Knee Jerks: STAR WARS VII Teaser Trailer

Cinapse is squarely focused primarily on discussing film, not reporting news flashes and casting rumors or speculating about the business side of things. So when a big story breaks, we’ll do our best to not simply regurgitate what you can read elsewhere, but rather offer meaningful reflections and insights. That’s when we turn to jerks — Knee Jerks!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

Move over, Kim Kardashian — the internet has been split asunder by the release of the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh installment in the iconic series we both love to love and love to hate. Can geek wunderkind J.J. Abrams save Star Wars for those of us who grew up in the Ford/Fisher/Hamill era and were jaded by the Jar Jar trilogy? Is Adam Driver’s visage too bizarre to allow us to take Episode VII seriously? Is the idea of Leia being a Disney princess a thought too outrageous for the human brain to contemplate? Cinapse answers none of these questions and more as we share our initial reactions to the most anticipated trailer of the year.

The Jerks Say:

Dan: In these days of teasers to promote teasers, it’s honestly hard to get excited about 88 seconds of footage, even if it’s from the new Star Wars film. Another issue for me is for someone who has been staying up on the rumors, this was just confirming what we already knew and pretty much expected from the teaser. No curve balls here.

Don’t get me wrong, seeing Abrams’ visual style (WITHOUT lens flares) here in action really confirms his pledge to stay true to the original films and I look forward to the final film. The story, however, is a completely different matter; hopefully they made him leave his mystery box at home.

But there is just something at the heart of this that just didn’t feel right to me, a disturbance if you will in the force. No matter how cool, or how awesome this is or will be, it didn’t come directly from Lucas, and that feels a bit weird honestly. Especially after having spent most of my life deep in Star Wars fandom with the two being completely synonymous in my mind.

And yes I do remember the prequels.

I don’t know, I guess I am hopeful, but deep down inside watching this trailer if felt more like a mega budget fan film than the next Star Wars film to me. My other fear is whether Abrams will eventually abandon Star Wars like he did Star Trek if things don’t go his way? I honestly was more than a little put-off by how fast he jumped ship after Star Trek Into Darkness.

I guess my relationship status for this trailer would be “It’s complicated.” We’ll have to see. (@danthefan)

Jon: Well bugger me sideways with a lightsaber. J.J. Abrams might actually pull this off. Foreboding but exciting; familiar but new. A damn fine “teaser,” it titillated me in the extreme — not just the visuals, but the familiar sounds too. Tip: watch with your eyes closed and it’s still fucking awesome. In 88 seconds Abrams took me to a galaxy far, far away and rocked me with cool new droids, nifty saber work, and a look that hearkened back to the original trilogy but clearly has some surprises. The twisting motion of the Falcon in the air was reminiscent of how I used to play with the toy as a child. That encapsulates how much this is a fan making the film. He will show reverence and respect, but I hope he doesn’t go too far with the fan service; fresh ideas are needed and the Boyega shot looks like an interesting angle for his character. I was jazzed when the trailer for Phantom Menace premiered, so I am cautious; but for now, I’m just clicking play again. (@Texas_Jon)

Austin: It’s hard being a Star Wars fan.

The Star Wars franchise’s greatest villain wasn’t Jabba The Hutt, Darth Vader, or even Emperor Palpatine. It was someone we never expected: George Lucas, seduced by the Dark Side of The Force. Somehow we’ve arrived at a place where half of the series is unwatchable Bantha poodoo (a full 2/3 if you count the Clone Wars and Ewok movies).

With Lucas mostly out of the picture, there’s a new hope for fans. This quick teaser is hardly conclusive evidence of greatness (the prequel trailers looked good too), but it feels like Star Wars. There’s some neat stuff, both new (John Boyega, a wacky droid, an apparent Sith with a cool lightsaber design) and old (Troopers, X-Wings, the Millennium Falcon). Noticeably absent: lens flares, the classic cast, Gungans.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to love Star Wars again. (@VforVashaw)

Ed: Geek culture is fractured all over the map as far as Star Wars fatigue goes. The prequels ruined it all for many, or Lucas’ refusal to let the original films live on unaltered. Some have come to believe that Star Wars belonged firmly in the late 1970s and early 1980s and that it doesn’t well navigate the transition into the 2000s. Others continue to geek out over every photo leak, their fandom undaunted. Personally, I’ve been encouraged by Lucas’ sale of the IP to Disney and all the creative choices that’ve been made regarding attached talent. But I haven’t been excited. There’s just too much exciting geeky stuff happening with dozens of properties on a daily basis to get excited about something so far off.

The anticipation of a trailer changed that for me. There was finally something to see, hear, and experience. And yes, those fleeting images and sounds did evoke a distinct joy from within me. The internet is already mocking white men pointing out that the opening image involves a black man. But sue me, John Boyega’s casting as the lead (?) of the film has ALWAYS been the most exciting element to me beyond the return of Luke, Han, and Leia. And seeing him in the deserts of Tattooine in Storm Trooper armor was the best opening shot I could have asked for. The internet spoiled the crazy new lightsaber for me before I even saw the trailer, but that image didn’t do a whole lot for me. Closing out the trailer with swooping, diving, aerial acrobatics from the Millennium Falcon, set to soaring John Williams music, set just the right tone and mood for me to have a measured level of reasonable excitement as we approach a new era of Star Wars omnipresence. (@Ed_Travis)

Sharon: I won’t lie, I felt a little bit of a tingle while viewing the trailer. Can Abrams really pull it off? Despite the whole it’s-too-soon-to-be-believable-reverse-death-Khaaaan thing, I generally approve of his handling of Star Trek. Is it too much to ask the geek gods for him to bring back the Star Wars franchise to something bordering on respectable? Based on this, my fingers and toes are cautiously optimistically crossed. (@salsalissentio)

Victor:Yes, I think we can all agree that what we have, as a nation, just seen footage from the new Star Wars movie. And it raised deep, personal feelings for me. Feelings like, ‘I definitely saw that.’ As well as, ‘That is absolutely something that I viewed.’

If I had to pick a favorite part, it would be the part where the Star Wars logo came up. Because before that, I thought ‘Man, this sure does look a lot like Star Wars.’ And then the logo came up, and I saw that it was Star Wars. I guess it was just nice to know that I can still trust my senses.

In conclusion, I watched a movie trailer, and then I wrote about it. The End.

What did you think? Share your opinions in the comments.

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