Thursday, December 18, 2014

One Year From Now, on December 18, 2015...

So...I was at vacationing Smith Mountain Lake with the family when the Star Wars: Force Awakens teaser trailer premiered last month, just after Thanksgiving, and I never posted it here.

One good reason: I couldn't access my blog from our cabin (no wi-fi).

Another good reason, I was helping my eight-year old son, Joel, film a found-footage horror movie with his cousins. It's about a rural maniac who tps (toilet-papers) his victims in the woods.  I play the Crazy Old Man/Ralph character warning the kids not to go into the woods.

But back on topic. Since the end of November, this brief first peek at the new Star Wars has been, probably, the most dissected teaser in cinematic history.  And a few folks have e-mailed me and asked me my thoughts on it. 

I've watched the teaser a number of times, read many shot-by-shot analyses of it, and also observed. fan response (which, not surprisingly, is divided.)

And I still arrive at the conclusion...that we simply don't have enough good information to formulate any guess as to the quality of the film, or its story.

The images in the very brief trailer are selected primarily for purposes of introduction (to our new young cast, droids included), and nostalgia for the OT: TIE fighters, X-Wings and the Millennium Falcon.

These selections say a lot about the movie's demographic appeal. Young and old alike will find something to like here!  This one is going to try, hopefully successfully, to bridge generations.

Personally, I am not bothered by the design of the new light saber or the ball droid, or the rectangular dish on the Millennium Falcon, and I imagine it took some degree of restraint not to include imagery of Han, Luke, or Princess Leia in the teaser.

Contrarily, it might have been nice to see R2 and C-3PO -- even for a second -- since they are the only on-screen link between three eras of Star Wars storytelling.

Otherwise, I was neither bowled over nor debauched by the teaser.  The full trailer, when it drops, should give us a bit more to chew on.

In the scheme of other movies trailers I've featured here lately (which are not teasers, importantly), Star Wars falls somewhere in the middle of the pack.

At this juncture The Force Awakens looks more palatable than Terminator 5, and about a million times less colorful and inspired than Mad Max: Fury Road.

So, the countdown begins. One year from today, the saga continues...


  1. Assuming we make it that long.

    Let's just hope some pudgy, hip-hop track suit pajama wearing dictator of X-batshit country doesn't payload Disney/Lucasfilm with terrorist email threats sparked by alleged Western Nation intimidation via the propagation of British black kid galactic space armies.

    1. Ditto! But canceling The Interview may be mad. But canceling Star Wars would be an act of WAR! :)

  2. Anonymous3:03 PM

    I must admit I wasn't particularly impressed by this new teaser, simply because I couldn't really get a feel for what the story will be about. It was just people running around and spaceships zipping by - generally the kind of stuff that's more the dessert than the main course. I did appreciate the appearance of Tatooine, the TIE fighters and the relative restraint when it comes to CGI use. It does look like it might be a more grounded film so I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy it more than the prequel trilogy. If nothing else, at least it's got Max von Sydow making an appearance! It may not be a Bergman film, but I'll take it. In any case, it was more interesting to me than the Jurassic World trailer, though I freely admit I never cared for the Jurassic Park films, save for the first one - they're not really my cup of tea. As for the other recent trailers... The Terminator looks like it might be somewhat interesting, and the Avengers trailer bored me to tears. Mad Max, however, looks like a blast! Along with Jupiter Ascending it's my most anticipated blockbuster of the year. Jupiter will probably be weaker than I'd like but at least it's an original property.

    Ratko H.

    1. Ratko: I think you said it perfectly. The teaser was more "dessert than main course," and, really, that's what a teaser is supposed to be. I don't have any big problems with the teaser, but nor were my socked knocked off (as they were with Mad Max). I am also really looking forward to Jupiter Ascending!

  3. I'm reserving judgment. The Jurassic World trailer peaked my interest more. But what I'd REALLY like to see is your son's found footage movie.

    1. Hi Duanne,

      I am psyched about Jurassic World (ironically, that was my son's favorite of all the trailers, but he won't be able to see the movie because it is rated PG-13!). We are editing his found footage movie together over the break. It will be about 10 minutes long, and filled with toilet paper...

  4. John I agree with you on the overall new trailers including Mad Max. SW:TFA trailer production design elements of the new light saber, new storm trooper helmet design, new antenna on the Millennium Falcon and the TIEs all excite me. Albeit, I would have liked a glimpse of R2D2 and C3PO. I will be there at the theater a year from today to see it as I was as a boy that summer of 1977.

    John your son's found-footage film that you are working on sounds like it must be fun. Joel might be a future Spielberg starting so young too.


    1. SGB: I am definitely going to be nuts with excitement as the year ticks down to Dec 18, 2015. I love Star Wars and know that wonders and thrills are in store. I would have liked to see R2 and Threepio just for continuity's sake, but I'm right there with you. When that title STAR WARS comes up on the screen again, I will feel like I'm seven or eight years old again!

  5. Max von Sydow? Ok I may have to actually watch this film someday! Seriously, against my better judgement, I'm tentatively hopeful about this one. The light-hilts added to the light-sabre seem seriously impractical though:-)

    I always wondered why they never tried making either films or a television series about Han Solo and Chewbacca's adventures prior to the events of the first film. As a kid I liked the novels about them that I read back then. It always seemed to me like that corner of the Star Wars universe could have been a lot of fun to explore visually.

    1. Hi Nowhere,

      I enjoyed those novels too, especially the first - Han Solo at Star's End (was that the title?) I agree with you that Solo's world -- of gangsters, police (The Empire) and so forth is one of the things I find very appealing about the SW universe. I am excited about the new film, and the presence of Von Sydow should be a great plus. I am hopeful too...