Well Star Wars fans in Fresno and all over the world, the wait is over. After two years of speculation, excitement, and lots and lots of waiting, the very first teaser trailer for J. J. Abrams’s upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII–The Force Awakens has finally been released online and in a small selection of theaters across America yesterday.
Before I begin dissecting this teaser trailer, let me make it clear that, since this film is still over a year away from release, there will not be much of anything of substance revealed here. The trailer is only 88 seconds long and only exists to get audiences even more excited than they already were and to give them a taste of what Abrams are doing with this film. So anyone who is expecting to get a clear understanding of the plot, or even see returning stars like Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher make an appearance in this footage might be disappointed…But even with those things in mind, this teaser is still so awesome taht I doubt anyone will care in the slightest!
The trailer, which can be viewed here, opens with a fade into an establishing shot of the Dune Sea of Tatooine as a voice over asks if someone has felt an awakening within the Force (obviously a reference to the title.) A figure pops into the shot, actor John Boyega, dressed in stormtrooper armor as he appears lost on the iconic desert planet. There has yet to be any confirmation as to who Boyega’s character is meant to be, so it is unknown at this time whether he is a stomrtrooper that has gone rogue, or if, in an homage to A New Hope, he is merely disguising himself as a stromtrooper similar to how Luke and Han did in 1977.
We then get a couple seconds of black, followed by a shot of a new kind of droid, a soccer ball-sized metal orb with a R2-D2-style dome on top of it, as it rolls across the landscape. It is interesting to note that some of the junk seen in the background of this shot are clearly podracer parts, as seen in The Phantom Menace. This examiner likes this because, while Abrams has made it clear in interviews that he will, thankfully, be looking back to the original film trilogy for inspiration, Easter eggs like this suggest that at the same time, he is not just pretending that the prequels never happened and, whether you enjoy them or not, they are still an official part of the Star Wars saga and the history of this universe.
There are some quick shots of the new updated stormtrooper uniforms and their new blaster rifles as they appear to be going into an attack, about to leap off a ramp that reminded this examiner of the ramps to the Republic gunships the clone troopers were seen boarding in the prequels.
The next scene introduces another new face to the franchise, actress Daisy Ridley, dresses in desert garb as she boards a redesigned speeder. Like Boyega’s character, and virtually all of the new cast members for that matter, her role has not been confirmed, but rumors have suggested that she may or may not be playing Han Solo and Princess Leia’s daughter.
The next scene establishes newcomer Oscar Isaac as a Rebel X-Wing pilot as he a a small squadron of X-Wings fly across the water of a foggy and mountainous planet. The planet’s identity is unknown and it is up to speculation whether this is meant o be a familiar location like Naboo, Kashyyyk, or some plant we have never seen in the films before. For the record, seeing classic X-Wings in flight like this was a thrill to see in this new footage, especially since this X-Wings look older and more beat up, keeping in line with Lucas’s original idea of the “used future” seen in the original films.
The next scene includes the return of the voice over as the mysterious voice concludes his narration by mentioning “The dark side…and the light.” Over this dialogue we see a mysterious hooded figure (possibly a Sith), back to camera the whole time, as he stops in the middle of a dark and snowy forest and pulls out a red-bladed lightsaber…which then turns out to be a crossguard lightsaber as two small blades appear out of the hilt. This is technically not a new idea as this sort of “forked lightsaber” has appeared in the expanded universe, particularly by a Jedi named Roblio Darté, but he has twin blue blades on his saber instead of three fork-like red blades as seen in the trailer. I agree with IGN in that it makes the weapon look imposing and more medieval in feel.
And then, after yet another cut to black, we get the final money shot as the classic Star Wars theme bursts out of the speakers. It is a shot of the Millennium Falcon flying through the air of Tatooine while in a dogfight with two TIE Fighters, simple as that, but it says so much! Then the title appears with the release date of December 2015 and a subdued sound effect of a lightsaber hum as we cut to black one last time.
There are no words that can surmise how excited this examiner is for this film. When Revenge of the Sith came out in 2005, I and many others assumed that the saga had come full circle and that that would be the end of Star Wars. I didn’t imagine that I would get the opportunity ten years later to visit that galaxy far, far way once again, now with the original cast returning, for a brand new era of Star Wars films that, if Disney has there way, will likely go on for years to come. December 2015 can not come soon enough!
Star Wars: Episode VI–The Force Awakens is slated for release on December 15, 2015.