I’m sure I’ll piss off a lot of people with my opinion.
Truth is some people should really just get over it. First thing to remember is
this is just a teaser trailer, nothing more. Everyone is a critic and you can’t
please them all. So I’m not going to try.
I didn’t like either Star Trek movie J.J. Abrams made, and
it’s looking like I won’t like the Star Wars movie he’s working on right now
either. I’ve kept in mind that this trailer is just a teaser, but from what
I’ve seen so far, read so far, and previous movies made by Abrams, he’s not
going to do anything revolutionary.
1. Overreliance on CGI
CGI is a great tool to get a shot done when it just can’t be
done in ‘real life’. The thing is for Star Wars, everything the Millennium
Falcon, X-wing and Tie fighters, speeders, and droids do can already be shown
in model and stop motion. We’ve seen it before in the Original Trilogy. The
little bits of CGI thrown into the Special Editions of the originals were great
and really enhanced what was already there. But in this new age of technology,
CGI is turned to more and more.
There’s a bit of realism lost when it’s
employed, rather than models. I know models are hard, damned near impossible
really considering what people expect nowadays, but the sterile, ‘clean’ look
of the second trilogy still haunts me. Granted, at least the storm troopers are
really there, wearing actual armor, so that’s at least something. But weren’t
we promised a throwback to the Original, gritty look and feel? Guess that was
too much to hope for.
and short cut scenes
Thirty seconds into the teaser trailer and we had at least
half a dozen, if not more quicker clips, flashes of scenes cutting from one
location and character to the next. Nothing about these cuts tells us anything
about these new characters, what they are really doing, or (more importantly)
why we should care.
Okay, so we get a look at a few things we haven’t seen
before, but without any contexts or reason to care, it all falls flat. (See
reason 5 for more detail.)
lack of plot or story line
For a second, the somewhat sounding Benedict Cumberbatch
narration made me think I was watching the Star Trek: Into Darkness trailer
again. And it has been revealed that Andy Serkis spoke the lines. But if you
really listen to what he’s saying, he basically states the title of the move.
There’s an awakening of the Dark and Light side of the force. Well thanks, we
knew that from the title of the damned movie.
How about having a character say
something important about the struggle he’s about to undertake or what’s at
stake for loved ones, or maybe how scared or concerned he is about someone or
something. How about something like: I want to come with you to Alderaan.
There's nothing for me here now. I want to learn the ways of the Force and
become a Jedi like my father. See, we
don’t get any of that.
and comical use of Nostalgia
I know the Falcon is bad ass. We’ve all known that for more
than 30 years. Han Solo risked 3720 to 1 odds and successfully navigating an
asteroid field to show us just how friggin’ incredible that ship is. Oh and if
there were any doubt, Lando whipped that thing through the guts of Death Star
number two (albeit with a minor scratch) and made it out in (almost) one piece.
Showing the Falcon’s aerial acrobatics is nothing new, and as much as I’d love
to see that hambuger–shaped hunk of junk fly all day long, there’s more to the
story (or at least there should be) than that.
How about in addition to those acrobatics, show us some new menacing
ship the dark side baddies have, maybe something our heroes have no answer for.
That would certainly build tension.
Also, although it’s great to see Tie
Fighters, X-Wings and the like, if this movie takes place 30 years after Jedi,
ship designs probably would have changed just a bit. Couldn’t we see some of
that instead of more of the same. I get there’s a bit of homage payment due
considering the prequels were atrocious, but 30 years have passed since Yavin.
emotional impact or development of engagement
I really paid attention to this trailer, hoping there would
be an emotional punch, or at least a hook that drew me in. I didn’t get that.
Each shot shows the supposed main characters alone: Boyega in the desert, the
comically rolling droid, Daisy Ridley on the Speeder, Oscar Isaac in the
X-wing, the cloaked figure in a forest, heck, the storm troopers were the only
ones in a group.
The lack of interaction here may be sending a message of
detachment or the need for our heroes to ‘come together’ but to me, the way it
was presented, it only showcases (poorly) that these people are in the movie.
How about we see them talking, or fighting together, or something, anything…
Here's Hoping the Movie is Better
The original Star Wars trilogy set up a definable story arc
that propelled the plot and drove the narrative. Character interaction played a
huge part in making the story memorable and lovable. When the first Star Trek
movie by JJ Abrams came out, I hoped that the magic of the original series and
the movies would be captured, at least a little bit.
What I saw, carried over
to Into Darkness as well, was weak storytelling, borrowed plot points, lame
McGuffins (Red Matter…Really? WTF) and rehashed elements of stories previously
told. Into Darkness turned out to be a soulless and uninteresting retelling of
the Wrath of Khan, which was an emotional, powerful and damned good story.
My guess is JJ Abrams is going to borrow similarly from the
Original Star Wars trilogy without investing any real emotional depth or
feeling, essentially pandering to Star Wars fans while simultaneously
cheapening the underlying greatness of those stories.
As I said in the
beginning, this was just a teaser trailer. But from the efforts previously
offered by Abrams, there’s little hope something new, inspiring, and profound
is on its way. We shall see next year.
Let the blood letting and flaming begin! Thanks for reading.