TRAILER REACTION: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Unless you are living under a rock you will have heard that the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released today. Twitter’s gone mad, there’s trailer breakdowns (for all 88 seconds of it) and it’s probably going to be one of the most watched trailers of the year.

After watching the trailer I felt compelled to talk about it even though I’m not a die-hard Star Wars fan. I didn’t grow up watching Star Wars like many people who were born in the nineties – I grew up watching films like Ghost and Robocop. It was an odd childhood film-wise to be honest. I didn’t watch the original Star Wars trilogy until two of my friends from University made me marathon them with them – I was twenty. I really did find them enjoyable. Obviously a lot of the big plot twists I knew because of the osmosis of the internet and general pop culture but I liked the characters a lot. Han Solo is my favourite type of character, a chancer with a good heart and good looks, Leia is pretty damn awesome and I liked Luke’s character arc. I also loved Lando and am continuing to keep my fingers crossed that Billy Dee Williams will make an appearance in The Force Awakens.

I didn’t get round to watching the prequel trilogy until I was 22 – I actually watched them on this year’s Star Wars Day (May 4th). Again I’d heard they were terrible and while I’ll admit they are not amazing films, there were some bits I liked and I didn’t feel as betrayed by them or as strongly about them because Star Wars wasn’t a huge love of mine.

So now we’ve got the new trilogy on its way. I tweeted a lot about the casting news because I was stoked about John Boyega getting the lead role (check him out in Attack the Block and Half of a Yellow Sun if you haven’t already) and also because Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis and Domhnall Gleeson were cast and I like all of them too.

Today was trailer day. I’m sure it was because I was in a film PR office but there was such a huge buzz of excitement when the trailer appeared online that I couldn’t help getting swept up in it all even though I don’t really have an invested interest in the franchise. So now onto my actual thoughts on the trailer.

It’s a teaser trailer so you get no plot (which I kind of love) and just some amazing shots of the new cast. I loved the fact that John Boyega was the first character you see and the other characters you see are also the new cast – Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac. That being said a lot of the shots and technology on show feel older and like the original trilogy. The only shot that felt JJ Abrams-esque (ie shiny and lens-flare-y) was the one of the Stormtroopers, everything else felt gritty and lived in. The final shot with the Millennium Falcon and that music blaring out gave me goosebumps and I’m not even a huge fan of the franchise – it’s such iconic music that I couldn’t help but smile to myself. The whole thing felt new and exciting but at the same time it feels like it has respect and nostalgia for the original films – which is a great balance to have when you’re rebooting or continuing a much loved franchise.

I’m surprised at how excited I got about the trailer launch, but I’m all for John Boyega leading a big movie and Harrison Ford stepping back into Han Solo’s shoes. It felt like proper teaser trailer and some other film makers could definitely take note of JJ Abram’s super secretive-ness. I look forward to seeing more footage of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and I am sure I’ll be going to see it opening weekend next December.

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