We should have all seen the Episode VII trailer by now, right? You haven't? Well hurry up and get to it! I'll wait...
You're back? Good.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I thought I'd share with you guys some of my personal, and very random, thoughts about the trailer for a movie we have to wait an entire year to see. Read more after the jump!
The meat of what I want to talk about is actually the second to last scene, so I'll break the trailer down scene-by-scene with my thoughts for each.
The first thing we see after a fade-in to a bunch of sand is new cast member, John Boyega. Here, he's dressed in stormtrooper armor and looks sweaty and freaked out. Based on some of the other imagery in the trailer, I think it's safe to assume he's being chased. The only real complaint I've got here is that it's an odd, J.J.-like shot, and doesn't really feel like something that belongs in a Star Wars movie. Not bad, just odd and different.
This is where I start being like, "Wait... what?" I know that we heard previously that there would be stormtroopers in the film, but even then it seemed odd from a story perspective. What I want to know is: how is it that the Empire is still around 30 years after Return of the Jedi? Maybe it's an Outer-rim faction that still exists or something? I'm sure there's a good explanation, it's just something that I really don't understand yet. I figured the rebellion - now armed with the morale boost from destroying the Death Star II - would have snuffed the rest of them out and started up a New Republic. That's something the Expanded Universe dealt with and, even though I think 98% of the EU is junk, it seemed like the natural progression from RotJ.
As far as the shot itself, I'm not really a fan of the lighting inside the drop ship/shuttle/whatever it is. That's super nitpicky, though.
Daisy Ridley on a Swoop Bike
Not a whole lot to say here except for... POD RACERS IN THE BACKGROUND!! Nice callback to the prequels there. IGN, in their Rewind Theater video, claimed to see what looked like a lightsaber hilt attached to her bike. Looks like it to me, too. Interesting. This and the last scene are the most Star Wars-like in the entire trailer.
Like with the stormtrooper clip, I was also confused with this one. So the Rebel Alliance is also still around? They could just be New Republic X-Wings, but there's no way to tell for sure.
We'll go back to this one in a minute.
The Falcon... with TIE Fighters!
This is the part of the trailer that made my heart swell up and almost get a little misty-eyed. Seeing the Millennium Falcon dog-fighting TIEs in the desert (I'd be surprised if it weren't Tattooine), set to the Star Wars main theme, pretty much sealed the deal for me. I'm pretty sure that was the purpose of putting this shot in the trailer, and it did its job well.
TIE Fighters, though? That goes back to my "does the Empire still exist" question.
Back to the Dark Side-guy
Like I said, this is the meat of the article - the part that will probably go on for many words. Also, beware of its disjointed nature. I'm going to be speculating as I write.
Here it comes...
WHO IS THIS GUY?!
A friend of mine, in response to a link I posted on Facebook of the trailer, said that he would be disappointed if this was a Sith character, as they were supposedly snuffed out in RotJ. That was what the prophecy was all about, right? Obi-Wan did say to an on-fire Anakin, "You were supposed to destroy the Sith, not join them.” Keyword: destroy.
Personally, I agree with my friend: I'll be disappointed if this guy is a Sith. If he is, that makes the first six movies pretty pointless in terms of an overarching story. But what if he's not a Sith at all? Through the Clone Wars TV show, we've seen that users of the Dark Side of the Force don't necessarily have to be Sith. Characters like Asajj Ventress and the Night Sisters are proof of this. Most recently, in Rebels, we've seen another Dark Side user in The Inquisitor.
So if that's the case, what does it mean to be a Sith? I think the problem lies in the fact that we don't really know a whole lot about them from the films and the two TV series. We've only seen a total of five Sith - Darths Maul, Tyranus, Vader, Bane (in ghost form), and Sidious. We know the existence of at least one more, Darth Plagueis, so that's six Sith (try to say that five times fast!) we know of that exist in the official cannon.
However, we've only seen one character actually become a Sith: Darth Vader. For his "knighting," Anakin Skywalker was made to say that he gave himself to Palpatine and had to listen to the Emperor's creepy, demonic voice as he was given the Vader moniker. This is all we know of the process.
As for other facts related to the Sith, we know that 1) they hailed from a planet called Morriban (The Clone Wars) and 2) there can only be two at a time (Episode I). That's it. Two things.
So if Anakin destroyed the Sith, brought balance to the force, and brought peace to the galaxy, who the crap is the guy in the trailer with the broadsword-ish, red lightsaber?
We also know from the Rebels TV show that kids are still being born with Force sensitivity, and that the Order 66 Jedi Purge couldn't stop that. Maybe the new guy was one of those kids. There's only one problem with that, though: who taught him to use the Dark Side? With the Jedi, there was a whole culture and religion based around the Light Side. Knights would take apprentices who would eventually become Jedi Knights themselves to teach more apprentices, and the cycle would continue, all culminating with Knights becoming Masters. On the Dark Side of things, a master would take an apprentice, that apprentice would kill the master (becoming, himself, the master) and would take his/her own apprentice. Characters who were Dark Side users had (as far as we know, based on established cannon) been taught to use the Dark Side by one of the two Sith at the time. What I'm getting at here is that there seems to always have to be someone who can teach a Force-sensitive how to use the Force, whether it's for good or bad. It is assumed that anyone who - post-RotJ - was going to learn the Force in any kind of way, would have to learn it from Luke and anyone he taught. The Dark Side would no longer have anyone to teach its ways.
What if the Dark Side-guy was a former student of Luke's during the thirty years between Episodes VI and VII? To me, this is the only thing that really makes any sense whatsoever. At this point, it would seem that the only logical thing would be to have someone who knows how to use the Force simply "turn evil," as there's only one guy out there to teach it, and he's a Light Side user.
So again, who is this guy in the trailer? I have no idea, but I hope that whoever he is, the reason for his existence absolutely blows my mind. I want to have one of those "ooooooohhhhhhh, ok!!!" kind of moments when I find out during the new trilogy. I definitely don't want to have a "well that's lame" moment.
In conclusion, I like the trailer. I'm still not blown away, nor am I as excited as I should be that there is a brand new Star Wars movie coming out next year, but I'm reasonably excited. Hopefully, as new plot information is revealed, I'll start getting more excited. As of right now, I'm (as well as the rest of the internet) speculating on roughly two minutes of cut-together footage where there's not a whole lot to go on. None of us knows anything yet, other than the basic look of the film. As for that, I'm ok with it. There are some odd camera moves and lighting for a Star Wars film in some shots of the trailer, but I enjoyed it overall. Plus, the mystery of what all this stuff is makes the time leading up to the film that much more enjoyable, though quite scary at the same timea. We'll see how the finished product is in December!