I have a few big problems with the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer. Some of them are SW:TFA specific, and others are issues with teaser trailers in general. Either way, my partner in crime, Aaron, is pretty gung-ho about the trailer (you can read his rebuttal here!), and I just can’t let that stand. I am thoroughly unenthused about Star Wars Episode VII, based on this trailer, and although I’m still excited to see what J. J. Abrams has in store for the future of Star Wars, I just can’t get hyped for it yet. Until we get a longer trailer and more details about the plot, I feel the need to speak out against this underwhelming trailer. The internet, nay, the world must know my opinions!
- The title is dumb. Let’s think about this title for a second. Star Wars titles are usually pretty bland and self-descriptive. In Empire Strikes Back, there’s considerable striking back on the Empire’s part. In Attack of the Clones, clones do some attacking. So what does “The Force Awakens” tell us about Episode VII? Pretty much nothing. What does it even mean? Has the Force been sleeping? I’m pretty sure the Force was going nuts all over the place in Return of the Jedi (in which the Jedi returned), so when did it doze off for a little naparooni? For months we’ve been hearing rumors that the plot of TFA concerns an aging Luke who’s gone into hiding because of reasons. If that’s the case, then I guess it makes some sort of sense to talk about the Force being asleep. But presumably there are some Sith jerks (or Inquisitors) running around and wielding the Force, so only the Light Side would have been sleeping. And why isn’t the title The Jedi Awaken? The Force is a… you know… force. It can’t sleep, just like gravity and magnetism can’t sleep. It’s always there, even if we aren’t using it. I guess it’s not the worst subtitle ever, but when I hear it I just go “Ehhhh… it’s okay.”
- Stupid lightsaber with stupid hilt guard. Let’s get this one out of the way. I’m sure the producers were thinking, “How can we milk more merchandising out of this horribly abused franchise?” They’ve already done the double lightsaber, so from a marketing perspective, a lightsaber hilt guard was the next “logical” evolution. The problem is it make zero. Fucking. Sense. The point of a hilt guard is to guard your hands from an enemy blade sliding down your own. However, hilt guards generally weren’t made of lasers that can cut anything, because you don’t want to accidentally chop your own fingers off if your hand slides down the hilt during a thrusting motion. The other problem is that this laser hilt wouldn’t actually stop a lightsaber from sliding down and cutting your hand off, because it has metal bits protruding from the sides until the laser bits start. A lightsaber would cut right through those. Lastly, those hilt guards look about six inches long, so you’re going to have to be real careful if you don’t want to open your own guts swinging that puppy around. I hope the character using it does just that, and then the other Jedi swear never to use laser hilt guards again.
- No actual wars in the stars. We see the Falcon and X-Wings in the trailer, which is very nice indeed. The problem is we don’t actually see them doing what they’re designed to do, which is fly through space. Instead we see X-Wings coasting along some water at high speed, and the Falcon doing loop-de-loops a short distance above the surface of a desert planet while getting shot at by TIE fighters. These are spacecraft designed to function primarily in zero gravity. Sure, they can take off and land from the surface of planets, but something tells me they don’t function at maximum efficiency in-atmosphere. I can’t imagine the kind of engine power the Falcon would need to pull off a loop like that inside a planet’s atmosphere. Lando Calrissian would never fly like that. Hell, Nien Nunb wouldn’t even fly like that, for Maker’s sake! But okay, even if we assume that those maneuvers are within acceptable tolerances for an aging star freighter, it still makes me wonder why those are the scenes they chose to show off in the teaser. This is Star Wars, god dammit, not Surface-of-a-planet Wars! I want to see space battles!
- That dumb little rolling droid. This is where I start complaining about teaser trailer stuff in general. I’ve never seen the point of creating a trailer where the whole purpose is to be really short and show very little of the stuff fans would actually want to see. Why, out of all the cool stuff that I’m sure will be in the movie, would they show us this dumb little droid rolling around on a soccer ball? It doesn’t even make sense. What’s the droid’s purpose? Can the head unit be separated from the soccer ball unit? WHAT IMPLICATIONS DOES THIS DROID HAVE FOR PEACE IN THE GALAXY?!
So all that aside, I’ll touch on some things that look interesting. Black stormtrooper and girl-on-speeder-vehicle-with-massive-engine-on-the-front look fine. I’m excited to see what they’re doing on that desert planet which may or may not be Tatooine (but I’m guessing isn’t). The shots of the pilot inside the X-Wing made me nostalgic for the trench run from A New Hope. Also, I’m curious what all those stormtroopers on the ship are doing. I’m not frothing at the mouth for TFA, at least not yet, but I hope the next trailer has enough substance to balance out the idiotic stuff in this one.