The Force Awakens Trailer Lands Without a Story

Phenias and Ferb Lightsaber gadget battle

The new Star Wars teaser trailer for Episode VII: The Force Awakens was released yesterday. I see what they are trying to do: give people hints of the movie to whet their appetite. That’s what a teaser trailer is supposed to do, of course. But there are no hints of a story. None. The most notable element of the trailer is a new lightsaber, a lightbroadsword really. It has already inspired a meme.



As the Twitterverse also noted, Star Wars has already been mocked for gadgety lightsabers. Phineas and Ferb got there this summer. Of course, that spoof aired on the Disney Channel so they might’ve planned it for maximum social media buzz for the trailer. So either they are uncoordinated and don’t realize they are walking into a trap of mockery other Disney teams designed or they are focusing on PR gimmicks. Neither option bodes well for the story.


@DustinMSandoval Phineas & Ferb did it first

— NAchow (@nachow) November 28, 2014


I admit there may be some pessimistic expectations at work. The weak storytelling of the prequels probably dampens most people’s hope for better movies this time, but the trailer does nothing to give us hope. The first trailer invoked a story with “a boy, a girl, and a universe.”

The trailer for The Phantom Menace was brilliant. The fact that the movie didn’t deliver doesn’t change the excellence of the trailer, which teased the visuals and the music with the story. I watched it hundreds of times. “Every saga has a beginning…”

Think for a moment that you’ve never heard of Star Wars. You don’t recognize the musical score or the foley effects. Watch the trailer on mute. Is there anything there to pique your interest, besides the lightbroadsword? We don’t even get a hint of why the Force “awakens.” When last we left the Force at the end of Return of the Jedi, it was all balance and light. A glimpse of what put it to sleep might have inspired a little curiosity among the fans. Instead, we got some cool Millennium Falcon and X-wing shots. But really, we have plenty of those from the previous six movies, the video games, the artwork…. We miss the story. I don’t see it here.

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May the Farce Be With You