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Old 12-01-2014, 07:40 PM   #1
Talon87
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Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens


"Star Wars: The Force Awakens, also known as Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, is an upcoming American epic space opera film directed by J. J. Abrams. It is the seventh installment in the Star Wars film series (excluding spin-offs). It stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie, with Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker reprising their roles from previous films. The story is set approximately 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi." - Wikipedia

trailer (November 2014)
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:50 PM   #2
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They have light saber Rapiers now. Are you SURE Disney bought up the rights to Star Wars? Because they wouldn't have thought of anything that awesome.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:12 PM   #3
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I could've sworn we already had a thread for this film. (Specifically when we were discussing Disney's acquisition of LucasFilm and its subsidiaries.) But I didn't see one, so ... making this thread for now!

I was a slowpoke in seeing the trailer: didn't get a chance to see it until earlier today, several days after its release. The Internet is much abuzz about various things shown in the trailer. So as to not spoil the surprise(s) for any who may not have seen the trailer yet for themselves, I'll discuss things in spoiler tags for now.

Spoiler: show
The black Storm Trooper: a lot of people fussing about this one, whether because they don't think a black Storm Trooper should be a thing or whether because they don't think people should be complaining about it in the first place.

To be perfectly honest, my first thought on seeing the guy was of Luke and Han from A New Hope when they're in the prison block of the Death Star, wearing Storm Trooper armor without, of course, actually being Storm Troopers. Just the way he looks and acts, it's like he's anywhere from the No.1 to the No.3 main character of the film, a Luke, Han, or Leia if ever I saw one. So either our film is about a renegade Storm Trooper (umm ... lol?) or else this scene depicts our protagonist in Storm Trooper armor because of certain circumstances.

But putting my own first impressions aside, I guess I'll weigh in and say: if Lucas has yet to canonically establish whether future Storm Troopers were or were not rendered clones of Jango Fett's by the prequels, then he Disney needs to do so now. Put it to rest. I see a lot of fans arguing that Storm Troopers are all clones thanks to the prequels (which is what I too had thought we were stuck with) and I see many others arguing that, no in fact, the Storm Troopers we saw in Episodes IV-VI were indeed ordinary citizens of the Galactic Empire, not clones, because something something Expanded Universe Palpatine something something. I don't mind the latter becoming canon but for it to be universally accepted as canon we're going to need something "in writing" from the films.

The soccer ball droid: I get bad vibes from this one, personally. It feels very Ewokish, very Jar Jar Binks, very desperate to appeal to people. All this stated, I also got the impression from the trailer that the soccer ball droid was a throwaway character seen for like five seconds and then that's it, never seen again. I didn't get the impression that it's meant to be the next R2-D2.

The crossguard lightsaber: My first impression when I saw this was that it was really lame and desperate. "Really? " I thought. "This is supposed to be the next Darth Maul saber?" Lucas tried too hard in the prequels to one-up his magic from the original trilogy and the complex "new yet old" lightsabers was one of these problem areas. Seeing the crossguard saber, that was all I could keep thinking: "This is going to be Christopher Lee's curved lightsaber hilt again, isn't it? "

But reading a variety of opinion pieces (like this one), I've gotten excited about what the otherwise dumb-looking design could mean for the story. If it's true that this Sith saber is an ancient artifact and/or that it's modeled after ancient Sith designs, then that's pretty neat. While I doubt we're going to be getting Exar Kun back from the dead, I am optimistic that our antagonist will either be a long-lived Sith who escaped notice by Sidious and Vader (or perhaps who was even left well enough alone because of how deadly he/she was!) or else that he/she will be a newcomer who admires the ancient ways, who believes that newer isn't necessarily always better, and who will be opening up Pandora's Box by trekking across the galaxy in search of ancient texts and items.

The Millennium Falcon: Glad to see it. Unfortunately, it looks a lot less real than it does in the original films. I'm not sure why either: we know that they built a life-size Falcon for outdoor filming of certain scenes, so if they didn't CGI that, why CGI the portions that would have historically been done with models made from glued-together Battleship pieces? :\ But putting this gripe aside, it's still great to see the Falcon.

Conspicuous lack of Darth Vader breathing sounds: is conspicous.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:01 PM   #4
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>Talon's first spoilered point

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It's John Boyega, who's been confirmed as one of the leading actors, so I'd guess your hunch of using the armour as a disguise is the likely solution.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:04 PM   #5
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I haven't seen the trailer (and probably won't watch the movie unless the reviews dazzle!) but I've read most of the criticisms and my angle is it's painfully cheesy. Not enthused but whatever.
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:00 AM   #6
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I did a little experiment with some of my high school friends.

Open this trailer in another tab, mute it, and fast forward to 0:05:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH3O-CeZckE

Then, click this embedded video in this topic and click start on the Riddick trailer. The intent is to synch the music and the video footage (I'd make a video myself if I had the music and trailer, but I don't):

BORKED

The consensus I got was "it's not Star Wars, but it's kind of creepy". Riddick is considerably darker and less campy than some elements of Star Wars are, and there's a distinct lack of the classic iconography like the ships, suits and sabers, but otherwise the videos have some unsettling similarities.

That sense attacks the crux of what disillusioned me when movies went full-on with brand or IP milking: too much homogeneity, too much generic fanfare, not a lot of wit/intelligence/commentary.

I recently read a fellow on a certain Giants blog who (as a troll) was advocating that the prequels were good while the original trilogy bad. I agreed with him in one respect - A New Hope is a lot weaker film if you look past the costumes and what came after. What struck me as especially stark is when characters referred to a past event that the viewers never saw, and are required to imagine. "I fought in the Clone Wars", "This ship made the Kessel Run in less than five parsecs", and so on. I guess the frequency of this was necessary as it was the first movie (and dropped from Empire onward) but from a pure script POV, ignoring the visuals which speak so much of the universe's rich culture, it's pretty generic and the acting feels oddly wooden because the characters have no first hand knowledge of the events they purport to have experienced.

As said in the other thread I'm beyond caring about canon anymore - believe what you want - but as someone who shares the common nostalgia and craves more well crafted films, not stupid movies that are excused for intentionally being stupid, I feel pretty marginalized from my own childhood!
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:35 AM   #7
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I think it look like Episode II
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:04 PM   #8
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Star Wars canon overall has made itself a bit more wonky when you even add the Clone Wars cartoon.

Spoiler: show
Anakin goes into a dimension where he basically is asked to become the balance for the force when for Force Deities (one representing Light, one for Dark, and one being the Balance). Anakin decides NOT to become the balance because he has a major boner for Padme. This then allows the Dark Side Deity to go apeshit and try to escape and ruin the universe. Anakin then ends up going back and kills basically all of them and somehow balanced the force that way. Really stupid.


Although I think it's been made canon that Stormtroopers are no longer solely Clone Troopers, which was phased out in favor of recruitment for various reasons.
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:14 PM   #9
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"There has been an awakening...can you feel it?"

My first thought was "Shulk can!"

...Feel free to kill me now.
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Old 12-03-2014, 02:49 AM   #10
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Technically it's non canon that the troopers aren't all clones but then it has never been explicitly stated that storm troopers and clone ttoopers are the same thing so.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:01 AM   #11
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If you look at the scene where there's a bunch of storm troopers in a ship they're all clearly different heights.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:37 AM   #12
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If you look at the scene where there's a bunch of storm troopers in a ship they're all clearly different heights.
If you're referring to the Episode VII trailer, then that isn't the point. Of course they're different heights in the VII trailer: we've already established that VII has tossed out the window the idea of Storm Troopers being clones based on a single source. (Or have we? See list below.) The question is whether this violates previously-established canon or not.

IV thru VI: no one would've ever assumed they were clones. They have different heights, different voices, etc. If they had been clones, then Luke and Han could have never pulled the stunt they pulled in Episode IV. (Although Leia does comment on Luke standing out for being too short to be a Storm Trooper. But back in the day I think we all just assumed that this meant that Storm Troopers had a height requirement much like other positions in the military or similar, e.g. NASA astronauts.)

II and III: it is heavily implied by the events of these two films and by the utter lack of any white-armored troopers in the first prequel that the origins of the Storm Trooper are found in the Clone Trooper -- and thus that Storm Troopers are all clones of one another. Nothing is ever officially stated confirming or denying this. Fans begin to wonder whether Lucas is retconning Storm Troopers or not. "Is it possible that the different heights and different voices of Storm Troopers in IV thru VI will be written off as cinematic limitations of the time?" (After all, it would have been quite difficult to find hundreds of extras with the very exact same height, and CGI wasn't a thing -- not to that degree, anyway! -- back in the late '70s, early '80s.)

VII: now we're left wondering whether ...
  1. Storm Troopers were never clones, and this guy is a Storm Trooper
  2. Storm Troopers were never clones, and this guy is pulling an Episode IV Luke
  3. Storm Troopers were once retconned into being clones but have been retconned back into being non-clones, and this guy is a Storm Trooper
  4. Storm Troopers were once retconned into being clones but have been retconned back into being non-clones, and this guy is pulling an Episode IV Luke
  5. Storm Troopers are still clones but they have more than one genetic template now, and this guy is a Storm Trooper
  6. Storm Troopers are still clones but they have more than one genetic template now, and this guy is pulling an Episode IV Luke
And until Lucas Disney weighs in and confirms which of these six it is on camera, fans are going to be debating this matter forever.

Because the problem is, some fans appeal to certain sources that exist outside the main films (novels, Star Wars fact books and encyclopedias, video games, spin-off films, spin-off television series, and of course interviews with or documents written by George Lucas) but other fans reject these sources as having any bearing on the films' canon. Already on this forum, we have some people saying that one of the Clone Wars cartoons is officially canon -- like it or not -- and I'm sure we have others who would reject that assertion, even knowing that Lucas says it is. The matter is only further complicated once we introduce post-Episode II video games produced by LucasArts and pre-Episode II novels penned by authors without prior connection to Lucas's companies. (This too we're seeing come up in fan debates over something else shown in the trailer.)
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:21 AM   #13
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People mentioning in other threads Abrams, lens flare, etc, and its impact on this film. May as well relocate the discussion here.

Honestly, I don't think Abrams' love of lens flare is seen as a cute quirk by even 10% of the American population, and so I would expect Disney to step in and be like, "No, cut it out " to him on that end. He's been hired on because of the popularity of his scripts, not because of the popularity of his cinematographic decisions -- seeing as the latter doesn't really exist.

I wouldn't be surprised if they filmed a chase scene early on -- since chase scenes tend to be where you sink or swim when it comes to camera decisions -- and filmed said scene with 3x the ordinary number of cameras, facilitating the putting together of four to five different crude edits of the scene, each edit being done in the style of a certain famous film or filmmaker. Then they show these crude edits in random order to a test audience and poll the audience afterwards, "From best to worst, which version of this scene did you like best?" Whichever crude edit won would then steer Team Disney to appoint Cinematographer A, B, C, D, or E as the chief camera guy and a "co-director of camera decisions" to serve alongside Abrams. If Abrams himself is that man, then there you go: one single director as normal. But if they were two different people, then you leave all other directorial decisions to Abrams (telling the actors to change how they speak, telling the actors to change how they move, telling the actors to change where they stand, etc) but you leave the camera decisions down to the combination of Abrams and this other person with the other person getting final say in any disagreements.

Of course, another possibility is that they appointed to the tasks of Chief Camera Decision Maker and Chief Editor individuals whose work mirrors the work done on Empire Strikes Back, one of the most popular films in the series (if not the most popular film in the series). I think a lot of people felt that the prequels "didn't feel like Star Wars films," and part of it for me was the camerawork and editing. By appointing people whose career choices tend to mirror the choices made by Empire's matching staff members, you're more likely to get a film that looks and feels like Empire. That should be the goal for Team Disney.

EDIT: All this stated, I of course already have my concerns and doubts given what we saw in the trailer. Particularly the scene with the troopers on the shuttle getting ready to disembark. That scene couldn't have felt more alien to a Star Wars film and "lol 21st century vavy " if they had tried.
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:17 AM   #14
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Well ok let's do this. What one thing do ee think this movie needs to avoid doing? Racism and trade negotiations seem like possible options.

I vote only looking at Jedi. Star Wars is more thsn just force users with flashy swords.
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:28 AM   #15
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I vote only looking at Jedi. Star Wars is more thsn just force users with flashy swords.
That's all any casual fans care about, though.

The worst sin I can leverage against Disney/Lucas or whoever was mutating the Force dichotomy from a detachment/emotional angle to one of good emotions, bad emotions. Because apparently American audiences are vapid and culturally apathetic enough to not understand East Asian philosophy, so we should simplify and spoon-feed them some black/white Gerber.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:55 PM   #16
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I feel like Loki mentioned this before but just in case it didn't make it into this thread: Kevin Smith on visiting the Episode VII recording lot.

I also don't know why Kush's question didn't get a reply from me. Probably because I wanted to give him a properly thought-out answer and then lol, real life, Talon doesn't have such time to give anymore. Well let's circle back around and answer it!

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Well ok let's do this. What one thing do ee think this movie needs to avoid doing?
If I had to choose only one thing that the prequels fucked up that I want the sequels to get right, it would be the characters. I need to care about the characters. Cinemagoers cared so much about Yoda that heads would have rolled if Yoda hadn't at least cameoed in Episodes I and II and had a proper role in III. Cinemagoers cared so much about Boba Fett -- Boba Fett!!! -- that he and his iconic starship were written into near about 50% of all Star Wars EU books and video games in the 1980s and '90s. And of course, cinemagoers cared so much about Darth Vader that for twenty years they begged Lucas to regale them with the three-film tale of his origins. While it's hard for me to pinpoint what exactly Lucas did right in those films, did so well to make us care about even a minor character like Boba Fett, it is painfully clear that the same was not done for Episodes I, II, and III. No one gives two shits about Sebulba. No one gives two shits about Watto. No one gives two shits about Episode II Diner Guy. These are the IG-88s and the Salacious Crumbs of the prequels: characters that hardcore fans know the names of but whom absolutely no one but the Star Wars obsessed give a shit about.

Prequel Anakin, Prequel Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, and Padme all had such soporific dialogue and hollow characters. This is to be avoided at all costs.

If it's one thing I want Abrams to give me, it's "the next Han," "the next Lando," "the next Yoda." Not in a character clone sense, not in a "these two are similar and do similar things for the story sense," no. In an evolutionary sense. In a "these are the next characters we care about as much as we did the originals." The same way I flipped out when Lando and Cloud City made appearances in my video games, I want both myself and the kids of today to be flipping out when New Guy shows up in the new games. I want people listing Episode VII, VIII, or IX creations right alongside originals when asked, "Who's your favorite character?", "What's your favorite scene?", "Which would be the coolest place to get to be at in real life?"
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:25 PM   #17
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Piggybacking on my post, here's an experiment. Ask people who their favorite Star Wars character is. Tally all the answers. In the end, see:
  1. how many prequel-only characters received votes
  2. how many votes the most popular prequel-only character received, and compare against how many the least popular, median popular, and most popular characters from the original trilogy received
I'm making it up, but I feel like the numbers would surely be something like this:
  • Darth Vader: 6,577
  • Han Solo: 5,230
  • Yoda: 3,222
  • R2-D2: 2,757
  • Lando Calrissian: 1,209
  • Count Dooku: 79
  • Qui-Gon Jinn: 56
  • Queen Amidala: 12
Incomplete list, ofc, but the point is that the people listing an Ep1 character as their all-time favorite are outliers. ~No one gives a shit about Dooku the way they do Yoda. ~No one gives a shit about Amidala the way they do C-3PO. We were all begging Lucas, when he announced the prequels, to bring back our eligible friends. That's why we have C-3PO, R2-D2, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Emperor Chancellor Palpatine, and Yoda all showing up in the very first of three planned prequel films! Yet who is clamoring for Jar Jar Binks to return in Episode VII? Who is begging J.J. to include a video recording (facilitating a cameo) of Padme talking to her unborn children? Who demands that we see the great and powerful Watto return? No one.

It isn't just the people either. Everyone knows the following iconic ships, vehicles, or stations:
  • Millennium Falcon
  • Slave I
  • Imperial Star Destroyer
  • Death Star
  • AT-AT
  • AT-ST
  • X-Wing
  • TIE Fighter
Slightly more nerdy fans will be able to name the imperial flagship, the Executor, or identify other ships such as A-Wings, Y-Wings, and B-Wings. But the ones I've listed, maybe minus the walkers, are all in the general public consciousness.

But who can name the ships unique to the prequels? Who remembers the name of the ship from Episode I that they use to escape to Tatooine? Who remembers the name of the ship from Episode II that Obi-Wan takes to investigate Geonosis? (I'm amazed I even remember the planet's name!) No one gives a shit about prequel ships and such. Not the way they did/do the ones from the originals.

I want Abrams to avoid this. Nay, I need Abrams to avoid this. Give me the next Han, Luke, and Chewie. Give me the next Tatooine, Hoth, and Bespin. Give me the next Millennium Falcon and Slave I.

Give us all something worth remembering for the better.
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:29 PM   #18
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How DARE you hypothetically exclude a hypothetical Boba Fett on that hypothetical list of hypothetical favourites!
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:46 PM   #19
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Shia LaBeouf in Indy 4 is a good example of trying to make a marketable new character, but failing.

I dunno if I'd be receptive to that.
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:59 PM   #20
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Shia LaBeouf in Indy 4 is a good example of trying to make a marketable new character, but failing.

I dunno if I'd be receptive to that.
So were Qui-Gon, Padme, Dooku, and Grievous. New characters are almost an inevitability of new stories to tell. The trick/request is not to fail.
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:46 PM   #21
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I think Dooku is probably the closest you could get in the prequels who was an original character, and not a deformed clone of an original trilogy archetype in the way Qui-Gon and Padme were. In that sense, I did care about Dooku some, even if his motivations were convoluted. Way more than say, Mace Windu.

Grievous had all the appeal of cantina bouncer. I had way more investment in the Rancor or an Endor ATST than Mr. Pain and Suffering.
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Old 03-24-2015, 11:36 PM   #22
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Episode VII related only in the sense that it's way cooler than that movie ever could be.

Fudge yeah, Empire.

Tie Fighter continues to kick arse twenty years later.
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:12 PM   #23
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BORKED

New trailer. Enjoy.
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:21 PM   #24
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:38 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by DaveTheFishGuy View Post
BORKED

New trailer. Enjoy.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ngElkyQ6Rhs for my fellow iPhone users.

Pretty neat. Two gripes. First: they're right to call it Teaser #2 instead of calling it "the trailer." It's not much of a trailer and doesn't give us much to work with. (Though admittedly more than the first one did.) Second: too shiny. Too damn shiny. I was told that they were filming this on '79 film stock and that it was going to look as gritty and grainy as the originals. But man, this couldn't look more 2010s if it tried.

Those two gripes aside, it's all positives. More after the break.

Spoiler: show
Luke's address to ??? was great. It so seamlessly transitioned from his same line in RotJ (addressed to Leia) to the new version with his new adressee. Really well done.

That derelict Star Destroyer ... SO, SO EFFECTIVE. Probably one of the single best decisions about this teaser: the decision to cold open with that.

Focus on who appears to be a Red Baron-esque renegade Storm Trooper (the one with the colorful armor) piloting that one TIE Fighter ... pretty neat. Gives me Dark Forces vibes for some reason.

Implication that Walt Disney Studios opted to keep the fanon + EU idea of "Just because you overthrew the Emperor, it doesn't mean you wiped out the Empire" having there still be Galactic Empire loyalists still kicking around. (Too many Storm Troopers in this teaser for me to believe that Imperial loyalists are less common than 1 in every 100,000 galactic humanoid inhabitants.)

Finally, a truly neutral thing:

Spoiler: show
The teasings that Luke may be flirting with the dark side. Teased in such ways as:
  1. the decision to say that Vader's helmet wasn't able to be melted, and that Luke kept it as a memento, and that he now looks into it in a way that feels very "you're looking at your reflection" cliché-ey.
  2. having Luke place his robotic arm on R2-D2 instead of his human one, which symbolically shouts the "He's turning into Vader!" interpretation
  3. having that robotic arm-touch scene be on a planet that looks like the fiery magma world where Vader was defeated by Kenobi, making it seem like Luke pays this planet a visit. Why? Fascination with Vader?
Pretty sure I won't like most attempts to write Luke as a villain, and that most if not all such attempts risk shitting on the original idea of Luke as the Christ-like character (to Anakin's Adam) in Retutn of the Jedi. But at the same time, I think it would be interesting to see a Jolee Bindo (KotOR)-esque Luke, a Luke who is morally gray and who has a rather large amount of skepticism re:the teachings and history lessons of Jedi Boy Scouts like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda. So I dunno. Until we learn more, I am neutral on this. Leaning towards dislike, but still neutral for now.
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