Friday, November 6, 2015

Unexpected International "The Force Awakens" Trailer Offers Tons of New Footage

The release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens' first full trailer came with the bittersweet assumption that this would be our very last look at the film before its December 18th theatrical debut. And JJ Abrams even confirmed this last week, forcing fans to accept that they would just have to wait the remaining 40-ish days before returning to a galaxy far, far away. 

Well, to be fair, Abrams wasn't completely lying. Yes, an even newer trailer landed on the Internet today featuring a lot of new footage, but it's Japanese, meaning that it wasn't exactly intended to be released in the United States. For all we know, Abrams had crafted this trailer as an alternative to the one released 3 weeks ago, and wasn't aware that Disney/Lucasfilm was planning to show it in Japan.

I'm going to review only the new footage from the trailer, rather than the usual Trailer Breakdown. For all scenes not described in this post, refer to my breakdown of the first full-length trailer. 
  1. It opens on a pretty impressive sight: what looks to be the empty thruster of the crashed Star Destroyer on Jakku. The small figure in the middle is probably Rey; she explores the massive ship for her scavenger duties. 
  2. We see a shot of Rey's speeder flying across the Jakku landscape. Between the flat desert and moisture vaporators, this is so reminiscent of A New Hope that I'd think Abrams literally cut and paste this from the 1977 film, if not for the single sun setting, rather than Tatooine's twin suns. 
  3. BB-8 beeps at Rey. "Where do you come from?" she asks. It appears that the two meet when Rey buys him from Teedo, another scavenger and acquaintance of Rey's. But BB-8 is actually the droid of Resistance pilot Poe Dameron, and he might even be carrying Anakin/Luke Skywalker's blue lightsaber that Finn will later wield. 
  4. "I know all about waiting...for my family," Rey says. Fans are all but certain that Rey is a Skywalker (most likely Han and Leia's daughter), but they had no idea how she ended up all alone on Jakku. This suggests that she was brought here as a child, and told that her family would eventually come for her. Meanwhile, BB-8 might be waiting for Dameron, who is being interrogated by Kylo Ren aboard his Star Destroyer. 
  5. BB-8 beeps loudly and rolls off in panic. Rey and Finn follow, only to see an approaching squadron of TIE fighters. This is a pretty beautiful shot right here. The First Order is coming to Jakku to track down either Finn or BB-8. Either way, this is bad news for our new heroes. 
  6. A First Order flametrooper set fire to a village. These fiery soldiers were teased in promotional art, but this is our first real look at their capabilities. We've seen this village assault, led by Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma, several times throughout the teasers and trailers for the movie. 
  7. "I will fulfill our destiny. I will finish what you started," Kylo Ren says while looking at Vader's charred helmet. This is an interesting extension onto Kylo's dialogue in the first trailer. His use of the word "our" implies that he and Vader's fates are intertwined. Perhaps he's referring to their speculated blood relation...
  8. Kylo ignites his plasma blade. That's right, his homemade weapon isn't technically a lightsaber. But those consoles seem to place him in the command center of a First Order base or Star Destroyer, so would he need to use his lightsaber there? We know that he has a big temper, so maybe he's pissed at one of the other First Order officers. 
  9. "I don't know your name," Rey says. "Finn," he responds. "I'm Rey," she replies. They're clearly on the Millenium Falcon (where Han Solo confirms to them the myths of the Force). They must have been so busy avoiding the First Order on Jakku that they didn't get the chance to formally introduce themselves. 
  10. We see Leia Organa in a Resistance command center with C-3PO and Poe Dameron. She's graduated from captive princess to General (and maybe even Queen) of the Resistance. We still don't know why 3PO's gold plating has been tarnished with that red arm. 
  11. BB-8 witnesses an explosion at night. Wow, all these dogfights and incinerations and laser battles are gonna make Jakku even more of a wasteland. 
  12. We see X-Wing fighters swooping over a snowy landscape from a first-person perspective. This is another showcase of the movie's amazing visual effects. The snowy planet itself is the First Order's Starkiller Base, which doubles as a superweapon that literally kills stars. 
  13. Rey runs and grabs her staff. If you slow down this shot and check out her surroundings, you can make out a piece of an ancient AT-AT that has been heavily rumored to be her home. Judging by her mechanical skills, Rey's staff could have some pretty cool functions, other than just a stick to smack people. 
  14. Chewie's back! Everyone's favorite Wookie growls and presses a button on a detonator, blowing up the bridge of a First Order Star Destroyer. Despite a significant appearance in the second teaser for the film, Chewbacca has been left out of a lot of the footage and promotional art. He's over 200 years old but he's still got a few tricks (and bombs) up his sleeve.
  15. Kylo Ren holds his blade to the throat of a terrified Rey. This is (arguably) the most important piece of new footage seen in this trailer. It looks like Rey's going to get captured by Kylo at some point, but he probably won't execute her. After all, they might just be twin siblings, or at the very least, cousins. 
  16. "Hope is not lost today. It is found!" says Maz Kanata. We may not have seen this alien space pirate yet, but we know that she has some kind of castle, and based on her dialogue in this trailer (she also says "Who are you?" earlier), she'll be an ally of Rey and the Resistance.
One can wonder why this footage wasn't shown in the original full-length trailer. Obviously some of it could have been omitted for structural reasons, but maybe there's something more than that, maybe this new footage revealed more about the film than Disney/Lucasfilm wanted. Rey and Kylo's respective quotes in #3 and #7 above both hinted at their roles as Skywalkers. Is that what the filmmakers didn't want us to hear? 

While this trailer can't be considered nearly as exciting as the first, and it's (arguably) not as well crafted, it still delivered a substantial amount of new content. At the very most, fans were expecting perhaps a few frames of new footage from the various international TV spots coming our way, so this came as a pleasant surprise. 

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

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