Friday, April 17, 2015

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens- Teaser 2

I was born the year Star Wars came out & have been a fan since I was early enough to remember.

It is a modern-day myth, with both ancient roots and a glimpse into the future. The Star Wars saga has secured a place in the public consciousness that will last for generations.

Being such a fan, I've also been very critical of the movies as pieces of cinema. I remember being extremely excited for the prequels and the backstory of Darth Vader. Although Episodes I-III aren't nearly as bad as people make them out to be, there were definitely questionable creative choices & opportunities lost.

When Disney took over the Star Wars franchise & announced new movies, I was actually optimistic that we'd get quality movies that expanded the Star Wars movie timeline into the character's future.

So far, the progress of "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens" has been extremely promising. The first and most important choice was to keep the original cast from the original trilogy. The fact that this happened is huge in keeping with the continuity of the characters & story.

The updating of Rebel & Imperial elements from the original movies seems to be right on target, so to speak. Everything I've seen in the first 2 teaser trailers looks great.

This trailer has really sparked my excitement to see this next installment of the series. The first shot is just awesome: 

With the speeder in the far background of a desert planet (Jakku), moving past the aged remains of a downed X-Wing- the camera pans over the ruins of a giant crashed Imperial Star Destroyer looming in the background.

You get the feeling that the era of The Galactic Civil War between the Empire & Rebellion was a long, long time ago.

The scene gives a sense of size & scope that I wished Star Wars would utilize more. Space is so vast, and some fiction, like the game Mass Effect, tries to give you a sense of that immensity. This is a masterfully composed scene that makes you viscerally feel the scale of the situation. It also is a profound statement on the impermanence of mortal endeavors, no matter what the scale or motivation.

I was also struck by the iconic image of Darth Vader's helmet. However, it is now twisted & melted, from the funeral pyre that Luke Skywalker made for his redeemed father's body & black armor, in "Return of the Jedi".

You can't see who's holding the helmet, but I've read that the villain is someone obsessed with collecting Sith history & relics, which would nicely parallel the main character Rey's background as a scavenger.

The familiar, but evolved, visual elements seem like a natural progression of the Star Wars universe. The fighter craft and uniforms of both sides are reminiscent of the older movies, but with an updated look. The Stormtroopers are still in their familiar white armor, but there are subtle differences.

When I saw this scene, I noticed the new troopers, T.I.E. Fighters, and Imperial symbol on the banner. When I looked closer, though, I noticed the lone figure standing on the stage. Perhaps this is the new heir to Emperor Palpatine's position, as leader of the Imperial forces?

Hordes of people are online picking this trailer apart for clues & tidbits that might tell us more about The Force Awakens. It seems like most people agree that this initial look gives reason to have high expectations when the newest installment of the Star Wars saga is released this Christmas.

I am definitely excited about the potential of this movie. The kid in me is ready to experience new additions to the Star Wars story with fresh eyes.

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