The New "Star Wars" Trailer (and How It Made Me Cry)

Hey so did you see this trailer?

You know how every once in a while a trailer for a big geek friendly film comes along and if the trailer is well put together you’ll hear how some people actually shed some tears while viewing it? The emotional response such trailers elicit is so strong it actually makes people cry? Damn, that’s a little much isn't it?

Don’t get me wrong, I've been super excited by my fair share of movie trailers. I've gotten chills before, fist pumped, yelled various things such as “hell yes!” and “Fuck yea!” But cry? No. Not once.
Until I saw the new trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

The trailer starts and the LucasFilm logo shimmers into view. The familiar sound of John Williams Binary Sunset plays over a vast shot of a desert landscape as a tiny figure zooms across it on a speeder bike. We see a wrecked X-Wing closer in the foreground and in the background a massive form in taking shape. You’re not exactly sure what it is you’re looking at as the camera pans slowly across the landscape. Then it all takes shape, and you see the hulking ghost of a wrecked Star Destroyer decaying in the harsh sun, slowly being weathered down by the elements.

The shot is so far away, yet the ship so huge, the effect it gives off is one of some kind of ancient monolith of a by-gone era. Georges Lucas’s concept of a “used future” is on full display. And all at once Star Wars is back.

So I already have chills. Then Luke’s voice-over begins and perfectly tantalizing shots are shown to us. Not one shot feels wasted. As a piece of editing alone, it’s one of the better trailers I've seen in years. It gives you a great look of the film without spoiling a single thing or revealing too much.
And at the very end they go ahead and give it us. Han Solo and Chewbacca side by side after decades.

“Chewie, we’re home.”

Yes, yes we are.

The cynic will say that last shot was fan service pandering. So the fuck what if it is?! It did the job. It made tears fall down my face. The goosebumps were there, the eyes were misty throughout but no tears had formed until those two showed up and then BOOM! Cue the waterworks. Now to save face I wasn't sobbing like a man-child or anything but there were a few good, solid tears running down my cheeks regardless.

After I composed myself I watched the trailer again and really absorbed it. This time to focus on how well made the film looks. Pushing aside all of my fanboy gushing as best I can, I can safely say the trailer itself looks far more Star Wars than any of the Prequels ever did. And I’m not even trying to hate on the Prequels. They do have moments of merits, but with this 2 minute trailer J.J. Abrams shows us a world that feels lived in, organic, and alive. There are real locations in the trailer. Real sets and real explosions and real props and real droids. The visuals are crisp and clean but not without energy and style.

From a design perspective, everything looks aces. The revamped Storm Troopers, the new villain Kylo-Ren, that sexy as all hell Chromed out Storm Trooper, the TIE Fighters, the X-Wings, the costume designs…all of it is familiar with just a touch of the new to make everything feel fresh.

There really isn't much to say. I could take this time to wag my finger at myself and say “Well now, chances are the film could disappoint so best not get too excited!” But really, I don’t feel like doing that. I feel like being excited. I feel like reveling in my and the fandoms love and admiration of this mythology. I feel like basking in the hope that this generation my still get a chance to see a good Star Wars movie after all. I have until Christmas to temper my expectations. So I’m going to have fun at the moment. 

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