The first official look at Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is now here, and it definitely embodies the term “teaser,” but overall the short look is enough to get this long time Star Wars fan excited for what J.J. Abrams has in store for us next December.
The biggest disappointment about this teaser is that it didn’t feature a single shot of the original trilogy cast, so Luke, Han, and Leia are all absent, but outside of that it packs a solid nostalgic punch. Right from the get go it’s clear that J.J. is focused on this film’s characters over the big budget special effects that Lucas got lost in while making the prequels. This is evident the moment a frightened John Boyega pops up on screen wearing the new Stormtrooper armor sans helmet. The shot definitely begs the question, what is he afraid of, and why does he appear to be panicked? This motif carries into the next few shots that show a new style of roller-ball droid making a hasty retreat, a crew of Stormtroopers preparing to exit a shuttle, Daisy Ridley’s character whisping away on some sort of speeder bike, and a great chase style scene featuring a team of screaming X-Wing fighters jetting across a body of water.
All of this action is set to an ominous voice over explaining that the force is awakening on both the dark and light sides, and it sounds as if Benedict Cumberbatch is the one providing the foreboding narration. As the trailer continues the narrator speaks of the dark side and we are treated to what appears to be the new villain for The Force Awakens. He appears to be on a snowy Endor, or that’s my guess considering many have speculated that the new bad guy is hunting down Vader’s grave, so this scene somewhat support that theory if it is indeed a shot of Endor’s tree lined surface.
This shot is probably going to be the most memorable from this first tease due to the unique looking Sith lightsaber design. Rather than being very clean and just a singular blade, this new lightsaber features a hilt that is very similar looking to swords from the medieval era thanks to the two mini-blades that stick out from the base of the main blade. The blade itself is also different looking from what we’ve seen in the past, and it appears that the light energy is almost unstable, not too unlike some of the lightsabers from Bioware’s Knights of the Old Republic franchise that had crystal buffs.
The trailer ends with the narrator speaking about the light side of the Force also awakening, and on cue the Millennium Falcon zooms onto screen with a pretty radical camera movement as it faces off with some old school looking TIE-Fighters. Cue the logo, and a years worth of anticipation.
Reflections and First Impressions
I grew up in the 80’s and was raised on the original Star Wars films, so by the time the late 90’s and early 2000’s rolled around I was ultra-ecstatic about the launch of the prequel trilogy. I bought tickets to watch the trailers in theaters because the Internet didn’t have YouTube yet, and online trailers were a crap shoot. I remember my excitement level each time a new trailer was released being out of this galaxy, and I watched each one as if it were going to be the last Star Wars footage I ever saw. Unfortunately, the finished products just didn’t live up to the hype and expectations I had in my head, and by the time Revenge of the Sith rolled around I felt like the Star Wars I fell in love with as a child of the 80’s was tarnished forever, and that the franchise would never be the same, meaning I’d never get overly amped up about another project.
Since then I haven’t even been able to watch any of the live action Star Wars films, the pain is still fresh, and Lucas’ alterations to the originals have made them almost as bad as the prequels. Although, with the news that he had sold his baby to Disney and that it would be making a new trilogy set after Episode VI, just like the seventh film’s title, my passion for the Star Wars franchise has been awoken once more. Hearing the news that Abrams would direct it only got me more excited about the idea of returning to the franchise that made me the geek that I am today, and now that we’ve been able to see a glimpse of his vision, I think many of us jaded Star Wars fans are in for a treat.
I’m starting to feel the same air of excitement that I had during the hype of the prequels, and after watching the Episode VII teaser I couldn’t help but become overwhelmed with emotions. I watched it five times, and will probably watch it a dozen more until the next teaser arrives. The film looks to be a solid mix of the old and new Star Wars films, and based on Abrams’ past work in the realm of science fiction classics, I have no doubt that it’ll at least be better than Episode I, II, and III. In fact, I think it may rival the same level of awesomeness as the originals exuded way back in the 70’s and 80’s.
There’s still a year to go to see the finished product, but I think The Force Awakens is on the right track. If I could use Force powers I’d look to the future to see if this flick will pan out or not, but alas, I have lost them due to the pain from the prequels tragedy. Here’s to hoping J.J. does this franchise justice once again, and based off of the teaser, I think we have finally found our new Jedi Master.
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