In a word: breathtaking.
The excruciatingly long wait was certainly worth it, and more than ever it appears as though the Star Wars universe is in great hands. The closer we got to seeing the first full trailer from The Force Awakens, the harder it was to pass the time, but patience has paid sweet dividends and now comes the extremely painful 50 day slog until December 18th.
I was not sure what to expect, but to say I’m impressed is an understatement. Everything looks, sounds and feels right on. They still haven’t revealed anything from the plot, which makes this trailer more of an extended teaser but I’m perfectly okay with that. Some fans may be a little aggravated that we still don’t really know what the movie is about, but we got some fluid action shots, some dialogue, and some utterly fantastic new music from John Williams.
We hear the voices of Rey, Maz, Finn, Kylo Ren, and Han, who carries the load of the narration. What I find exceptional about what we hear from Han is how he explains to Rey and Finn that the Jedi and the dark side were in fact real. What this tells us is that the Jedi have seemingly passed from a mainstay in the galaxy, to almost a figment of imagination. It speaks to how effective Order 66 was, and how the galaxy as a whole rejected and forgot about the Jedi. It also raises questions about the paths of the two lead protagonists. Will they revive a religion that they’ve only heard about? Or do they take a different path? A standout moment is watching Finn’s reaction to Kylo Ren bearing down on him, about to engage in combat. It’s the face of a guy clearly engulfed in fear, knowing he’s in over his head. How he gets out of that mess is anyone’s guess.
What will certainly rub some fans the wrong way is the continued exclusion of Luke Skywalker from any promotional material leading up the film’s release. Yes, we see him (or what we believe to be him) in a recycled shot from the first teaser but no glimpse of the beard, no dialogue, nothing. Again, it speaks to the size of his role in the movie and as much as I had hoped to see him in a bigger role, what we do know of the story makes it necessary for him to be…away.
Nicely preserved are the full identities of Finn and Rey, and their lineage. Fan theories will continue to pour in until we learn for sure who they are and what their origins are.
No matter what you were expecting from this trailer, there’s no denying that Disney, Lucasfilm and Abrams went to extraordinary lengths to get this right, and it certainly appears they’ve done the job. Many feel like this film and trilogy will be a giant make-up-call for the prequels; in fact many fans have relegated the prequels to a collection of story beats that do nothing but inform Episodes 4-6. Lucasfilm also seems to have made a point of staying away from any prequel material or mentions in all of their marketing, in a pretty clear attempt to rebuild the trust of the casual fan who felt slighted by Episodes 1-3.
It’s been a great day for Star Wars fans. It’s exhilarating to see dog fights, lightsabers and stormtroopers on the big screen again while freshly rearranged John Williams music fills our ears. How it all comes together remains to be seen but every single sign is extremely encouraging. There are no more planned trailers until December 18th but I’m sure we’ll see clips, images and other various media that will keep the carrot dangling just beyond our reach.
It’s going to be a tough jaunt until December 18th but we’ll remember this period of our Star Wars fandom forever, which is quite something considering just a decade ago we thought it was all over and done with.