By now, everyone and their grandmother has seen the new teaser trailer for the next Star Wars movie at least five times. I’ll keep what I have to say about it short.
I like the teaser. I feel something when I watch the teaser. Even someone as jaded, and cynical, as myself can be tricked into being excited about a film these days. This is what JJ is good at — He knows how to work the feels. You can pick apart many shows and movies JJ has done, but he always jams his work full of things that immediately resonate, emotionally, with the audience.
The first teaser was full of stuff that resembled things from the original Star Wars movie. Visual analogs were offered that called back to something we had good feelings about. Many of these costumes, and objects, are tweaked, instead of being the same as they once were. The first teaser was met with positive comments (mostly.) It didn’t have any of the actors from the original film series. Fans already know that those people are involved.
When the first teaser came out, Dan and I put out a whole trailer-centric episode — Defocused 25: ‘A Controlled Leak’. We also discussed Star Wars: The Phantom Menace‘s trailers, as well as Cloverfield and Star Trek.
The new teaser has gone further with calling back to the original series of films. Again, many things are altered to be slightly different, and yet the same. The teaser winks and nods at the audience. “Hey, buddy, remember those good times we had? Remember this guy?” Every frame of it seems composed to expressly tie elements with the previous stories, including the voiceover from Luke Skywalker, and appearance of Han and Chewie.
I am charmed by it, in the truest sense. There are many things a teaser trailer like this can do to mitigate the “bad PR” of the prequels. We all know a giant, corporate entity runs it as a film franchise. We cheer, and tear up, over seeing familiar things that trigger our memories. It’s pavlovian.
I hope that the film can deliver, and that I’m not distracted by all the winking and nodding that comes through in the teasers. I want to be in the moment of the movie, and I don’t want to be knocked out by remembering the other films. I’m very optimistic about it. That’s really my only concern — my optimism.
JJ seems far better suited to Star Wars, than Star Trek, and I can only assume that means the film will be as good as 2009’s Star Trek was at playing with feelings (if not the plot).