It's been out for a couple of weeks, but the first trailer for J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens is still causing a stir around the Internet. As our first official look into our return journey to the galaxy far, far away, it was met with much speculation and fanfare as people discussed several key elements such as Andy Serkis' voice and the crossguard lightsaber.
Every year sees its fair share of blockbuster tentpoles, but few will ever reach the event status of a new Star Wars film. That's one of the reasons why the 88-second clip attracted so much attention from all corners of the entertainment industry and was considered a spectacle in it of itself. Star Wars, a franchise that has generations of followers, has special meaning for many moviegoers, and that fact isn't lost on the movie's stars.
While out promoting his voiceover role in NBC's Christmas special Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas, Mark Hamill shared his thoughts about the reaction to the teaser with IGN:
"I’ll tell you, the most moving aspect of them releasing that trailer was watching [a video] of other people watching it. My daughter put it on for me. It was all these people watching the trailer. Sometimes you get sort of isolated and disconnected because I don’t really follow it as closely as, say, [my son] Nathan does, but to see those people that thrilled, it was moving to me."
Hamill has had an Episode VII on his mind for a long time, but for many, the existence of The Force Awakens is a great surprise. After George Lucas ended the story of Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith, few expected the series to continue. That's probably one of the main reasons why so many fans have been thrilled by the trailer; they thought the series was long gone, but now it's back and looking more promising than ever.
Of course, when a major property like Star Wars is in the spotlight, one short teaser won't quench people's thirst for information for long. After enduring months and months of endless rumors pertaining to the film's plot, fans are hungry to learn more and more about what's really going to happen when they finally sit down to see the film.
In classic Abrams style, the vault has been locked up for the most part, and Hamill prefers it stays that way:
"I’m one of those people that… I like being surprised. I don’t want to read spoilers and I hate it when I go see a trailer and you see this thing and you go, 'Gee, that’s pretty much the whole movie.'"
Many would agree that movie marketing has become rather spoiler-heavy in recent years, with several trailers spelling out important plot developments in the previews, rather than teasing what the movie is about. Things have gotten so bad that the National Association of Theater Owners is pushing for a new set of trailer regulations that would trim down the sneak peeks' running times specifically to avoid such content and keep the moviegoing experience fresh.
It's understandable why Star Wars fans are eager to learn more, but regardless of how much we learn about the plot between now and next December, the movie will still be playing in winter 2015. Part of the excitement of going to the theater is the mystery of the great unknown and getting swept up in the dramatic tension that's presented on first viewing. That's something that shouldn't be lost regardless of how desperate people are for more information.
With Abrams at the reins, it's unlikely that too much gets revealed as we go through the post-production phase (given his penchant for secrecy), but future trailers will most likely provide more in formulating an outline of the Force Awakens story. For now, the first teaser is here and the impending release of a new Star Wars film is the cause for much jubilation. It should be a fun ride from now until next December.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be in theaters December 18, 2015.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.