It was 1996 and I was five years old when my father took me to the cinema for the very first time to watch Star Wars: A New Hope at a little cinema in Lakeside, Essex. It was the single greatest thing I ever saw, and to this day no film has ever quite filled me with the same sense of pure joy and wonder. So you can imagine my excitement as the new trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hit my laptop screen this afternoon. With a new director at the helm in J.J Abrams, fans all held their breath as they hoped he could find the same chemistry that made the original 1970’s trilogy the most far out, exciting space adventure since man stepped foot on the moon. And it seems the early signs are promising…
The trailer starts in the unforgettable, baron, desert landscape of the planet Tatooine as an ominous, guttural voice breaks the silence and utters “There has been an awakening — have you felt it? The dark side. And the light….” This initial mysterious stirring is followed by glimpses of desert, forest and skies and you get a sense of a new myth, a new beginning for the franchise. John Boyega is the first to star as he pops up as a storm trooper, helmet-less, panicked and soaked in sweat. It’s a refreshing way to start the trailer and a far more intriguing way to set up the franchise, (rather than the CGI heavy Jurassic World trailer which premiered earlier this week.) You get a sense that Abrams wants to get away from the CGI that dominated the prequels.
Then a robotic droid scurries across the screen, it grumbles with the same charm as R2-D2 once did, and is perhaps a distant futuristic cousin of his. We see Daisy Ridley mount a hovercraft in an Arabic sand dune costume, or possibly she is a native of the planet on her way to inform someone of the storm troopers imminent arrival. We are then plunged into darkness as we see a Sith Lord, perhaps injured, stagger his way through a wintery forest and his lightsaber blazes the screen alight with that all too familiar sound. As for who is playing the dark side’s latest recruit, we are still left unsure. Is that the imposing frame of Adam Driver? At this point its too hard to tell.
In the second half of the trailer old favourites balance out the mystery of the trailer. Oscar Isaac makes an appearance piloting the distinctive X-Wing fighter ship, its wings slicing through the air and skimming across a vast lake. You could say that not a lot has changed to the designs of the spacecraft as it’s set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, but this is exactly what the fans wanted to see. Abrams teases us with moments of pure hedonistic nostalgia, as the millennium falcon roars back onto our screens like a phoenix rising from the ashes accompanied by John Williams’ imperious trumpets.
At the moment we are left tantalisingly intrigued, the trailer has rightly left out any plot indicators, but from what we can see so far the force is alive and well.
Written by Will Harper.