You’ve already watched it five or six times in the course of your morning surfing. What’s one more?
Tell me this. What would a bad “Star Wars” trailer look like? What would have to happen here for people to come away saying “I’m not feeling it”? Too much dialogue in lieu of action? No footage of the Famous Characters We Already Know? A Ben Affleck cameo? Imagine it was just Han Solo monologing for two minutes about the threat posed by the Empire while spaceships flew by. The reaction wouldn’t be “This seems boring,” right? It would be “CANNOT BELIEVE HAN IS BACK.” Which raises the question: If, realistically, there’s no way the trailer could have failed, why did they need a trailer at all? The best explanation I can come up with is that Abrams wanted fans who are still traumatized by the prequels to feel optimistic about what’s coming. It’s not an ad designed to sell tickets, in other words, as much as it is a bit of anti-anxiety medication. That would explain why the trailer focuses so heavily on battle: It’s an implied warranty to America that you’re not going to have to sit through any extended parliamentary debates about space tariffs or whatever this time. And of course, it’s a way to remind skeptics yet again that the original gang is back for this one. The assumption is that, even if all else fails, Ford, Fisher, and Hamill will bring some of the stardust from the first trilogy with them. You will cheer at this movie. They’re the insurance policy.
Two moments worth noting. Who’s Leia, seemingly being embraced here by a graying Han, crying over? Does Han’s faithful companion, America’s favorite upright walking dog-alien, finally buy the farm?
As for the second, good catch by Dan Foster. Luke is conspicuously absent from the trailer — or is he?
Holy…Holy shit. Holy shit. Et tu, Luke? pic.twitter.com/a6Fc8ispmm
— Daniel Foster (@DanFosterType) October 20, 2015
A parting thought. Imagine the state of America this morning if Abrams and Disney had somehow managed to keep it a secret that Han, Luke, and Leia were returning for Episode VII and our first inkling of it came when Harrison Ford suddenly popped up at the end of this trailer. Total hysteria. For the sake of our collective mental health, it was probably best that they spilled the beans.