In a mere eighty-eight seconds, J.J. Abrams breathes new life into a storied franchise……
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh film of the famed franchise isn’t set to hit theaters until December 18, 2015. But yesterday, we received the long-awaited, and highly anticipated, first look at what J.J. Abrams has been up to. It’s hard not to wonder the reason for this preemptive glance. Why now? The easy answer is that it is never too early to begin constructing hype, so that by the time December 18th of next year rolls around excitement is at a fever pitch, and the refurbished Star Wars will not only be a surefire blockbuster, but a significant cultural event. A moment in time in which all those alive will remember the moment Star Wars returned in all its new-found glory.
Yet, after soaking in the newly released trailer, it is easy to assume the clip was released for another reason, one which is far more important than simply commencing the hype machine, and this is to calm the nerves of an ardent fan base. From the moment J.J. Abrams was handed the reins of the beloved franchise, many wondered if he had what it takes. His resume was sound of course, but this is STAR WARS! This is the big time. Even George Lucas couldn’t live up to the expectations he birthed. So, is J.J. Abrams the man for the job? Should fans be confident in his ability to resurrect the Star Wars franchise? The answer, following just one viewing of this teaser trailer, is emphatically, YES!!!!!
In what amounts to eighty-eight seconds of perfection, The Force Awakens trailer catapults us directly into the world of Star Wars that George Lucas created decades ago. All the tension, all the sounds, all the familiar components, all the soul of the originals are present and accounted for. In our brief introduction to Star Wars 3.0, we were acquainted with a panicking, helmetless storm trooper played by John Boyega, star of Attack The Block, stranded amidst a rolling desert plain (Tatooine?)1. We met an undulating, anxious droid barreling forward with a robotic head of steam, past heaps of scrap metal that appear to be old pod racers. And we were introduced to a fleet of storm troopers preparing for battle (proof that remnants of The Empire remain intact?), X-wing fighters whizzing across a smoke-filled lake (Rebel logo insignia adorns the fighter’s helmets!, and one captained by none other than Oscar Isaac), a landspeeder piloted by Daisy Ridley2 which resembles Luke’s X-34 model in A New Hope, a Sith Lord with a three-pronged lightsaber3, and the triumphant return of the Millennium Falcon equipped with a brand new sensor dish and neck-deep in the heat of battle with a pair of TIE fighters. What was already proving a difficult wait just became that much harder. Next December cannot come soon enough.
Initially a few of us here at Across the Margin thought about keeping it fresh. Following in the footsteps of Frank Costanza as he avoided all trailers and talk of the blockbuster Firestorm, a few of us wondered if we could avoid all leaked information, photos and trailers to Abram’s forthcoming sequel. To go into the film next December absolutely free of any knowledge of the reboot. But we, as humans and unabashed nerds, are only so strong. This idea, to avoid the gargantuan marketing campaign that the release of this trailer has commenced, is nothing short of a pipe dream. It isn’t possible. And now, after this exceptional trailer, we are pleased with the decision to indulge, and be left wanting more. And then more. But for now, it’s time to watch the trailer again. And again. And then, again……
- Instantly, one wonders about the clone armies which composed the stormtroopers in Lucas’s sub-par prequels, but by the time of the events of Episode IV: A New Hope, The Empire had been recruiting from general populations for years. [↩]
- It’s hard not to be reminded of Leia on the speeder bike in Return of the Jedi. Is this Leia’s daughter? Is that a lightsaber affixed to the speeder? So many questions! [↩]
- The cross-shaped lightsaber has already become both a meme and a source of heated debate. [↩]