Star Wars fandom is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister..well not so much, but hey nobody’s perfect.
I’ve been a Star Wars enthusiast ever since I can remember, and like so many have grown up in awe of this mind-blowing universe of endless fantasy, as well as its characters. So naturally I’ve been bouncing around with excitement ever since the second trailer for The Force Awakens was released last night.
The clip was premiered at the Star Wars Celebration in Los Angeles, which was attended by many of the film’s cast including Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. It’s already got over 25 million views on Youtube – although I account for about half of them. I’ve even played it on our projector at work. Check it out below.
As I felt when I watched the first teaser back in November, there’s something truly unique about Star Wars. Indeed, there’s a mixture of juvenile excitement and nostalgia when it comes to rediscovering beloved faces, hearing iconic theme tunes and seeing those mesmerising spaceships fly once more.
Of course, it would be silly to judge the entire film from a short clip and before release. However, it already seems evident that director JJ Abrams, a fellow fan who was 11 years old when A New Hope came out, has perfectly understood and approached the daunting project. Unlike with the prequel, there’s obviously a strong intent of returning to the old trilogy.
By capitalising on the franchise’s most popular iconography, such as the light saber, the storm troopers, Darth Vader’s infamous mask, the spaceships and much more, Abrams undoubtedly made a very smart move towards pleasing die-hard fans. The opening shot of a huge, fading Imperial Star Destroyer remains best illustrates this.
Needless to say, the return of Harrison Ford as Han Solo is a particularly notable highlight too. In just a few second, it convinces us that he’s still as cool as his off-set antics suggested when he recently crash-landed his own plane. Interestingly, we also learn that Wookies don’t grey up with age..
Of course, the trailer also raises curiosity regarding new characters whose journey begins with Episode VII. Inevitably, changes or additions to such a popular saga have been met with predictable reluctance.
The first trailer provoked some disgraceful reactions on social media when it became apparent that a black actor, John Boyeta, was one of the lead characters. Likewise, baddie Kylo Ren’s oddly designed and impractical looking cross-shaped lightsader also raised a few eyebrows – mine included.
Having said that, one cannot help but feel excited at finally seeing Ren’s face/mask revealed. Likewise, the silver super Stormtrooper looking figure is pretty intriguing, as is the military parade scene in front on an apparently Empire-inspired banner. This raises so many questions regarding the nature of the new enemy force, as well as the lone figure which appears to lead it.
Cinematographic technology has come such a long way since the Millenium Falcon’s heydays that one cannot help but look forward to seeing the saga’s classic features in higher video and special effect quality. To say that the prequel saga isn’t everyone’s cup of tea would be a bit of an understatement.
But if there’s one thing it has shown, it is how far we’ve come since the days of cardboard sets and low budgets – which Lucas admittedly made great use of back in 1977. With a few glimpses of spectacular spacial chases and explosions, the trailers have certainly set expectations high in that regard.
The first trailer reminded me how big a fan I was after all these years. The second officially makes the wait until the 18th December an unbearable ordeal. 244 days until release. And counting..