Today at Star Wars: Celebration, JJ Abrams & co. dropped the second teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Can everyone please keep in my mind that this is a total gut reaction. I haven’t watched the trailer 900 times like I’m sure others have. While this is still a teaser trailer, J.J. Abrams and company are pulling a marketing stroke of genius. It started with that little 88 seconds at Thanksgiving, but now we have just a bit more. And by bit, I mean holy Spaceballs! Let’s cut the set-ups and preambles, alright! For crying out loud, we’re diving right in! Here it is –
My reaction and raw analysis of the second teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens…
First of all, the music. That’s a given. Classic. The “force is strong in my family” voice over was absolutely incredible. It’s one of the quintessential moments of Return of the Jedi, and I can only assume this is a brand new Mark Hamill voice over, but he sounded like a young Luke, so I don’t know what to think. The build up of “My father has it” to “I have it” to “My sister has it” and finally, “YOU have that power too.” Oh man. It’s on. We also see during this voice over what I assume is Luke’s gloved robotic hand petting R2. That was powerful stuff.
What was also powerful was a lot of the iconic imagery we see in this trailer. We’ll get to the end, everybody relax, but we got to hit on all of it. The sand landscape opening was pretty standard, but the destroyed star destroyer in the background was massive! That looked fantastic. As great as that image was though, the single shot that hit me most in this entire trailer was the cracked, nearly melted Darth Vader mask. That completely caught me off guard. I never in a million years thought we’d see anything resembling Vader in this movie. To me, that mask is the single most important image in Star Wars, and to see it lying there rusty and beaten was a sight to see.
Aside from the imagery, it’s just a barrage of Star Wars awesomeness. Stormtroopers. Space battles. X-Wings. Tie Fighters. Oscar Isaac looking like he could have been a pilot from the original trilogy. That’s one of the elements in the trailer that really grabbed me. All the space and ship battles looked like they could have easily fit into the original trilogy like a glove. Some of it was practical, some CG, but most importantly is that it didn’t look like a damn video game. It looked like Star Wars. If I had one complaint in this trailer it would be some of the shots of stormtroopers lined up in army formation looked a bit pre-queley.
It’s clear the new big three in this series are John Boyega (Finn), Daisy Ridley (Rey), and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron). Aside from one elated yell from Oscar Isaac, we still haven’t heard them speak, but there’s no doubt in my mind they all crushed it. What excites me most about these characters is how simple they look, in particular the costumes. We aren’t looking at pristine robes and 900 dress changes for Queen Amidala. That tells me it’s about the characters, and I can’t wait to learn more about them. We also see more of the villain, Kylo Ren, who gives me a Darth Maul vibe. While I’m certainly hoping for more depth with this character, emulating Darth Maul isn’t the worst thing in the world as he was one of the few highlights from the prequels.
Speaking of characters, we see a couple more of them at the end of the trailer. I can’t think of a better way to end a trailer for a movie then that. “Chewie, we’re home.” It’s Harrison Ford as Han Solo standing in the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca. What else is there to say?
The teaser trailer got me excited, but now we’re in full-blown hype mode. I have no doubt at the quality of this film. The only question is how good is that quality? We’ll find out on December 18th, which feels like a lifetime away.
In short, I liked the trailer.
Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.