“Are you okay?” a co-worker asked me soon after hearing me screaming. I had been watching the debut of the new teaser-trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, and I had momentarily lost control of my body. Here is my best attempt at re-creating my internal monologue.
Oh God, it’s my favorite of John Williams’s leitmotifs, the one that plays when Luke is learning magic things on Dagobah* in The Empire Strikes Back. This is gonna be good, please let this be good.
Okay, a desert landscape, pretty standard-issue for the ol’ Wars canon. Hope this doesn’t turn out to be a regurgitation of shots from that first teaser.
Wait. Wait, wait, wait. Is that a crashed X-Wing? On the surface of a planet? Oh God, the theories were true about this new trilogy taking place during a period where the Galactic Civil War has continued and turned into a horrific war of attrition that has left planets littered with war debris.
Are … are you … is this … is that a crashed Star Destroyer? Right next to the crashed X-wing?? Just, like, abandoned there, and it’s no big deal for anyone because this is what the galaxy has become in the face of an intractable conflict??? This new Star Wars is going to be a dystopia, and that is all I’ve ever wanted from entertainment!
Alright. Okay. Catch your breath. Vader’s helmet, burnt and warped from the funeral pyre that Luke lit for his father’s body at the end of Return of the Jedi. Compared to what I just saw two seconds ago, that’s not that big of a deal. And Mark Hamill is narrating, and I think … okay, yeah, that’s him doing a version of the line he says to Leia in Jedi that lets her know she’s his sister. I’m, like, 90 percent certain he’s going to change the end, though, and we’ll find out he’s talking to, like, his son or something.
Is that supposed to be Luke touching R2-D2? Dang, dude lost the skin grafts on his bionic hand; shit must really be bad in this dark future. But no, no, y’know what, I’m pretty sure they’re faking us out and that’s some rando we’ve never seen before.
Ooh, he says, “My sister has it …” and hands a lightsaber to what looks like a lady’s hand. I’m pretty sure that’s a fake-out, too. Probably not Leia. I’m getting worried that the first shot was the only good part of this thing. “You have that power, too.” Okay, yeah, I called it, he’s talking to someone he’s related to. Or … wait, maybe not? Maybe he’s just talking to someone who’s Force-sensitive?
Okay, sure, Christmas. Move it along.
Okay, X-Wings skimming the water of some temperate-looking planet. We saw that already in the first teaser. Still pleasantly disorienting to see them so low to the ground, though!
Yeah, yeah, I get it, people like flying fast things.
Alright, yeah, three-blade lightsaber. Been there, done that. I demand more.
Aww yeeeeah, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega all bein’ the stars of this one, straight-up overturning white-male hegemony.
Sith lord, ho-hum. Looks a lot like Revan!
Oh my God, Galactic Imperial Nuremberg Rally! Yes, yes, yes, this is the dystopian Star Wars stuff I have come to expect in the last 58 seconds! Back on track, baby!
TIE Fighters inside a planet’s atmosphere. Jesus, will any of the spaceships actually fly in space in this movie?
Dang, those are real explosions! J.J. Abrams wasn’t screwing around about the minimize-the-CGI strategy! Oh no, I’m getting too excited.
More of that sweet, sweet John Boyega. Okay, now I’m just riding a complete endorphin high. Basically anything could happen in the rest of this trailer and I’d be drooling.
New Imperial shuttle! Similar wing design to the one from Return of the Jedi but, uh, different! Different!!!!
Silver Stormtrooper with a cape. I love this; I can’t articulate why, but it just sort of speaks to me on some level. But I’m … crying? Oh God, actual tears are happening in my eyes. Can my co-workers hear me?
BB-8! The internet’s new boyfriend. Or is it girlfriend? It’s reminscent of Wall-E, and Wall-E was ostensibly a boy. God, it’s so cute. Ugh, why do I already care so much about stuff designed to sell toys?
Ohhhhh my God, they’re flying into that crashed Star Destroyer. Everything is possible in this new movie. Everything is possible in life.
Harrison Ford has somehow, against all odds, managed to look and sound actually happy. That might be J.J. Abrams’s greatest miracle of all.
*In the heat of the moment, I misidentified this music. It is actually from Luke and Vader’s duel at the climax of The Empire Strikes Back. I’m very mad at myself.