The expectations for Avengers: Age of Ultron are high, sequel to the third highest grossing film of all time with a global haul of $1.519 billion, however in figures adjusted for inflation the spandex superheroes don’t even figure in the top ten. There, the number three film of all time (behind 1939’s Gone With the Wind and 2009’s Avatar) is a little film from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (well, 1977) which grossed the modern equivalent of $2.825 billion.
The forthcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has the potential to be a pop culture phenomenon with the power to eclipse everything else released this year; even with scarcely two weeks of 2015 in which it will be open to the public, it would not be a surprise if it was not the top box office hit of both this year and next.
The first teaser was released in late November, causing the Internet to go into a near meltdown of fulfilled expectation and relief; a second teaser was released yesterday, coinciding with director J J Abrams’ panel at the Star Wars Celebration in California and received over ten million hits in 24 hours. We cannot hope to represent the breadth of global opinion, but the writers of the site have offered their own first reactions to this second glimpse of The Force Awakens.
Dario Persechino – Oh my god!!!!
I haven’t had this much excitement over a trailer since the last Star Wars trailer 🙂
Normally I hate the trailer after trailer nonsense we endure for movies now but this is the exception. Every glimpse of this familiar world excites me. Holy **** what an opening pan out! The wreckage of the Star Destroyer had my jaw dropping and my eyes opening wide. I don’t care if I’m being mercilessly teased by a large corporation, at this point I’d hand them my safe word and let them have their way with me.
I know people are worried and saying we’ve been burnt before by the movies that shall not be named, but I *never* had this feeling of excitement over their preview material. My instincts warned me back then I’d be disappointed and were right. Now my instincts are screaming at me that the Force is strong with this one, and I trust them.
Two minutes of pure childish geeky pleasure, and those familiar (if older) faces at the end… and that line. Oh man. Yeah, Chewie, we are home 😀
Michael Flett – It’s frustrating that this is another teaser rather than the full trailer we wanted. J J really knows how to get us itching, but with eight months until release perhaps it’s the right way to go – the fanboys are already screeching and having hissy fits (a black Stormtrooper! Nooooooooooooooooo!) so giving them anything more tangible would lead to full on meltdown, and honestly I can’t be bothered listening to the noise.
It’s also interesting that this serves almost as a companion piece to the first teaser, showing all new footage but largely from the same scenes; they’re really controlling what is out there, which again is exactly what you expect from J J but I have faith in him to know what he’s doing. Compare this with the trailers of the prequels – explosions! things flying at the screen! digital backgrounds! digital characters! digital vehicles! terrible acting! Give me this over that anyday…
It does make me laugh that it begins with a pan across the desert; my first thought was that someone was kidding us and they had just linked the first teaser again. How can two minutes of footage with barely any dialogue or indication of plot get me so excited?
A downed Star Destroyer; we knew that from the leaked production art, but it still gives a sense of the change since the fall of the Empire. What was once a symbol of the boot of the Empire crushing down is now a relic, though interestingly it’s not been cut up for salvage. Is it because it is so remote it’s impractical, or is there still some superstitious fear over the past…
But here is the memory of Darth Vader. And here’s R2-D2. Here, presumably, is Luke Skywalker, albeit only his (upgraded) (replacement) hand; here presumably are the hands of Leia Organa Skywalker Solo.
It’s always been a part of the (now largely discounted) extended universe that Leia gave birth to “the Jedi twins,” and certainly the structure of the trailer implies those children are Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron. Hey, I’m cool with that – although Ex Machina was disappointing Oscar was great in it. And those X-Wings are sweet, and the way they’re flying them here, boy racers with their souped up cars, is that not a call back to George Lucas and American Grafitti?
This, then, is Kylo Ren, the new big bad, and an updated insignia for the Empire, and TIE Fighters, still with their green blasters; the implication, and again it’s drawn from partial information is that John Boyega’s Finn is a Stormtrooper who has turned sides and done a runner, stealing a TIE Fighter to escape.
Look closely in the scene where Finn and Rey are running from the explosion; he’s being pursued by another TIE firing on them; has he defected, and Rey is his contact? And when things turn bad, who will be her backup, swooping out of the sky to rescue them, the last minute rescue falling out of the sun?
And once again the trailer “moment” is seeing the Falcon; J J knows how much she means to us, and we will never tire of seeing her. But then that extra at the end. Hey, Chewie. Hey, Han. It’s beyond good to see you guys. And to see Harrison Ford smiling? That’s… well, it’s been a long time with all the surly roles he plays these days.
Also note that Chewie has his bowcaster raised; I guess “home” means “here comes trouble.”
Screw summer. Can we have December already?
Adam Dworak – I just don’t know what to say, I would love to be excited like you guys but I can’t. I remember when I saw the trailer to The Phantom Menacefor the first time, it was mind blowing, the colours, the sounds, lightsabers and space battles and vague glimpses of the story. That trailer left me shaking, craving for more and more Star Wars.
This time I am feeling nothing. It’s not even a trailer, it just a another fan tribute to old Star Wars filled with references, characters and artefacts from the original trilogy. We have here Luke’s quote from Return of The Jedi, Darth Vader’s helmet, Anakin’s lightsaber and even the sequence with the Millennium Falcon being pursued in the tunnels is taken from the original trilogy, the chase to the reactor core of the second Death Star.
Should I be afraid that Episode VII has nothing original to show me, that this is the reason why J J Abrams plays on my nostalgia?
And of course you could ask yourself the questions of how someone got possession of Vader’s helmet which should have melted in the funeral pyre on Endor and Anakin’s lightsaber which should have dropped through the vents of Cloud City into the atmosphere of Bespin?
Someone once said that Abrams can’t be original, that his movies are only rehashes of what Spielberg and Lucas did before him and seeing this trailer it’s easy to believe this. There was no feeling of the uniqueness of Episode VII in this trailer or at least not enough to get me aroused and excited.
Michael said he thought that this is because Abrams wants to keep the secrets of Episode VII until the last moment but at the same time every week we have more leaked information and more pictures.
I really hope that I am wrong and the amazing Star Wars, my Star Wars, is there waiting for me to discover when The Force Awakens and that Disney won’t dumb it down like they have done with Star Wars Rebels.
And why is Han so excited to be back on his “home” of the Falcon? He would never have given that ship up – unless Leia was such a bitch that she kept it in the divorce settlement.
Only time will tell but one must remember: “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future…”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is scheduled for release on 18th December 2015