly different. You do realize by now that they don’t have space shots because those aren’t close to being done yet, right?
Okay, other than the Falcon, there’s one of the last shots that looks cut from some fantasy flick where someone in dark robes struts in a dark forest and turns on a red, flaming lightsaber-y type sword that looks like Excalibur. It seems to me someone thought, “Let’s come up with something as cool as Darth Maul’s lightsaber” and scoured the EU until they found Excalisaber. But what’s interesting is the wielder. Looks smallish in build, almost female. Now Darth Maul was played by the small, slight but powerful Ray Park so I’m not saying it’s a woman. But did anyone see Gwendoline Christie in this? Or Lupita N’yongo? Or any of the other women not named Daisy Ridley cast in this movie? For all we know, it’s Leia. I just hope it’s not a Sith Lord because it would ruin the end of ROTJ and mess with a key part of George’s story.
Then there’s the narration which everyone keeps thinking is Benedict Cumberbatch (ugh, does he have to be in everything???) but I’ve read is Andy Serkis. Which makes sense since Serkis is in the film. Come to think of it, Andy’s not very big either so maybe he’s in the robes. Anyway the narration hints that the awakening Force in the light and the dark, whatever that means. Just as long as it doesn’t ruin what has come before it.
So that’s it. The shots are cool but I had no sense of what this movie’s about or the overall direction the saga’s taking. It seemed kind of random. The prequel trailers did a great job showing you what’s to come and giving you a sense of story without giving much away. I don’t think it is worth going out of your way and paying $14 to see it in a theater unless you were going to the movies anyway, so it was smart they put it online.
It isn’t to say I think it’s bad or disappointing. I realize they wrapped only a few weeks ago and they have a year to finish the film, so there’s not a lot to show. The prequels debuted their first teasers six months before the films’ releases, when there was much more work completed. But to paraphrase Leia, there isn’t quite enough to get me (super) excited…yet.
Which is why I don’t get some of the over-the-top ebullient reactions. It just wasn’t enough of anything to either go over the moon or down in the dumps. I understand many fans are excited to see anything at all and these images make the film seem that much more real. But some of these people are projecting things that aren’t there and once again, raising their expectations too high.
I hope that this spring we’ll get a trailer of the same caliber of the TPM trailers that gives me a better idea of this film and might alleviate some of my concerns about the film.