If the new Star Wars : The Force Awakens teaser trailer is anything to go by then, it has taught me one thing about trailers. It looked utterly fantastic and made me bemoan the fact that the film is another year away.
From the fleeting glimpses of the new lead actors, to Voldermart waving his red cross lightsaber around in the snowy Harry Potter forest, to the pure eye candy moments of the X-Wings surfing and the Millenium Falcon doing a loop-the-loop.
Hang on though, a word of caution here. 16 years ago (damn is it really that long!) another teaser trailer came out in 1998; that had a similar effect and fortold how utterly amazeballs another Star Wars film would be. Thats right, the universally maligned; Star Wars : Phantom Menace.
That trailer cleverly made the film look several shades of pure awesome. From the fleeting Darth Maul glimpses, to the wonderous locations of Tattioone and Naboo, to the frenetitic pod race. They even boldly put Jar-Jar Binks in there aswell, whose toxic affiliation after scaled back appearances – in the followups.
Most people felt betrayed by the wave of hype which swept them along upon Phantom Menace’s : Spring 1999 release. It was probably on the 2nd or 3rd trip to the cinema, to see it that I started to feel a nag of concsciousness – that something felt wrong about it. The rest is as they say “history”.
Teaser trailers are by their nature; television by committee and cynically crafted to broadly appeal to a maximum audience. There was very little substance which could be gleaned about the new characters or the tone of the film, so people naturally fill in the blanks (I want to aswell!!)
And in the case of Phantom Menace the blanks filled in were; that this film was going to be more epic, than the second coming of Jesus x 10. The reality was in the end it was worse than Willow.
The Force Awakens might be terrible and it might be rather good, only time will really tell. One thing for sure, I was not a big fan of J.J. Abrahms pretty but substanceless Star Trek reboots. Therefore, I will be approaching The Force Awakens – as a blank slate with absolutley no preconceptions.
I suspect alot of the older ‘first time around’ fans will also be doing this. After the travesty of Phantom Menace, it is the best way.