20 October 2015 3139 Views


by James Murphy







Well, it’s here!

There’s been an awakening. Have you FELT it? Of course you have. THAT much anticipated and often teased trailer #3 is here for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS.

There will of course be much satire in its wake. Spoof news stories are already having a field day. And lots of faux nonchalance from plenty of people that frankly ought to know better. Granted, Star Wars is NOT to everyone’s tastes and one can pick holes in each and every episode of the series (yes, even Empire Strikes Back). And ok: even with the great Lawrence Kasdan on writing duties, SOME of the dialogue remains a tad shaky / derivative both in the original series and now in this trailer.


I suppose one would also concede that the initial innocence and fairy tale sparks of the first (that’s episode FOUR..it’s complicated) film have inevitably distilled into the oil that wheels a corporate machine. Like a young Jedi turned to the Dark Side, George Lucas’ rebellious vision of independent film-making, (escaping the corporations yet building his own equivalents); has come ‘full circle’. This ‘Force Awakens‘ episode (Episode 7..only not? it’s complicated) IS very much a product of the Disney takeover of LucasFilm.

The trailer is a nostalgic, calculating, sentimental and glossy product that trades on the imagery of your childhood and integrates a fresh new buzz. Mass manipulation. So what? Since when was that a BAD thing?  As the trailer says: ‘let it in‘! The clips speak for themselves, as do the tingling sensations they will no doubt provoke. Fond remembrance of cinema past fuses to a bright hope for the medium’s future.


Having said that, I will just highlight the following major assets here:



Ford just looks ‘right’ here. He IS older. No pretence otherwise. But SO much more confident and at home than even four years ago (see Cowboys and Aliens for proof of that). He somehow manages to capture the same character of Han Solo from the previous films, whilst conveying that there have been some ongoing battle traumas in the intervening years. And he does it in a few brief looks to camera. THAT is ‘acting’ AND being a proper ‘movie star’. And THAT is why – yes – dammit – LET him do one more INDIANA JONES if he wants to. Interestingly, it looks as though Han takes on mentor /exposition duties in this movie.

Could that mean that….no…stop it..now. Move along..




Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford: reunited. We don’t know for how long: it could literally be just one scene. But we do know from the trailer that there is a hug. It echoes the ‘hold me’ scene from RETURN OF THE JEDI. Han is the one man in whose arms Leia can find instant comfort, assurance and safety. I rather love that notion. Especially if they have indeed been estranged between the movies as characters and are brought together in a crisis. Yes, they are older. But once again: it looks natural, unforced and rather wonderful.

But hang on..might that mean that…no..stop it..move along..





Beautiful. Talented. Oh and..British. Yes, that’s right: we don’t JUST churn out big screen baddies. Daisy looks set to be the heroine of this movie and in turn, perhaps, the saga of its sequels? I do hope so. Because the girl just has an immediately discernible star power and charm. Great voice. Good poise. Looks competent at action, too.

Perhaps she is the one who..no..stop it..move along..





John Boyega and Oscar Isaac look set to be the new Han and Luke / Anakin and Obi-Wan of the series. IE: two young heroes in a quasi-competitive yet supportive relationship, whose dynamic can change as events unfold. They will be facing KYLO REN (Adam Driver): a villain who seems to have a Darth Vader fetish going on.

Or at least, we THINK it’s Driver as Ren. We are STILL yet to see actual footage of ANDY SERKIS as Supreme Leader Snoke (I still hope he is an evil version of Yoda: a Gollum for Star Wars?). Oh and – tellingly perhaps? – nothing from LUKE SKYWALKER (Mark Hamill) yet, either? And this is trailer number three!

Could that mean that? No..stop it – move along..




Director JJ Abrams promised ‘practical effects’ and has repeated that like a mantra in every promotional activity so far. Well: looks like he made good on that promise. This does not feel like a CGI creation, although yes of course, the power of digital effects will have augmented things as it always would have in some form.

But the world being built seems as tangible as fantastical: a great throwback in some sets to the very first STAR WARS films and the ‘feel’ of seeing those afresh. Nostalgia meets novelty. And that is crowned by the majestic rendition of the romantic themes by JOHN WILLIAMS. The fact that he is actually scoring this film, rather than simply providing themes = one more reason to be excited.

But if they are using THAT theme..could it mean…(enough).



STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS is released in December. You can book tickets online now.  



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