Today we saw the first new footage of Star Wars in what feels like forever. We've been getting first looks at Star Wars longer than some of you guys have been alive - the first Star Wars teaser trailer was released in 1976. And this is what it looked like:
No title treatment! An almost random selection of images! Only R2 and C3PO get introductions! And of course the statement "Somewhere in space this could be happening right now."
Landau Calrissian! Now that is a teaser. It's all beautiful Ralph McQuarrie concept art right until the end, when we get publicity shots of the leads. The narrator is breathlessly pitching us, just as he'd pitch cars or a new refrigerator. I absolutely adore this teaser.
This is a good trailer, if a little by the books. It's worth noting this is the second version of the teaser, as one with Revenge of the Jedi as a title had been made, but content-wise this is the same. What's fascinating from a 2014 perspective is that this is not selling the film as the conclusion of the trilogy - was it because nobody knew whether there would be a fourth film, or is it because there was a sense that audiences wouldn't respond as well to the whole 'epic conclusion' thing?
How did we not see this one coming? Yeah, the spectacle stuff is great but holy shit, the acting in this trailer is awful. Every line is delivered terribly. Watching this again - maybe for the first time in a decade - it is impossible for me to get back into the mindset of the guy who saw this trailer and was immediately and profoundly excited.
Ho. Lee. Shit. Now that is a teaser trailer. Jesus, I want to watch that movie again even though I know it's the absolute worst one in the whole series. That's impressive trailer cutting indeed.
Here's the 'epic conclusion' vibe that Return of the Jedi's teaser didn't have. And here's the 'shameless nostalgia' vibe that The Force Awakens wisely avoids. The first half of this teaser is eye-rollingly manipulative, but man the second half stuff plays well. It's weird that they give the Vader sequence, though - maybe this is why we were all so disappointed, because the trailers made it seem like the film would feature a lot more Vader than we actually got. Also probably because it was done so poorly. Why are his arms up like that? So stupid.
So there are the six previous teasers. You've seen the new one by now. Which is the best?