“There’s been an Awakening. Have you felt it?” – Well to be honest, at first I felt nothing. Later on it looked kinda awkward but cool, and after that – “Yeah! There is a hope after all”. That being said; let us look more closely, shot by shot, after long time waiting, at the very new scenes of the Galaxy Far Far Away.
Desert shot – Finn on the run
At first I was expecting for something to come from a distance, just as many other people as it seems, so this twitch effect was really spot on, really effective. At the same time, as a longtime fan I was like: “Oh really?? No, not Tatooine AGAIN!”. Honestly, if any planet is over-used in Star Wars it is definitely Tatooine. I understand why they did it: because it’s most popular and recognizable – exactly, but I honestly don’t like it. Boyega character pops up followed by imperial drone in the background. His name is Finn (strange if you ask me) and he is on the run. Why and from who is hard to tell, but I’m certain that the Empire should still dominating the galaxy. A New Hope showed us, if you blow up their Death Star and cripple them, they only Strike Back with even more fury, so why should this time be any different? After all, it is Galactic Empire, and thing like that does not change that easily. My bet is that he is running either away from his own troops like a deserter or simply working on some mission that has clearly gone bad. There is a theory that he may be crashed Tie Fighter pilot running from crash site because there is a pretty convincing shot of crashed fighter available and we saw couple of those fighting Millenium Falcon in the trailer later on. However I’d cross this one from the list simply because in the Empire, Tie pilots have their own uniforms – the black ones. If this one were stolen then maybe but… We’ll see. As the impression goes: This whole scene looked to me as average fan creation so I wasn’t impressed by it at all. Fortunately, the rest of the trailer is much better.
Droid shot – BB 8 on the move
This is the first thing that surprised me in this trailer and it’s a positive! The design of BB-8 immediately tells us two things: They are creative and they are considering literally all options available in creating the future for the series. For those who not know, this was actually one of the original concepts for R2-D2 in creating a Star Wars back in 1977. Personally I think it’s great and it does look more advanced than the R series. I think it’s stupid to complain just on the fact that it has some “cute” characters here and there, that is mostly just paranoia talking from the people who are still feeling damaged by the prequels and are forgetting that even original trilogy had some of those aswell. The background has some parts that does look like podracer parts but If you look more closely, not really. What it does tells us however, is the first sign that those leaked concept arts were indeed for real, because whatever that is, is right there with all it’s details aswell.
Landing shot – Stormtroopers on a mission
One more leaked rumor became a fact. Those concepts were indeed the new desings of the Stormtrooper uniforms and I gotta say, they look great! Atleast that front part though, from the back it is actually worse and uninspired greatly. Yes, they do seem simplified but also are kinda more sharp, serious looking and are very nice throwback to old school retro design of the future from the 70’s, like the ones from Flash Gordon and similar, which was in fact, the very thing that inspired Lucas to make the Star Wars in the first place. These days we really don’t see those kind of designs especially in blockbuster industry, so I definitely welcome it with open arms :]
Driving shot – Rey on her speeder
Yes, the name of Daisy’s character is Rey, which is ok I guess, but as a fan disappointed me a bit, since I totally could have seen her as Jaina Solo character. Desert uniform fits her great (even reminds of Leia´s uniform from episode VI) and she looks like quite capable, determent and likeable character. This is one more shot that was on the leaked concept art, and as far as the design goes – i like the concept version much more than this one. Do note that there are actually two different scenes in this one: One does have extra parts or equipment (some even see the lightsaber in it, but I doubt it) on the speeder, and one does not. I just hope those are in fact two different shots and not a movie mistake already.
Flying shot – X Wings in formation
The new awesome Rebel Squadron right there! First we see Poe Dameron in this new suit. He looks quite serious and nervous so it is very likely that major action is soon to take place. I don’t like this new suit however. Helmet is clunky, the shirt is “fluffy” and very cheap looking – nothing at all like the classic pilot suit or a battle suit. The word is that Poe is some experienced pilot quite famous for years of battles in his service, and that he just might be protagonist of the first new spin-off movie – Red Five. We’ll see. The very new design of X Wings is also inspired by the original Star Wars concept art back from the 70’s and it’s really awesome to see them on the move, streaming above the water in formation. I hope it takes place on some new planet that we haven’t seen in the movies so far already. I also hope to see some B Wings in action which are also great but unfairly underused in the movies.
Snow forest shot – Kylo Ren ignites his Lightsaber
Now this is how you make a badass entrance. Whoever Kylo Ren is, he definitely seems to be some very spooky dude who is so furious and so hellbent that he fires his lightsaber even while alone on the open, in the middle of the night. Because that’s just how badass he is I guess. The only facts are that he is a male, and he is a villain. He may not even be a Sith lord but a Dark Jedi for all we know. My bet is that this is Adam Driver as Kylo in those dark robes, but we’ll see. Unfortunately, all things considered, it is most likely not a “awakening or a flashback of Revan” as I’ve imagined in my fanatic mind, but maybe that’s for the best. The more I can say about the lightsaber itself. The first impression is: “Cool! But, why is it so thin?”. Sure, most people tend to recognize extra firepower in the “crossguard design”, but since I’m not like most people I’d like to describe this very first change first. The beam it fires although it looks thinner also looks more unstable and powerful. Plus it is great change to see how it is not just pulsating like regular ones we’ve seen so far but is literally surging and streaming the power around itself while it totally burns out on the sides. Also it kinda reminds of the original lightsabers from A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, how less stable they were, how they had “cracking sounds” and pulses in them were not always perfect – so for me, that’s great! To what I’ve seen, it is not just a “crossguard lightsaber” or a “three-beam lightsaber” it is the very new concept of the lightsaber itself! And although they kinda stole some of my ideas on how I imagined energy weapons in fantasy setting to look like, I gotta admit it looks awesome. If this become the new standard I’m sure many people could find themselves watching on the old ones as “silly pointy lamps”, but if not – still great, we got more variety! Also it could be that this lightsaber is so powerful it uses these two “crossguard” ends as an exhaust ports, because you can clearly see how it “burns out” at the sides, so maybe it’s so powerful… it can cut through the other lightsabers..?? Just a thought, but that would be really scary for any Jedi to meet. Some other speculations say that it can actually fire laser shots from those ports or use them as additional lightsaber blades at will, but I doubt it. The location itself is a great change, we haven’t seen snowy forests so far, especially during the night so I like that part very much. Is it the forest moon of Endor suffering “nuclear winter” after the war, is it remote location on Yavin 4 or is it some other planet completely new to the films? We’ll see.
Dogfight shot – Tie Fighters VS Millenium Falcon
The perfect ending for the trailer. The flight of Millenium Falcon as it rushes to engage two Tie Fighters while the Star Wars tune is playing all over it, is simply perfect. Also here we’ve seen the fresh new and dynamic filming of the action that is JJ Abrams known for. It takes completely spin (pun intended) on what we’ve used to see so far from Lucas’s Star Wars. I do not mean that either is better or worse though, I still regard Lucas as one of the best directors when it comes to certain sort of scenes, but it’s a welcoming change indeed. Here they also proved that they payed attention to details by putting the new deflector dish on the Millenium Falcon, since the old one was knocked off in the Death Star during the Episode VI. Also I like the coloring on Millenium that shows red, white and orange lines – the very colors of Rebel Alliance.
My very first impression was pretty much – meh. But that says my expectations may have been somewhat unreal. As a fan who dwelt so many years on Star Wars books, games, comics etc. I was eager to see the new stuff which left me disappointed, because except lightsaber design and a new droid design everything else felt pretty much the same, and my critic mind is allergic on re-using old stuff to awake the new feelings of fans – it simply looks to me as a really cheap trick to do, to play on a card of nostalgia. Also it does seems a little rushed and clumped up. As far as the teasers go, I could definitely imagine better. However, when I look more closely to it as a whole, the teaser is indeed very effective. Andy Serkis did an excellent job as a dark narrator in this one and I hope he do just as well as a real villain in the movie – finally by his own appearance, without motion capture mumbo jumbo. The visuals are perfect blend of CGI and practical effects – so good that sometimes it’s hard to tell which is which, and I love the comeback of dirty and more realistic Star Wars as it was in the Original Trilogy. Sounds are also more believable and somewhat industrial, I only wish that soundtrack is fresh and new, because all we heard so far are actually the old tunes and it would be real shame not to use this chance, to create some new ones like what legendary “Duel of Fates” and “Battle of the Heroes” were. In the end, it is strange to see the official title without “Episode VII” in it. It looks like they are really ready to throw the “episode numbering” away and continue just with the titles (recent similar cases: Thor: The Dark Word, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Winter Soldier…) which is a shame for the tradition but ok if you ask me. One fun fact: The very last sound in the trailer when the screen goes black is the sound of Luke Skywalker igniting his lightsaber in A New Hope for the very first time 8-) All in all, we really have something for looking forward too and it looks like The Force Awakens will take us on a ride just like the Millenium Falcon in that last scene did. May the force be with us.