Star Wars: The Force Awakens – A Complete Analysis

STAR WARS

I’m not going to waste time with all the “I can’t believe this is happening.”  “I almost had a heart attack watching the trailer.”  Yadda, yadda, yadda.  The emotion goes without saying.  This is it.  This is the final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  This is what we have to go on for the next two months.  I’m good.  They’ve marketed this movie flawlessly.  J.J. Abrams has given us all the information we need.  I could go on all day with this introduction, but enough is enough.  It’s time to make the jump to light speed and analyze the force out of this thing.

THE MUSIC

Out of all the elements in this trailer, it was the music that hit me most of all.  It’s classic Star Wars themes, with a twist.  When the classic end of Empire Strikes Back melody kicks in as the Tie Fighter chases the Falcon, that completely wrecked me.  Gorgeous.  The original Star Wars trilogy are the greatest movies ever made due its characters and story, but the music is a close third.  If this is the last Star Wars movie John Williams scores, I have no doubt he’ll go out in a blaze of lightsabers.

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THE NEW CHARACTERS

We don’t get a ton of information here, but we do hear the two main characters finally speak in Daisy Ridley as Rey and John Boyega as Finn.  What jumped out immediately was the dialogue and the emotion, which the prequels did not have.  Rey is instantly a fascinating character you want to know more about, and one frame of Ridley’s face shows more emotion than Natalie Portman’s entire prequel performance as Padme.

You can already tell how invested Boyega is in this role.  The intensity is electrifying, and the line “I was raised to do one thing.  But I’ve got nothing to fight for” says so much about his character.  This is how you do a damn trailer!  It gives nothing away, but teases what to expect with one simple line, as opposed to a four minute exposition.  We already knew from the poster and several images that he’d be wielding a lightsaber, so we’re already hooked knowing he’s potentially a new Jedi.

We only saw a few images of Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, but whatever, it’s Oscar Isaac.  We know he’s awesome.  Then there’s Adam Driver as the villain, Kylo Ren, who’s been the most front and center in the marketing.  We’ll get to him later.

THE OLD CHARACTERS

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The way Han Solo was portrayed in this trailer tells me how much care and love went into making this movie.  We meet Han Solo as Sammy Skeptic in Episode IV, a complete non-believer in the force.  Now here he is as an old man telling a new generation that the force is real, and it all happened.  Awesome.  Just awesome.  Harrison Ford looks engaged as ever, and clearly has the biggest role out of all the legacy characters.  His dialogue also gives us a peek into what’s been going on, as it’s clear the force has been dormant for many years, which we pretty much gathered from the title.

While I can’t confirm it’s Leia at the end, I’m 92% sure that’s her voice-over at the end.  Outstanding dialogue.  “The force.  It’s calling to you…just let it in.”  This is another example of how much this production team loves the original trilogy.  If this is indeed Leia, that dialogue completely pays off what they promised at the end of Return of the Jedi.  Will Leia be a full-fledged Jedi Knight?  Maybe not, but clearly she has a knowledge of the force that is important and powerful.

WHERE THE HELL IS LUKE SKYWALKER?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??! 

Yes, this has been a huge point of contention in the marketing for Star Wars thus far.  Where the hell is Luke Skywalker?  Aside from a voiceover, and maybe seeing his arm petting R2, Luke is no where to be found.  Even in the poster, which includes every character in the entire movie, there’s still no Luke.  My take on this is pretty simple – the fact we don’t see him means his role is that important.  J.J. Abrams is a guy who likes to keep plots close to the vest.  That’s why we aren’t seeing Luke.  Personally, I love it.  It makes his presence mythical.  What happened to this guy?  Is he off reflecting on a distant planet?  How powerful is he?  I’m thrilled we won’t get these answers until the actual movie unfolds.  My guess is he won’t be in the movie a ton, but his scenes will be that much more impactful.  Bottom-line:  Everyone, relax.  I’m sure Abrams has very good reasons for leaving Luke out of the marketing campaign.

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THE VISUALS

The film looks downright incredible.  A perfect blend of practical and CG effects.  Beautiful.  Some of the shots emulate the original trilogy so well.  Even simple scenes like Han and Chewbacca with their arms raised as prisoners feels right out of Return of the Jedi on Endor.

THE OMFG MOMENT

When Kylo Ren stares at Vader’s mask and makes his declaration “I will finish what you started,” holy Greedos!  Even behind a mask, you can feel the intensity behind that statement, and what it means.  Darth Vader is the greatest villain ever created, and the idea of Kylo Ren ferociously trying to reignite that legacy is exciting, but I’m sure he’ll have his own back story and demons.  Yeah, Darth Maul is cool, but this is the Star Wars villain I’ve been waiting for ever since I was old enough to appreciate what Darth Vader was as a character.

The Force Is With Us

It’s hard to put this trailer into words.  It speaks for itself.  The hardest part will be keeping my expectations in check, but everything I’ve seen leads me to believe the greatest movie franchise of all time is in great hands.

December 18th…get ready.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18.

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.