I enjoyed J.J. Abrams’ interpretation of the Star Wars universe with The Force Awakens, but it felt too shiny, too clean.
Now Rogue One feels like a Star Wars movie should.
Or maybe it’s just seeing old school Star Destroyers and the original Death Star, though I think that it’s the grim tone, the grit and the desperation of a Rebel Alliance put on the ropes by an ascendant Imperial Empire.
Desperation suits Star Wars.
J.J. Abrams, the director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens had a pretty serious job ahead of him. In directed the latest Star Wars movies he had to manage to invigorate the franchise, while not alienating long-time fans of the movie.
I’ve discussed this point and more below in my first video review. It’s a feature that I tend to explore more in future, particularly for bigger movies.
That being said, overall Abrams did a good job, but it’s not perfect.
With John Carpenter’s The Thing–based on Christian Nyby’s 1951 movie The Thing From Another World and the original John Campbell short novel, Who Goes There?–we got to see a director at the peak of his powers. Carpenter was able to combine Rob Bottin’s extraordinary creature effects with a taut story of an otherworldly threat that had the ability to mimic whomever it killed.
So you can imagine that when Universal Pictures decided to do a sequel in 2011–without Carpenter’s input–that fans would probably not be too keen on it.
And that’s a bit of an understatement, with many–myself included–hating the movie on general principal.
Having recently re-watched Matthijs van Heijningen’s prequel, it’s actually pretty good. And while I wished that it had more in the way of practical effects–though as far as I can tell the CGI is based on designs from Alec Gillis and Bob Woodruff (who are credited) and while it’s not as innovative as the practical special effects of Rob Bottin, They’re okay.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Teaser Trailer 3
I’ve included the teaser trailer for the upcoming third trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens partally because I still think it’s particularly douchy to make the trailer the event, as opposed to the movie.
After all, we’re talking about Star Wars here. The hype for this movie is unbelievable and J.J. Abrams is a solid-enough director that I expect that he’ll live up to the hype.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer (Official)
And speaking of the trailer, it’s gorgeous. That being said, what’s more interesting is that it gives the impression that all the mythology around the Jedi have been lost to time and become just that, mythology.
Which implies that a significant amount of time has passed, but seeing that Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are in the movie, it couldn’t’ be that much.
I admit it, I shat the bed, figuratively speaking. When I saw the trailer below, I assumed that it was for J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars sequel, The Force Awakens, and should have known better.
Why? Because a huge clue was staring me right in the face the entire time, which I have posted just below.
Bad Robot logo
For those who are unaware, Bad Robot is the production company owned by Abrams (Mutant Enemy is owned by Joss Whedon, which is why you see it credited at the beginning of Marvel’s Agent’s Of S.H.I.E.L.D.).
For it to appear on the latest Star Wars trailer would mean that mean that Disney and Lucasfilm were sharing the wealth, so to speak, with Bad Robot.
Which is a relatively stupid idea, if you give it any sort of thought because Disney just finished paying $4 billion for Lucasfilm and the last thing they would do is to share any potential profits with Bad Robot–which isn’t to imply that Abrams isn’t making a buttload of money from directing it, because he probably is.
I have posted the actual trailer below (The Force Awakens will always sound to me like the title of a movie on Lifetime, mainly because there’s something oddly feminine about it) and it’s pretty good, though not quite as dynamic as the fake.
Let me being by saying that I am not a huge fan of J.J. Abrams (and I still think the subtitle, The Force Awakens. is pretty weak). He’s talented, but feels relatively passionless to me. He also efficient–he finished Star Wars: The Force Awakens almost disconcertingly quick–but I am not sure I am feeling the love.
But this trailer looks amazing. I am not a huge Star Wars fan, the prequels went a long way toward my current apathy, and I know that typically trailers look awesome, but this one is almost breathtakingly cool.
And for the first time–other than The Empire Strikes Back, which was unbelievable–I am looking forward to a Star Wars movie.
The halcyon days when trailers simply existed to inform viewers about a particularly movie, as opposed to being events in and of themselves, is pretty much a thing of the past. If I had any doubts, then the email I received from The Hollywood Reporter removed them.
It explains that the trailer for the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens (I still can’t stand that subtitle) will be shown in 30 theaters from one end of the country to the next.
And I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to hear that there are instances where people attend showings just to see it, and leave as soon as it’s finished. I am not sure what such a hunger for movie-related information means, though I have a feeling that it’s not a good thing because it reflects a preoccupation that is perhaps better reserved for more tangible, more real things.
Then again, keep in mind this is coming from someone who had has a huge nerdgasm whenever a new Marvel Studios movie (or Guillermo del Toro directs a new feature) turns up, so perhaps I am not the best person to make such points.