Another First Glance: “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”

After months and months of teaser trailers, and nothing but waiting, a full length trailer debuts and makes the waiting worth it. Well, that’s the general hope. If there’s ever been a trailer that’s let anyone down, after much waiting, I’ve yet to hear about it.

The upcoming Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures film “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens”, truly delivers on what to expect in the movie, even if it still reads like a teaser trailer, only in the length of a full trailer. 

This sci-fi action film stars John Boyega (“Major Lazer”, “24: Live Another Day”), Daisy Ridley (“Mr. Selfridge”, “Silent Witness”), Adam Driver (“Girls”, “This Is Where I Leave You”), Oscar Isaac (“Show Me a Hero”, “Ex Machina”), Andy Serkis (“Avengers: Age of Ultron”, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”), Domhnall Gleeson (upcoming films “The Revenant”, “Brooklyn”), Lupita Nyong’o (“Non-Stop”, “12 Years a Slave”), Gwendoline Christie (upcoming “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2”, “Game of Thrones”), and Max von Sydow (upcoming “The Letters”, “Branded”). Also starring are original cast members; Harrison Ford (“The Age of Adaline”, “The Expendables 3”), Carrie Fisher (“Catastrophe”, “Girlfriend’s Guid to Divorce”), Mark Hamill (“Miles from Tomorrowland”, “Ultimate Spider-Man”), Anthony Daniels (“The Lego Movie”, anything related to “Star Wars”), Peter Mayhew (“Killer Ink”, “Yesterday Was a Lie”), and Kenny Baker (“One Night at the Aristo (Short 2013)”, “Casualty”). 

The film is directed by J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek Into Darkness”, “Super 8”) and written by Abrams (“Undercovers”, “Super 8”), Lawrence Kasdan (“Darling Companion”, “Dreamcatcher”), and Michael Arndt (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, “Oblivion”). 

The film is expected to open on Dec. 18, 2015. 

I’m about to commit a crime, or just say something practically blasphemous, with my next sentence. I’m truly not as big a fan of the “Star Wars” films as people might think. It’s like a given for most people. You love these films more than any other film or film series. I’m not one of them, at least I don’t think I am. I’ve seen each of the other six films, one in theaters over 10 years ago, but I don’t think I’m even close to over the moon about them. It’s not like with the “Indiana Jones” films, where I know I enjoy the originals a lot, but here, I just can’t be as excited. I’ve never truly taken to them, even though I’ve seen them multiple times. Maybe I should revisit the series. Either way, it’s strange that I’m so excited about this new film. 324 days ago, when I last wrote about this film, I, like so many others, was excited for the footage and waited eagerly for this year to arrive. Now we’re even closer to the film’s release and I’m still excited, but not as much as others, and for some unknown reason. Maybe it’s just Abrams. 

Okay, so maybe it’s not just Abrams, even though he did initially fuel my excitement. I’ve seen almost everything Abrams has directed or written. Damn it “Felicity”! But moving past Abrams, I will say that the cast, now because of this trailer, is a bit more exciting. The new actors, some of whom I’ve not heard of, look good as their respective characters, as well as when seen together in the scenes shown in the trailer. I was excited for this new footage as it told me a lot about how they’ll be together and where they’ll probably go from the beginning of the film to the end. This footage also told me simply what the film would look like, as it should. Seeing the returning actors was another exciting bit. They look good. And, again, seeing them with the other actors was just as exciting! Right now it’s a bit too early to tell how they’ll meet, but I’m okay with that. The new and the old are coming together and it looks like a promising start to a new trilogy. 

With regards to the special effects and look of the world that makes up all of the “Star Wars” films, this one looks spot on! Nothing truly looks off. Yes, it all looks new and fresh, crisp even, if that makes sense, but that’s a given. This is new and vastly improved CGI than even 10 years ago. And while the film’s executive producer, Kathleen Kennedy said that they wanted to do as much with practical effects, you can tell (obviously) where it’s CGI and appreciate it a lot. Even if the amount of CGI is down, it’s still going to keep what we know and love in tact, and bring so much more. Even while I may not be the biggest fan, I was excited to see all the spaceships, whatever they’re called, flying around. The lightsabers being activated and ready for battle was exciting. I’m a bit nervous for that fight between Finn and Kylo Ren (Boyega and Driver). I’m trying to think of what else I saw, but I can’t. Either way, it all looked good. I guess it’s another reason why I can’t wait to see how this world has changed over the last 30 years. 

For me, as I’m one that loves knowing what any film’s about, from just the trailer, I’m thrilled to finally know what the plot is, even if it still feels a bit vague. It turns out that Driver is working to pick up where Darth Vader left off, but will have many obstacles in front of him. So glad that the image of Vader’s helmet, or whatever, now seems to have a reason for existing. Getting to hear some bits of dialogue, and again also seeing these characters interacting and reacting, fleshed out enough, for now. The rest of the story will be explained as we go along, and we’ll learn why these new characters, along with the returning ones, come together to fight against a new enemy. It does seem like it’s exciting stuff. Really exciting. 

After much waiting, and for me skipping teasers, the full length trailer arrives! Strange that it’s a bit early and won’t have more, but now that it’s here, I can focus on other things. Mainly, I can proceed to watch the entire series and see what I truly think of them. It’ll be challenging, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it. Or, as will probably happen regardless of what I do or the answer I get to my question, I’ll just buy a ticket to see the film when it opens and no doubt enjoy the newest entry in a franchise that’s existed for some time. I really want to see BB-8 in this new film as he’s (she?) already my favorite character. What?! I can’t help it if the robot is cute and rolls around and beeps like it does. I’m not the only one!  

Recently released (incredible)  theatrical poster:



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