The second teaser for this Christmas' release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has dropped.
If we're being honest, this teaser and its predecessor aren't really all that remarkable. They're largely just montages of random characters, spliced in some random order, like the famously opaque teasers for the next episode of Mad Men. 1
The studios forced showrunner Matthew Weiner to have bumpers teasing the next episode, against his wishes, so he countered by assembling them in such a non-linear, random fashion, almost like some William Burroughs narrative deconstruction, that essentially they give away nothing. ↩
But if I'm being honest, this trailer excited me more than the last one, largely because it includes more familiar callbacks than the previous one. Star Wars is a shockingly enduring franchise. Even my nephews who haven't seen a single Star Wars movie love the franchise and know most of its characters. Through cartoons, toys, books, and other forms of merchandise, the story has become one of the defining mythologies of modern entertainment. It has both a grandeur of scale and yet an intimacy that characterize some of history's most operatic epics. Not even three cinematic duds in a row were enough to kill off the franchise, it is that indestructible.
Given our long and deep collective history with the saga, anyone cutting a trailer can tap that mother lode of nostalgia with the gentlest of tugs. Just hearing the first cue of John Williams elegiac Star Wars score and seeing a desert landscape are enough to summon an image of a young Luke Skywalker, standing in the sand, staring out towards the horizon of Tatooine, wondering if there's anything more to his life than working his Uncle's farm.
Christmas can't come soon enough.