By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
J.J. Abrams teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode VII “The Force Unleashed” is here, and what can fans discern from it? There’s an opening line of dialogue, “There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it?”
In this trailer’s case. everyone has and they are showing it! There’s a cut to what is presumably Tatooine, with John Boyega looking rather scared, if not worried, that someone is going to be looking for him. He turns, and instead of storming off into the distance, looks far over yonder to see where he’s ended up almost like how C3P0 and R2D2 left the Rebel Blockade Runner and landed on the same planet from long ago.
The droid sequence focuses on a robot sounding just as agitated while shots of engines lingers in the background. Perhaps they are remnants of old X-wing parts. Next is a classic military framing of Stormtroopers arming up to go hunt for someone, if not something. Maybe that ties in to Boyega’s character since he is no doubt on the run. Maybe he decided to defect?
The Stormtroopers of this future are nothing like the clones of yesteryear, so that’s a concern. Ever since the Empire has decided to recruit the scums and dregs of humanity to be their foot soldiers, they can never hit the broad side of a barn. It makes you wonder if they can even hit that behemoth of a speeder bike aka single-massive-engine pod racer that Daisy Ridley is riding. Her role is uncertain. Her appearance will have some viewers wonder if she may be Han Solo and Princess Leia’s daughter.
Mind you, Oscar Issac certainly looks like he is Red 5 in his X-wing. This nod to the overweight guy who got shot down in the Battle over Yavin can only have some fans hope the same will not happen here. It’s unlikely the two are related. These sleeker fighters will no doubt have fans shriek with glee and line up at Toys “R” Us when the toys hits shelves.
The key scene everyone will be talking about is with who this slender cloaked individual is. The red lightsaber igniting can only signify that he’s Sith. But is he going to be the primary villain, or just a pawn to a larger game that’s afoot? One of the signature items that created many a fan to this world is the lightsaber. These elegant weapons for a more civilized age glow and shimmer with a deadly edge that no organic or mineral-made material can defend against. The only way to prevent from being sliced is to use The Force to push the assailant away or parry. The technique is taken from Kendo. Although much of the fighting style from the classic trilogy was inspired more from fencing, the styles that were developed for the mid-trilogy (Episodes I to III) had more of a world flavour.
The technique each warrior created were either Asian or European styled to suit the character. Ray Park was already a master martial artist to develop the art of dual-saber fighting on his own. In this new film’s case, maybe what fans will see can get medieval. To have a three-pronged blade appear is exciting and expected if Jedi are going to be able to defend against any adversary who has managed to steal such a lethal blade. As Star Wars Rebels have demonstrated, if such a weapon is left laying around, someone will make a grab for it!
The astute warrior intent on a kill will realize they can slide the blade down a traditional handle and lop off any wielder’s arm near the elbow. When two lightsabers contact, they tend to be sticky with very little glide. With 30 years separating Abrams universe from George Lucas’ version, there’s no doubt going to be many upgrades.
To see just how lightsaber fighting is going to be amped up is going to be in the forefront for this fan. Otherwise, why would this trailer end with the sound of a lightsaber hiss?