Saturday, April 25, 2015
Force in Focus: The Force Awakens Teaser #2
I honestly hadn't intended to interrupt the comic book reviews at least until we'd finished the adaptation of the film with issue #6, but then a new Force Awakens trailer was released at Celebration Anaheim last week, and while I wasn't going to push back the launch of the comic book reviews another week, talking about that trailer sure seems to fit the purview of this blog series. So here are.
Here, then, are five things that stood out to me in the second teaser trailer. Mild spoilers, but I don't know much more than what's been shown in the trailers.
Star Destroyer Down
The trailer opens with a long shot of a desert landscape, the camera panning right as a vehicle races over the land, and gradually we see that the mountain in the distance isn't a mountain - it's a crashed Star Destroyer. I actually said "holy crap" out loud the first time I watched the teaser; it's an absolutely gorgeous shot, one of the best from the entire saga.
Crispy Dented Vader
As Mark Hamill's voiceover talks about how the Force runs strong in his family, we see Darth Vader's mask, crumpled, burnt and ashen following his funeral pyre in Return of the Jedi. Does this mean a return trip to the oft-maligned Endor? Is it simply a nod to the past, or an indication that Vader will play as big a role in this series as he did the previous two trilogies?
(Incidentally, much has already been made of Luke's dialogue in this scene, as he says in regards to the Force running in his family, "my father has it", with the present tense "has" and not "had". Now, in the original dialogue from Return of the Jedi, he (rightly) uses the present tense, but after the end of the film, "had" would be more accurate. Apparently, the voiceover in the trailer is from Jedi, but Abrams also had Hamill re-record it, which is overlaid as an echo in the trailer. So does that mean Vader lives on, somehow, in the new film, or is this all just an elaborate tease?)
In the same series of images that begins with Vader's charred mask, we also see an alien of some kind handing over a lightsaber to a pair of hands that look suspiciously like (and which the internet has crowned) Leia's hands. The Expanded Universe got a lot of mileage out of the idea of Leia as a Jedi (to varying degrees of ability) already, but Leia wielding a lightsaber is such a great, obvious idea, from the moment it was revealed she was "the other" Yoda spoke of in Empire Strikes Back, that hopefully Abrams and company are going down that road themselves to some degree.
Furthermore, the lightsaber in question looks an awful lot like Luke's original lightsaber (which was, of course, Anakin's lightsaber, given to Luke by Obi-Wan in Star Wars), which was lost during his battle with Vader during Empire (you know, when Vader chopped off the hand holding it). In the Expanded Universe, that lightsaber was eventually retrieved and ended up in the hands of Luke's future wife, Mara Jade. It'll be interesting to learn, if this is indeed Luke/Anakin's old lightsaber, just how it was found, and why Leia (if that is indeed Leia) is receiving it.
Red Cloaked Stormtrooper
It's unclear if this is a new character, a new class of Stormtrooper or something else entirely. But red-lined cape? Dark armor? Badass swagger to camera? Color me intrigued!
Han and Chewie, back in the saddle!
As Star Wars fans go, I'm not a big Han guy. Growing up a nerd, it was the whiny, naive-turned-coolly-calm Luke who appealed to me, because he was more like me than the snarky, sarcastic Han (and also because Force powers + lightsaber > anything Han does). This is also why the whole "Han shot first!" outrage never really got me all riled up/ Basically, it's the Cyclops vs. Wolverine argument, and as in all things, I am a Cyclops guy (also, a lightsaber guy).
All of that said, I'll be damned if the closing shots of the teaser, featuring Han and Chewbacca, seemingly aboard the Millennium Falcon, poised in a recreation of that famous still shot from the first movie, didn't bring a tear to my eye as Han announced that they were home, followed by Chewie's affirmative growl.
You guys, I'm really excited for this movie.