Star Wars Episode VII has been slowly wearing down my skepticism for a long, long time now. But this new trailer… this is something else. Maybe it’s because I’m riding the contact high after finally finishing the actually really goddamn good Star Wars: Rebels, or maybe it’s the established talent of JJ Abrams’ creative team to cut together a totally efficient trailer, but these two minutes take my anticipation for The Force Awakens to an entirely new level.
It’s really stunning stuff, and all sorts of evocative images– a crashed Star Destroyer, buried in the middle of a vast desert! Our first look at the chrome-armored elite Stormtroopers! The charred skull and helmet of Darth Vader!
We get the perfect mix of nostalgia and intrigue as Luke Skywalker’s voiceover (addressed to whom, exactly?) mentions The Force as a power his father HAS… not HAD… And that last shot, and that last line… as we see Han Solo and Chewbacca take the screen for the first time in 32 years, through our collectively misty eyes… I am still reeling from everything on display here.
Some more of my initial thoughts:
All along, I’ve maintained that I am most interested by the new characters in this trilogy, and did not care as much about the inevitable parade of OT characters coming back. I still hold this to be true overall… but that being said, my reaction to seeing Han and Chewie here was way, WAY more emotionally impactful than I had anticipated. And like I said earlier, having just watched through Rebels— with its wonderfully executed, completely organic inclusion of OT characters into a fresh, new story– I readily admit I’m now much more open to whatever roles Han, Luke, Leia and Chewie have to play in The Force Awakens.
The content of this trailer suggests to me that Daisy Ridley’s Rey may, in fact, be our new protagonist. She’s certainly got a lot to do here, ranging from big action pieces to the wonderful little scene where she holds out her hand to Jon Boyega’s Finn and he waits a beat before accepting it. I’m not sure what that’s about, but I can’t wait to find out.
Speaking of strong central female characters, there was actually Star Wars news even more exciting than the new trailer today at Celebration. Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm’s president, directly called out the lack of major female characters in the Star wars universe and had this to say: “Going forward with all we’re talking about there are going to be a lot of wonderful new [female] characters.” THIS, times a thousand.
Today is the first GREAT day to be a Star Wars fan in a really, really long time. I am so excited right now, you guys.