The Force Awakens Round-Up

What a great weekend for Star Wars fans! This holiday weekend brought the internet and some theaters goers the first official theatrical glimpse of the next film in the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens.

 

Living near Seattle provided me with the possibility to see the teaser not only once but twice on the big screen and with both viewings brought different emotions about what was shown.

The preview showed the familiar in unfamiliar ways. We were shown the food we love but it had a different taste; and yet that taste wasn’t bad.

Leading up to the viewings, which was made well known by director JJ Abrams himself, I made the decision to view it with pure and10427316_10154821992415058_2497624748817337463_n unbiased eyes by signing-off of social media for all of Friday and Saturday morning.  As the lights went down and each preview began in the theater, I held my breath in anticipation of the Lucasfilm logo only to exhale annoyingly each time Annie and the Minions delayed my brief return to the Galaxy Far, Far Away. By the time it actually began my nerves were a bit frayed and the tense Sarlacc Pit score followed by “Attack of the Clones” type atmospheric sounds did little to relax my disposition.

The teaser begins in a very Spielbergian manner with an extended black (or blank) screen.  Our friend Arnie over at Venganza Media Gazette and Star Wars Action News let it be known that of the 88 seconds only 33 are filled with actual images. Now being that JJ is a self-professed student of the Indiana Jones director, it makes perfect sense he would begin this tensely narrated micro-story in the same way.

The opening shot of a desert planet immediately takes the viewer to a place of familiarity. Whether or not the planet is the infamous Tatooine is still unknown but it would be a stroke of brilliance by the director to begin again where we began almost four decades ago.

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The vision of new Stormtrooper armor inhabited by a very panicked John Boyega alone fulfills the very purpose of the teaser; to leave us wanting to know more.

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A new type of (astromech?) droid is introduced which was to be expected based the timeline of this film. Spoiler-rich site Star Wars Episode 7 News reminds us that this design is not new and falls inline with the recent trend of recycling the work of the Original Trilogy’s concept designer Ralph McQuarrie.  The droid is both parts familiar and unfamiliar and to its defense I reminded myself as to what Earth’s robotic creations looked like 30 years ago.

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The dimly lit strobe shot of Stormtroopers awaiting deployment envokes a mood lighting typically only found in lightsber battles (Luke vs. Vader, Anakin vs. Dooku). The Stormtrooper armor upgrade is completely welcome and shows a natural evolution from the prequel trilogy to original trilogy. Charlie Schneider over at Emergency Awesome makes the statement that this is the inside of an Imperial Troop Transport and as completely unconfirmed as that is, the thought of the Kenner vehicle making its way to a film is very fun indeed.

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The Stormtrooper blaster featured just reeks of weaponry from ‘70’s and ‘80’s sci-fi which once again is very welcomed.

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Speeders launched across desert landscapes (Luke’s landspeeder, Maul’s speeder bike, Anakin on Owen’s speeder bike, heck even Anakin in The Clone Wars movie) is something very familiar to fans of the films. The unfamiliar in this case comes in the form of a new type of speeder that looks to be originally a part of something else.  The rider, portrayed by Daisy Ridley, appears to have a lot of concept-Leia aspects to her design which automatically lends a level of credibility to her character.

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What most likely is to be one of the old school fans’ favorite scenes is the strafing of X-Wings over a water body.  This energy-filled scene provides us with a new look at both the Rebel’s updated fighter craft and their flight gear that was previously seen in Lucasfilm’s “Force for Change” launch video.

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The snowy forested reveal of what could be assumed to be the film’s villian gave viewers a look at the newest incarnation of Star Wars’ signature weapon, the lightsaber.  I beleive that Hitfix.com said it best,

That Sith clearly built his lightsaber without the help of a Master.

Look at it. Have you ever seen a lightsaber so disorderly? No serene glow of deadly light here. The blade skips and jumps and arcs lightning all over itself as if it’s unstable. I like it.

This all leads up to the very well-timed return of both the Star Wars theme and the Millennium Falcon (with continuity accurate sensor dish)! Both are staples of the saga but the later was presented in a much different format.  The camera’s chaotic following of the Falcon as it appears to do a loop sure differs from the same the smooth and fluid move done in the asteroid fields of The Empire Strike Back.

Over in Reddit, I stumbled upon a stabilized version of the shot and must be honest by saying I prefer it over the original.

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As the 88 seconds approaches its end we find confirmation that episodic numbering will be not be a part of the sequel trilogy titles. This of course is a nod the Original Trilogy which did not adopt episode numbers officially until the their Special Edition releases.

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I was more than pleased to find that I was not the only one that felt something for these 88 seconds. Artists, creators, webmasters, meme-makers, journalists, podcasters and action figure customizers welcomed The Force Awakens into their lives.  Overnight, a massive amount of amazing content was produced with proves that not matter who might “legally” own Star Wars, it truly belongs its fans around the world.

Here are a few of our favorites here at From4-LOMtoZuckuss.com:

Favorite Parody

This is fantastic!

Favorite Parody Runner-up

The lack of lens flares, a JJ trademark, brought relief I’m sure to many fans but this hilarious revision takes it in the opposite direction.

Favorite Original Version

Twenty-two hours of non-stop work produced an amazing Lego version of the teaser!

Favorite Action Figure Custom

Our friends over at Jedibusiness.com shared the quick and brilliant work of Brandon Flores!

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Favorite Comic Art

One of my favorite comic book artist, Phil Noto was also quick to produce his own poster image for the teaser.

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Favorite Digital Art

Australian artist Kode Logic created some fantastic images of our shadowy character.

photo 3 (49) Favorite Meme

Memes, social media’s favorite pastime, exploded with an Episode VII theme all weekend long. Based on the primary focus of this website we took an immediate liking to this one as its rang completely true.

 

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Favorite Editorial Cartoon

And finally we’ll end with this sweet take on the timelessness and nostalgia that Star Wars captures in so many.

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Until next time the Force awakens,

May the Figures be with you!