Wednesday 3 December 2014

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer Review

"There has been an awakening, have you felt it?"

It’s been a few days now so I’ve had time to get my act together and do a review on the trailer for Force Awakens, and wow. As a big Star Wars fan, mind you there is no such thing as a ‘small Star wars’ fan seriously when does anyone come up to you and say ‘I don’t mind Star Wars’. No you’re either a lover of Star Wars or an idiot. Where was I, oh yeah, I’m stunned by nearly everything in this trailer, why do I say ‘nearly, I do not know, I was amazed by everything. I’m going to offer my thoughts shot by shot, enjoy.
The first shot was always going to be Tatooine, it just was. And there is a slight shock with John Boyega as a Stormtrooper, I was certainly not expecting him to pop up. Rumours state that he’s the main protagonist of the film and the fact that he’s the first thing we see would imply that. His true nature is unknown, is he good from the start and just impersonating a Stormtrooper or is it more complicated. Is Boyega an ordinary Stormtrooper who is revealed to be Force sensitive. That would be an interesting idea, I would like to see Star Wars from an average soldiers perspective and to see a bad guy turn good has not been seen in the long term. Vader became good but only for ten minutes; let’s see someone who has to cope with his decision for a lengthy amount of time.
That narration as well, it’s difficult to pin down exactly who that is. Initially I would guess Benedict of course, but towards the end it takes a different tone and he has not been announced as a star of the film. But maybe it’s a secret part, I would love to see Sherlock in Star Wars (why that is not already a franchise of its own I have no idea).
Little droid in the next shot, not much to say here. He looks quite fun and innocent and innovative and Star Wars has to have that kind of character but he might not be a main character. Don’t think that he’s a substitute for R2-D2, he is definitely returning so this could just be a background character or a new one alongside our favourite R2 unit, we shall wait and see.
Next are the Stormtroopers. Updated slightly but still very recognisable. The whole trailer seems to take that tone, it looks new but it still has the feel and taste of Star Wars. It’s the same person but in a different suit. They look ready for action and I cannot find a scrap of CGI in that sequence so that is a good sign. The beauty of the original trilogy was not the amazing effects but how they were shot alongside real life so brilliantly that the actors looked like they were there, not standing in front of a green screen.
Same goes for the X-Wing’s. It looks new but it feels familiar, the CGI is only used when it needs to be and it looks so cool. Picking a favourite shot from this trailer would be difficult but that is definitely among my top 7 (see what I did there). Daisy Ridley rides a speeder as well. It looks beaten up and makeshift and again on Tatooine. That’s another feature of this trailer that I like, everything looks used. It looks battered and as if it has a history of its own.
This is why I think J J Abrams was the perfect director for this. When he did Star Trek there was a sense that he wanted to do the fans justice but create something new. There were Star Wars sound effects mixed in with some new ones, and a lens flare, of course.
Next this Game of Thrones like shot with a lightsaber thrown in. I know there are some haters of this new lightsaber but I really like it. The crossbar looks good and practical, there was a reason old swords had those, and while the obvious statement might be ‘You’d cut your hands off’, when have we ever seen someone in Star Wars cut their own hands off! They do not hand these weapons out to anyone you know. Something about the way this character (possible new villain) wields it implies an ancient nature, so maybe this is an early lightsaber. At one point apparently the title was The Ancient Fear, so maybe it’s something from before the prequels coming here in the sequels.

Then the final shot, the Falcon in all of its glory, the lens flare, the sweeping camera shot, the TIE fighters and the John Williams soundtrack kicking in, it is all completely amazing. First impressions are very promising. Keep it up J J. 

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