Friday November 28, 2014
‘The Nostalgia is Strong With This One’: 10 Thoughts on the Teaser for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
I'm sure you‘ve already seen it by now, but here it is again:
Thoughts as I watched:
- 00:13: Ah, the sands of Tatooine. But then, “Phantom Menace” began that way, too. (See: this poster.) Doesn’t mean the movie will be any good.
- 00:15: That's not Morgan Freeman's voice, is it? Please, no.
- 00:22: Hey, aren't all stormtroopers clones of Jango Fett? And if this dude's a stormtrooper, and he's scared, well, isn't that good? Or is he a good guy undercover—like Luke and Han in the original?
- 00:29: A bowling-ball droid. I like the 1970s-era markings. Orange and blue were my high school colors.
- 00:39 Cute girl. (Daisy Ridley, it turns out.) And, like Tatooine, playing on our “Star Wars” nostalgia: from what she's wearing, to what she's riding, to the camera movement in on her. It almost feels like a shot-for-shot remake of something in “Return of the Jedi.”
- 00:44: This plays even more to our “Star Wars” nostalgia: the close-up static shot of the rebel in the X-wing fighter. Slightly different-colored uni but same orange eyeshade. Hey, is that Oscar Isaac?
- 00:59: The Dark Side ... has the light? Has delight? And while it looks cool to extend the crackly portion of the light sabre into the guard, creating a cross, does it make it more effective as a weapon? I mean, doesn't it defeat its own purpose? It's supposed to guard your hand, not cut it off.
- 1:00: The return of the Millennium Falcon and that triumphant “Star Wars” score from John Williams. OK, J.J. Abrams, you just won me over.
- 1:20: December 2015? Since when were “Star Wars” movies released in December? (Answer: Never. They‘ve always been released in May. Actually, in a nine-day period in mid-May: May 16-25. So this is the biggest break from tradition in the movie: its release date.)
- 1:25: The Force Awakens? So ... was it asleep?
For all the corporate calculation in this, think how powerful the “Star Wars” myth is. Over a 40-year period, there have been six movies released in six-year clusters (1977-83 and 1999-2005), and yet only two of them have been good. In fact, we haven’t seen a good “Star Wars” movie since 1980. Yet we‘re still all chomping at the bit to see this one. It’s either the myth or the nostalgia, and the nostalgia's powerful with this one.