Disgruntled, Freakish Reflections on the Star Wars: Episode VII Teaser

This past Friday, the Star Wars: Episode VII teaser trailer came out and holy crap, it looks great. Here’s the trailer, and fear not, there appears to be no real spoilers in here (and that’s part of what is driving a lot of the speculation around the teaser).

In no particular order, here are some freakish, disgruntled thoughts on the trailer:

  • It’s worth noting the the Episode I teaser trailer was also pretty good and had fanboys falling all over themselves with joy. It’s easy to look at it now and see the faults, but only because we know what a disaster some aspects of the story were. I was there, I remember the excitement, and that does, in fact, impact the way I’m reacting to this trailer (i.e. with measured restraint). That’s probably unfair to J.J. Abrams, but it’s where I’m at.
  • So apparently there’s some sort of controversy over the fact that John Boyega, a black man, is shown as a storm trooper? It’s a very weird controversy since I can’t find a single person who is actually complaining about that, but I can find about a jazillion people saying how horrible it is that people are complaining about the black stormtrooper. Seriously, I went on twitter and searched for “black stormtrooper” and got a bazillion people decrying the fact that people are complaining about this, and approximately zero people actually complaining about it. And no actual references to people complaining about it either. I mean, we are on the internet here, so there is absolutely someone who is upset about a black stormtrooper, but near as I can tell, there’s about a million posts to one in terms of proportion, if that. It seems like a non-controversy to me. The only curiosity is that I know that John Boyega (the black stormtrooper in question) is supposedly one of the main leads in the movie, so how does that fit with him being a stormtrooper (i.e. a soldier for the dark side of the force, if you know what I mean). Of course, even Luke and Han dressed up as stormtroopers, so there’s that angle, but I wonder if it’s going to be a story of discovery and rejection of the evil empire’s philosophy. Whatever the case, it seems exciting!
  • Not to get too far into the whole identity politics quagmire, but it seems like there was either a conscious attempt to address early casting “concerns” with this trailer. That, or the “concerned” folks in question are utterly and completely full of shit (which is probably the case, not that anyone would ever admit such a thing).
  • That rolling robot thing looks great, and while I have not read the script, I can’t imagine that it doesn’t look better on screen than it did on the page.
  • That new lightsaber is cool, and I don’t care if it’s impractical or not (though upon first glance, it seems fine. I accept nitpicks, I guess, but it still looks cool, so whatever. Star Wars has never been Hard SF and it really shouldn’t be treated as such.) The memes surrounding it are pretty funny nonetheless.
  • The trailer flows really well, and hits a bunch of points that don’t give much away, but which are quite encouraging nonetheless. The worst part was that it says it won’t come out until December 2015, which we already knew. I’m not totally sold and I’ll definitely be trying to avoid more detailed recaps of the movie, etc… as the hallowed date approaches, but I’m still encouraged thusfar.

And that’s all for now, let’s get on with it.

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