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Sunday, November 8, 2015

"The Force Awakens" TV Spot #1 Focuses On Rey

This is certainly turning out to be a great weekend for new footage from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Following a Japanese trailer on Friday, the movie's first TV spot has appeared online. 

As usual, I'm only going to review the new footage. For all scenes not described in this post, refer to my breakdown of the first full-length trailer. 
  1. The Millenium Falcon flies across a lake towards a distant castle. This is most likely the castle of space pirate Maz Kanata, which you can see up-close later in this teaser with a red droid outside and colorful flags hanging. Apparently this jungle planet is Takodana, never before seen in the Star Wars universe. 
  2. "I have lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people. I see your eyes. I know your eyes!" says the aforementioned Kanata. According to Entertainment Weekly, her own eyes are covered because they hold a "secret power". Her voiceover is pretty vague, but it tells us that she's very old, and she recognizes something in the eyes of another character, probably either Rey or Finn. Could she perhaps identify them as the descendant of a familiar Star Wars character? 
  3. Rey stands with BB-8 in a Jakku village, looking at something in the distance. Has she spotted a First Order patrol?
  4. Han Solo and Finn stand in a frozen landscape. This is the First Order's Starkiller Base, which also houses a superweapon. It promises to be a central plot device and the location of the movie's climactic battle. Our heroes may be landing on the planet's surface to enter the facility on foot and sabotage it from the inside. 
  5. Rey observes First Order TIE fighters and landing craft flying above a forest. This appears to be on Takodana again. 
  6. Rey smacks someone with her staff, in the same Jakku market. We've seen Rey hold that staff several times now, but this is the first time she's actually used it. If Jakku is anything like Tatooine, the guy she's fighting is some kind of thug or thief.
  7. Poe Dameron flies an X-Wing through an explosion over a metallic surface. Starkiller Base is basically an entire planet ripped apart by the First Order to form their center of command, and based on the snowy mountains in the background, Poe is flying over one of the man-made structures on the surface. 
  8. "Follow me," Rey says as she gives Finn a hand. Since Jakku is Rey's home where she's lived for most (if not all) of her life, she's much more familiar with it than Finn, who escapes a First Order Star Destroyer and crash-lands on the planet. 
  9. Rey fires a blaster pistol at Kylo Ren, who deflects the shot with ease. This most likely precedes a scene shown in the Japanese trailer of Kylo Ren holding his lightsaber to Rey's throat. The background suggests that they're in the same Takodana jungle as #5 above. Fans have predicted that Rey and Kylo are the twin children of Han and Leia. 
  10. BB-8 beeps. Rey pushes a lever, and the Millennium Falcon bursts out of a snowy forest. This shows us Rey's piloting abilities, further suggesting that she's a Skywalker. This snowy forest (presumably on Starkiller Base) could easily be the same one that Kylo Ren angrily strides through, before igniting his crossguard lightsaber, in the iconic scene from the very first teaser of the movie. Later teasers revealed that Finn duels him here with Anakin and Luke Skywalker's old blue lightsaber. 
The Internet has quickly interpreted Kanata's quote and the close-ups of Han and Rey to signify a blood relation between the two that has been heavily rumored among fans. Not to mention the text reading "Every generation has a story". The word "generation" could simply mean a group of people born and living at about the same time (in this context, anyone of Rey and Finn's age), but it could also mean the latest generation of Skywalkers -- the children of Han and Leia, and Luke. 

The potential spoiler of Rey's Skywalker parentage isn't something that the filmmakers would even come close to explicitly stating in a trailer. But they know that everyone's already predicting it, and the movie's barely a month away, so it wouldn't be crazy for them to hint at it in a short television commercial. 

Furthermore, Rey's central positioning in this teaser doesn't necessarily mean that the movie is all about her (though she's definitely one of the main characters). Don't forget that this was made for television, and it's quite possible that this commercial was designed specifically for the audience of a female-centric TV show, who would naturally be mostly females themselves, and would respond strongly to the images of Rey's physical strength. 

We still have over a month until the movie's release, so we can expect several more TV spots after this one. The exact number could vary greatly. Jurassic World and Avengers: Age of Ultron, two similarly highly anticipated movies of the year, had about 30 and 50 each, respectively. But The Force Awakens is following an unconventional marketing campaign, for the purpose of hiding the film's biggest secrets. In any case, I'll review any more TV spots with new footage from the film.

What did you think of this TV spot? Tell me in the comments, and may the Force be with you all.  

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