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Saturday, November 29, 2014

What the Teaser Trailer for Star Wars VII The Force Awakens Tells Us About the Movie

By Douglas V. Gibbs

I remember when the first movie came out in 1977.  I was near the end of my elementary school education, and my best friend's dad owned the local walk-in theater.  I must've seen "A New Hope" twenty times in that old theater.  In the following years my room was decorated with a mirror portraying an image of C3PO and R2D2, a Star Wars bedspread, and a Story of Star Wars LP record.

I love all six movies, though I remain mostly loyal to episodes 4, 5, and 6.  When VHS was first available, I got the movies.  I have DVDs of them, collector coins, posters, comics, and the books.  I am a Star Wars fan, so when I heard there was going to be a Star Wars Episode VII, despite the fact that Disney would have a hold of the reins, I was pretty excited.  Would Disney do the franchise justice?  Or screw it up?

Now, a little more than a year before the film is supposed to come to theaters, the first teaser trailer for Star Wars VII, The Force Awakens, has emerged, and there were some interesting things I noticed as I watched it.

"There has been an awakening.  Have you felt it?"  The sound of the voice that begins the trailer comes across a little ominous.  The awakening, I fear (we are meant to feel) is in the dark side of the force.

The opening shot looks like it is Tatooine, Luke Skywalker's home planet, which is interesting since the trailers for the past movies usually began with a scene of a starship, or droid.  Then, after it looks like you have nothing more than a wasteland of sand, a face pops up into the picture.

After watching the Star Wars series only use Lando Calrissian as the only black character in the first three films, first appearing in Empire Strikes Back, and changing his ways to be a part of the rebellion in Return of the Jedi, and in the next three films Samuel L. Jackson as a Jedi Knight, when the first face you see in the new trailer is a black man in a Stormtrooper uniform without the helmet, it was, I don't know, unexpected.  I am not sure which to be surprised most about; the fact that the Star Wars film opened with the face of a black man when black actors have been almost non-existent in the franchise, or that the film opens with a Stormtrooper on Tatooine without the benefit of his helmet, or the rest of his battalion.  The actor is John Boyega, and the rumor is he is a trooper that abandoned his post.  Does he join the good guys?  Or is he a good guy wearing a Stormtrooper uniform like Luke and Han did when traipsing through the corridors in search of Leia on the Death Star?

Then a frantic droid appears.  But, the robot looks like it is rolling along on a soccer ball.  Interesting.  New technology in a new world?  Like the Stormtrooper on the desert planet of Tatooine, it looked like it was trying to get away from something.

Then, we get to see the missing squadron of Stormtroopers, getting ready to exit a ramp to. . . we don't know.  Doesn't seem like the uniforms changed much.  Didn't the last of the Stormtroopers get disbanded at the end of Episode 6, Return of the Jedi?

The next seen shows Daisy Ridley, playing the daughter of Han Solo and Leia, on an interesting looking landspeeder.  Well, it is kind of a vertical looking vehicle.  Is it a landspeeder version of a motorcycle?  Speederbike?  She's giving us a Leia look with a Han Solo attitude - yet Skywalkerish (hence, the Leia look).  She gives you a feeling she pulls no punches and doesn't mess around.  Does she leap without looking too?  That would definitely make her Han Solo's daughter, as well.

The X-Wings look good, but the logo for the rebel alliance has not changed.  Did they adopt the logo for the new republic?  Or maybe the new republic didn't take like it should have.  Or are the pilots of the X-Wings wearing decades-old helmets?  The skimming the water scene does look cool, though, doesn't it?  What planet is that?

Then, we get the defining scene that reminds us that the Sith never disappeared.  Is the dark figure a new Sith Lord?  In the snow, around blackened, dead looking trees, an ominous voice emerges, more ominous than the voice at the opening.  "The Dark Side.  And the Light."  And then we get to see the new lightsaber, but it is more like a light-sword, with three points.  And the handle is long, able to be grasped by two hands, like Darth Vader's.

And then the music we love, the Star Wars music we know, begins to play as the Millennium Falcon bursts on the scene.  Woo hoo!!!  Is Han Solo behind the stick?  It looks like the Falcon is on Tatooine, too.  Is that where the center of the story, and the trouble, is?

Then, in come the TIE Fighters.  Again, we are decades into the future, and yet the same old ships are being used?  Where's the new models?  Even KIA makes their cars look a little different, and better, with each passing year.

The film finished shooting earlier this month, but the production is not even close to completion.  Surely, there is still a lot of music to be recorded, sounds to be integrated into the film, and special effects to add.

So what did we learn?  Not much.  But, fans like me are surely excited, and wanting a little more.

That's the point of the trailer.  Goal achieved.  Star Wars fans the world over are grinning in delight.  Star Wars VII is on its way.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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