If you suddenly felt a great disturbance, as if millions of nerds suddenly cried out in joy, then that’s probably because Disney and Lucasfilm released the official teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens yesterday. And there’s certainly something about it that seems to recapture the spirit of the original trilogy.
And of course, nerds being nerds, the Internet was soon flooded with reactions, analyses, and yes, criticism of the new trailer and what it might mean for the next trilogy of films, and the Star Wars universe as a whole. Wading through all of that nerdery can be a bit foreboding, so I’ve put together a short list of the some of the best reactions from around the web-o-sphere.
Of course, no trailer is complete without a shot-by-shot breakdown of everything we see. Thankfully, Meredith Woerner has provided us with just such a breakdown, complete with plenty of oohing and aahing.
The one aspect of the new trailer that seems to have generated the most controversy — if that’s even the right word to use for reactions to 88 seconds of footage — is the design of the one lightsaber we see in the trailer.
Some like the claymore-ish look, but most seem to find it rather cheesy, not to mention impractical. The folks at The Verge got hyped enough by its appearance that they had a nice long talk about the new Star Wars lightsaber. And The Verge’s T.C. Sottek was so put out by the lightsaber design that he designed a new one while waiting in line for coffee. (For what it’s worth, I think his redesign is quite a bit cooler.)
Also on The Verge, Rich McCormick discussed what the teaser might imply for the Star Wars universe as a whole in light of Lucasfilm’s announcement that they were shuttering the Expanded Universe, and he was pretty OK with it: “Lucasfilm and Disney might have swept the old history away, sure, but in 88 short seconds, [J.J. Abrams] has injected excitement back into the void left by its removal.”
Another small point of controversy surrounding the trailer was the identity of the trailer’s narrator. Many initially thought it was Benedict Cumberbatch, due to both the voice’s low, ominous, gravelly tone and the fact that Cumberbatch is basically everywhere these days. Others thought that it might be Adam Driver, who is playing the film’s villain. However, Drew McWeeny confirmed that it is, in fact, Andy Serkis.
Admittedly, all of this analysis is the epitome of nit-picking. And there were plenty of snarky and underwhelmed reactions, too. For example:
Star Wars trailer has leaked. JJ Abrams has nailed it. #starwars #StarWarsEpisodeVII http://t.co/9vNt1vtajl— Firebox.com (@firebox) #
What's the longest, most overdone think piece about the Star Wars trailer? I want, like, 8000 words about 88 seconds.— Anil Dash is… Dark Mode (@anildash) #
So are Star Wars fans pretending the new trailer is good because they're excited, or is "this exists" legitimately good enough for them?— Lyle Rath (@LyleRath) #
But I can’t deny getting a bit teary-eyed — even after all these years, and those prequels — when John Williams’ classic score soared right alongside the Millennium Falcon in all of its glory. Even after so many missteps (e.g., those darn prequels, doing away with the Expanded Universe), there’s still something almost mythic and elemental about Star Wars in our culture.
With that in mind, I’ll just leave you with the most charming reaction to the trailer, and one that I sincerely hope remains true when the movie is finally released next December.
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.