– by Tom Munday
Hooray…never fear…the latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer is here! This week, we were on the receiving end of a tidal wave of brand, spankin’ new trailers promoting the biggest and flashiest blockbusters of 2015. With The Avengers: Age of Ultron set to hit screens later this week, competing studios made several valiant and ambitious efforts to divert our attention. The same studio, Disney, released a funnier, more subversive take on Ant Man than its first teaser promised. Meanwhile, Terminator: Genisys revealed seemingly every major plot development and action set piece in its latest teaser.
However, the rolling, thundering might of the Star Wars franchise, once again, stole the show. The first tears showed small snatches of what was to come — X-wing fighters flying over a lake…a soccer-ball-shaped android…a new villain. Yes, but what does it all mean?!
The latest trailer, yet again, made a point of getting your appetite whet but not spoiling too much. In typical JJ Abrams/ big sci-fi fashion, the trailer’s ominous narration set the mood succinctly. The voice-over, seemingly from Luke Skywalker himself Luke Hamill, discussed the extent to which the force has taken over his family. A crumpled Darth Vader mask, an unsheathed lightsabre, explosions, Stormtroopers, and expansive establishing shots hurled us back into the galaxy far, far away.
The trailer, however, kicks into gear about halfway through. Showcasing the emotional and physical turmoil of it all, Abrams and co’s latest tease looks to have gotten everyone on this mortal plane on board. John Williams signature score sends goosebumps down the spine.
It’s hard not choke up with excitement at the prospect of some of cinema’s greatest heroes and villains coming back with a vengeance. Han Solo (Harrison Ford, of course) and Chewbacca’s brief moment towards the end is almost impossible to overcome. If they hadn’t done so already, everyone has now marked December 17th 2015 on their calendars.
Another major mover and shaker coming to the fore on Friday was Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. DC Comics and Warner Bros. have been on shaky ground, critically and commercially, of late. Diminishing returns for Green Lantern and Man of Steel have forced the joint companies to get going with their own, much less appreciative, Avengers-style Multi-dimensional Universe project.
Of course, the Justice League has been around as long as the Avengers in the comic books. However, they still haven’t earned the right to copy and paste!
Controversial Man of Steel director Zack Snyder is rolling full steam ahead with Batman vs Superman. The controversy has grown tenfold, with Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot’s castings as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Wonder Woman respectively receiving mixed receptions. In fact, it might be less controversial if said actors were to switch roles.
In a vague and unwarranted attempt to steal the Avengers: Age of Ultron’s thunder on this opening, box-office-smashing weekend, DC and Marvel have (briefly) sorted their differences. The BvS:DoJ trailer, to play in front of the Avengers, is set to showcase more of Snyder’s gritty-for-gritty’s-sake, Nolan-ised DC Universe. This time around, after the catastrophic events of Man of Steel, the public has grown skeptical over Superman’s existence.
Mass hysteria…panic in the streets…truth, justice, and the American Way…what will we be seeing exactly?! Well, from what the comic-con trailer showed, we get a first glimpse of Affleck donning the cowl and becoming the caped crusader. Prone to stand on top of buildings and brood mercilessly, this Batman delivers a Robocop/auto tune-style voice. Clearly, Affleck’s Christian Bale impression fell short on set. An Alfred the butler (Jeremy Irons) voiceover dims the lights and lowers the hyper-fun mood the Star Wars teaser had delivered.
In addition, we see more of Henry Cavill’s superlative take on Clark Kent/Superman. Being, arguably, the brightest spot in Man of Steel, the eminently watchable British thespian had what it took to eclipse the likes of Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, and Michael Shannon. The Boy Scout and Caped Crusader, still not set to duke it out until mid NEXT year, have, at the very least, got more people on DC/Warner’s side. For now, anyway.