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'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' trailer: A deep dive
By SP_COP on November 28, 2014 | From
'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' trailer: A deep dive Itís been a little over two years since George Lucas sold the Star Wars universe to Disney. Those two years have been full of tantalizing rumor and ambitious corporate theatrics. We know that Star Wars: Episode VII will take place many years after Return of the Jedi. We know that the original cast will return alongside an all-star squad of up-and-comers. Director J.J. Abrams has subtly pitched VII as a kind of artisanal Star Wars film: Shot on 35 mm film, with an emphasis on practical effects, a soundtrack by John Williams, and a life-sized Millennium Falcon.

We know that Episode VII will lead into a new trilogy, and also a few spinoffs. We know that the new movie will ignore the last few decades of Expanded Universe mythology, which is sad news for Mara Jade fans and not really news at all for people who have no idea what a ďMara JadeĒ is. We know that Episode VII will be titled The Force Awakens, which isnít quite The Empire Strikes Back but is definitely not Attack of the Clones. (I dunno. What would you call a Star Wars movie? Like, I wouldíve preferred Star Wars: Showdown on Nar Shaddaa, but thatís why they donít let me title Star Wars movies.)

And now, for the first time, we actually know what seventh Star Wars movie looks like. November 28, 2014, will always be the day that the world got its first look at the post-Return of the Jedi cinematic universe of Star Wars.

So what did we see in the first trailer for The Force Awakens? My colleague James Hibberd already ran down the seven most important things we learned from the trailer, but this being Star Wars, there are stories within stories in every corner of the screen. Rewatch the trailer above, and then letís dive in!

We begin where Star Wars will always begin: On Tatooine. Or anyhow, on a planet that looks so much like Tatooine that letís just say for the sake of argument that itís definitely Tatooine, and weíll declare a general amnesty one year from now if it turns out that J.J. Abrams only wanted us to think it was Tatooine. A voice in the background, ragged: ďThere has been an awakening. Have you felt it?Ē

Kaboom! Up stands John Boyega, the star of Attack the Block. Nothing official has ever been released about the new characters, so itís a bit of a jarring shock to see Boyega modeling a Stormtrooper outfit. Stormtroopers have never really been characters in the Star Wars movies. A couple clone troopers from the prequel-verse were demarcated as individuals, but Iím not even sure you ever saw the face of a stormtrooper in the original trilogy. (ASIDE: One of my favorite characters from the Expanded Universe was a Stormtrooper. Dear J. J. Abrams: If you cast John Boyega as Davin Felth, then I forgive you forever for Star Trek Into Darkness. END OF ASIDE.)

One obvious question here: Is Boyega playing a Stormtrooper? Or is he just pretending to be a Stormtrooper, a la Luke and Han on the Death Star?

Another obvious question: Why are there are still Stormtroopers in the Star Wars universe? By all accounts, Episode VII takes place realtime decades after Return of the Jedi. Assuming that weíre treating the Special Editions as canon, Return of the Jedi appeared to present the fall of the Empire. But if there are still Stormtroopers, we have to assume that the Empire still exists in some capacity. Is it a diminished force, on the run and diminishing? Are Stormtroopers now hired-gun mercenaries for other dark forces? Is this one of those Morgoth-in-The-Silmarillion situations, where the Empire has spent the last thirty years in hibernation, waiting for a moment to strike back again?...
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