Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer, Part The Third, by Mat Bradley-Tschirgi
The third trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered tonight during the Monday Night Football match on 10/19/15. Some fans watched a football game only to catch the trailer. Others waited with baited breath as it was officially released on the Star Wars YouTube channel.
Instead of describing blow by blow what happens in this latest trailer, I’ll hit the high points (the light side) and the low points (the dark side). Let the geeking out commence!
THE LIGHT SIDE
- The plot isn’t spoiled. There is only a loosest sense of narrative on display. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) appear to be mere supporting characters while the new, younger heroes Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) are the real leads on display.
- Tons of action. The Star Wars films have always focused more on action than the Star Trek films, and this trailer shows Abrams is staying true on that front. Even Abrams’ two Star Trek films had more action than perhaps is proper for a film in that franchise. Star Wars appears a better fit for Abrams’ fast-paced, explosion-packed wheelhouse than Star Trek ever did.
THE DARK SIDE
- The bad guy comes off as bland. New baddie Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) intones “Nothing will stand in our way. I will finish what you started,” as we cut to a burnt husk of Darth Vader’s helmet. His mechanized voice sounds deep and slow, coming off as a pale imitation of Darth Vader rather than a true original. As least Darth Maul had twirling lightsaber choreography and menacing face-paint.
- What’s the hook? This third trailer is so vague as to be cofounding as to what the basic story is about. It’s clear Rey and Finn join together and meet up with Han Solo and Chewbacca, but to what purpose? To learn of an evil bad guy, his space fortress, and to blow them up? To do rails of death sticks at the nearest cantina? To come to an unsatisfying ending that does little more than tease the sequel with faint promises of “all will be revealed?” The lack of clarity to the trailer overall makes me a bit nervous we’ll get a new Star Wars movie that is all sizzle and no steak.
I liked this third trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but feel it lacked the wonder of the first two. Enough teasing us, J.J. Abrams! Give us a reason to root for these old and new characters again. I’m excited, but cautiously so. After all, Yoda once told a young Obi-Wan Kenobi to be mindful of the future.