Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) – Official Trailer (REACTION)
Plot information has been hard to come by for what is easily the most hyped and high-profile movie for the rest of 2015. Disney, J.J. Abrams and everyone involved in the creative and marketing side of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ have whole-heartedly committed to giving the movie an air of mystery and intrigue which is fair because this movie is going to make a billion dollars no matter what the trailers say.
Because of this strategy, with us getting our first official poster yesterday and having nothing except for two non-plot related teaser trailers many people expected this first official trailer (not teaser) to give us some semblance of plot, story, narrative, themes etc. So imagine my surprise when I watch this new trailer from start to finish and discover that I still know NOTHING about the plot of this movie, clearly a deliberate choice.
I don’t know if I like that or not, but it’s definitely an interesting approach that I can’t wait to see pay off. But first, the poster;
I like it, but I don’t love it. The colours are awesome and it’s a justified use of the teal and orange colour contrast that is obnoxiously over-used in movie-posters nowadays. I also like how Daisy Ridley’s character, Rey, is front-and-centre. Producer Kathleen Kennedy has made it known that giving the franchise a strong female hero is a priority and having her shown so prominently on the poster is a good sign. It’s also cool how the staff she’s holding aligns up with villain Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. We have a new Death Star along with John Boyega’s Finn holding a blue lightsaber, so far so good concerning the top half.
But as we get further down the poster it’s a friggin’ mess with so many characters and faces that nothing feels cohesive or well thought-out on a design level. R2-D2, C3PO, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, some odd elf thing, Oscar Issac as Poe, BB8, the Chrome Trooper and the redesigned stormtroopers are all fighting for space in that middle spot with no thought towards even distribution or giving the audience a visual frame of reference. It’s a clusterfuck, to put it lightly, it doesn’t matter how symmetrical they try to make it. I’d love to see a stripped down version of this poster with just Ren, Rey, Finn along with the soldiers and the space ships. Forget the absolute mess in the middle.
So, the trailer; it looks gorgeous. The shots of Rey climbing through the crashed and abandoned Star Destroyer, to the X-Wing combat as well as Finn and Kylo Ren in the snow demonstrate brilliant shot composition and lighting. The new, slower, heavier but still triumphant version of the iconic ‘Star Wars‘ theme music underscores the trailer wonderfully and the sets and creatures do look tactile. But the lack of anything to ensure audience faith outside of the superficial visual and audible aspects do concern me.
To be clear, I’m not writing off the movie or this creative team, but when your sole marketing hook is “Star Wars is back! We have old cast members, old music and practical sets!” then it makes me wonder whether or not they’re keeping the plot and new characters under wraps to give the film a sense of mystery or because the new elements aren’t worth advertising. I’d love to give this film the benefit of the doubt since it is ticking a lot of the right boxes, but J.J. Abrams has steered audiences and whole franchises off cliffs before just for the sake of “mysteries” and audience fanbait (‘Lost‘, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness‘ and ‘Super 8‘).
Audience members are clearly hyped for this movie (so much to the extent that when tickets went on sale in the U.K. yesterday, numerous movie theatre chains’ websites crashed due to the heavy traffic) but I can’t share in that excitement just yet. Make no mistake, I will be there on opening night (as I am with most films) but in order for me to be well and truly HYPED UP I need to see more than the superficial. Obviously, Disney/LucasFilm are under no obligation to do that since their current approach is working just fine and they have a massive financial safety-net (Disney are expected to make $3 billion this year in JUST merchandising ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘) meaning they can generate pseudo-hype and mystery and damn what I think.
But I don’t care how much money they make. I care about whether or not the film will turn out good or not. And I’ve been given no evidence to sway me on either count. Will it be a gorgeous nostalgia-trip? No doubt. But will it be GOOD? That question isn’t even close to being answered in my eyes.
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ will be released in the U.K. on December 17th 2015 and in the U.S. on December 18th 2015.
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Posted: 20th Oct 15