Just when we thought there would be no new footage shown before the worldwide premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, an all new international trailer dropped on Friday, and we were gifted with loads of new scenes from the film. Our Jedi Council discusses our favorite scenes.
Elaine Tveit: There’s nothing like a surprise trailer full of gorgeous new shots to brighten up your day. And there’s one new shot in particular in the international The Force Awakens trailer that is literally bright with the light of what looks like an evening or morning sun.
The cloud-streaked sun is rising or setting over what looks like a mountainous landscape. TIE fighters, black against the sun’s golden glow, are traveling to… where? Are they mustering for an attack run, or are they returning to their base? Is this planet Starkiller Base, or Jakku, or Endor, or someplace completely different? It’s difficult to tell, because even though we can see there are mountains, there’s no way to determine whether the climate of the planet is a desert or arctic or temperate forest.
What’s interesting about this shot is how it juxtaposes the beauty of the sunset (or sunrise) with the harshness associated with TIE fighters. It’s an impressively artistic shot, beautifully rendered. It makes me excited to see the movie as a whole and appreciate the creativity and skill that goes into making every Star Wars movie.
Kyle Warnke: Is anyone else just a little mad that Japan got a better Star Wars trailer than we did? I know, it’s tough considering how stellar this latest one is. Maybe it’s just because I’m riding a euphoria wave triggered by an unexpected wave of new The Force Awakens clips, but by my count this is like the 15th fantastic teaser for this movie, and we still don’t even know what it’s about! I don’t think they give out Oscars to marketing teams, but they should consider creating a category for them after what Disney’s people have accomplished over the past few years.
Each trailer so far has achieved the delicate balancing act of keeping key plot elements just out of view while providing just enough snippets to make us hungry for more. The shot above is a perfect example. Not only is it incredibly tense and well-composed, but it feeds perfectly into the rumors surrounding Rey and Kylo Ren’s (familial?) relationship that’s sure to be a focal point of the movie.
Could this be the first time that the two meet? You would think so judging by the terrified, surprised look on Rey’s face, but that’s also a pretty normal reaction to the realization that there’s a psychopathic Dark Side-user wielding a humming sword of death near your head. This trailer gave us plenty of breathtaking glimpses of dogfights and suns setting over planet landscapes, but it’s these emotionally charged, one-on-one shots like these that have me counting the days until Dec. 18.
Ani Bundel: How great is it to wake up in the morning and discover that it’s like Christmas, and a brand new trailer full of footage has dropped? Now, I wouldn’t say i had a favorite shot per se, though I include one here. Instead what I liked about this trailer was how linear it was.
One of the thinks about all three US trailers that came out over the last year for the movie is that nothing is being presented in order. Moreover, you can feel that it’s not in order, which leads to sites trying to reorder the trailers to get a sense of narrative flow. But this trailer, fashioned for a Japanese audience, takes great pains to give us the story we’re going to see in the order we’re going to see it. No, it doesn’t, say, tell us anything about Han, or Leia, who Rey or Finn are, where Kylo Ren came from, where Luke is, or any of the big spoilers. But when I was done watching it, I knew several things about the way the movie will open. Rey will meet BB-8 when she’s out raiding and “waiting” for her family. She will then meet Finn at her stall in Jakku. Perhaps it’s Finn, or perhaps it coincidence, but the reason they leave the planet, rescued by the Falcon is that Captain Phasma leads a team of Storm Troopers to destroy it with flame throwers. Etc Etc Etc. These are things we didn’t know before, and I appreciate having that sense of in what order events will happen.
David (Razor) Harris: It’s virtually hard for me to pick a favorite scene from the new international Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer. The interaction between Rey and BB-8 was delightful, the introductions between Finn and Rey were sweet, and the extra voice-over from Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata was excellent. However, I was absolutely fascinated by the chaotic nature of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. We’ve heard on several occasions that Kylo’s saber may be poorly constructed because he never received completed training as a Jedi before being taken away by the Knights of Ren…this is just rumor of course, but it kind of makes sense. What I loved about this trailer is that they focused on that chaotic blade, and it makes me wonder if we are in for more of an in-depth story, once The Force Awakens hits on December 17 and 18.
Joe Prescott: Two, if I may be so bold, as there were two parts of the new footage that made me happy, and moreso moved. The first is the rather beautiful shot of the approaching First Order TIEs against the sunset of Jakku. So far, the dogfighting and aerial shots look superb and the newly designed ships are unique enough to be distinctive but still reminiscent of the Incom T-65 and TIE/LN starfighters. But that shot of them approaching from the sunset, followed immediately by the new Flametrooper doing their namesake and torching settlements, really adds a sense of overbearing dominance that the First Order are trying to instill in their quest, very much like the Empire.
I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that the TIEs against the sunset immediately reminded me of Apocalypse Now and shots of Black Hawks approaching against the setting sun in South-East Asia; it’s a rather beautiful shot that recalls those Vietnam-based war movies, a few of which were directed by friends of George Lucas as well (Francis Ford Coppola, with whom he started his career and together founded the film studio American Zoetrope, and who named Harrison Ford’s character in Apocalypse now Colonel G. Lucas as a nod to his friend, and also Brian De Palma who helped edit the original Episode IV opening crawl).
My second favourite new shot is the tiny part with Chewie, doing his thing. We’ve yet to see what it is exactly he’s detonating, but we can be sure he’s back to his ways with his dedication to his cause and his friends. I do love that Wookiee, and as you may or may not have guessed by my Twitter name @wooquay (pronounced the same, a portmanteau of Wookiee and Newquay, my hometown) I do so adore those hirsute warriors of Kashyyyk.