We all know a new Star Wars movie is coming this December, and while plenty of fans of the saga are happy to wait to get excited, I’m freaking out. I can’t help it, and believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve attempted to be cynical about the latest installment in the series, directed by J.J. Abrams and co-written by The Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan. I’ve done my best to keep myself at a distance from all of the details the film’s marketing campaign reveals, but as hard as I’ve tried, I have to admit that I’ve failed.
It’s obvious to me, and to everyone else with a brain, that all of these Star Wars: The Force Awakens teasers are not a movie. We’ve all seen trailers for films featuring awesome footage that somehow doesn’t end up in the final movie. We’ve all gotten excited about a trailer only to be let down by the finished product. We’ve all accepted that major motion pictures are accompanied by marketing machines that are designed to get us to buy a product regardless of our level of excitement.
And yet, this new teaser footage arrived online today, and I literally shouted “OOOOOOH SHIIIIIT” to myself when I saw it.
That’s our first glimpse at Finn (John Boyega) wielding a lightsaber, and it looks like he’s doing it so he can duel with the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Of course, this could all be an underwhelming mess when the final film comes out, and the cynical part of my brain keeps reminding me of that. This is not a story. It’s barely a fragment of a story. It’s a tease designed specifically to get me, and people like me, excited for this film.
And you know what? It totally worked.
I don’t care that The Force Awakens might ultimately underwhelm in astonishing ways. I don’t care that I’m falling victim to a marketing campaign that my otherwise cynical brain might shun. I don’t care that I’ve become ensnared in the Disney machine, perhaps never to return.
I don’t care because Star Wars is back, and while I may end up completely deflated by what happens next, I have to be excited. I don’t have a choice, because, for the moment, it all looks like too much fun.