Friday, November 28, 2014
About 15 years ago a group of us were gathered around a computer waiting for “The Phantom Menace” trailer to download.
It was still early enough in Internet time that an online debut was a problem. The combination of a big movie file and huge demand led to a giant trainwreck. It took hours to download even on our company’s fast internet.
The trailer had 10 million downloads, which I seem to recall was the most popular download of its time, though it’s likely been surpassed since.
How times changed. One thing to remember is that in 1998, “The Phantom Menace” trailer looked awesome. Go watch it. It’s got some Jar Jar, sure, but face it, but there’s nothing to suggest it would be terrible. Good trailers mean nothing, case in point one, and case in point two.
My response to the Millennium Falcon and the “Star Wars” theme is almost pavlovian, so it’s hard to make a rational assessment of any “Star Wars” trailer.
Rather, the implicit message of “The Force Awakens” trailer seems to be a sort of relationship counseling. “We know you’ve been hurt in the past. It’s OK to love again.”
MG Siegler seems to have hit the nail on the head with this tweet:
Pretty sure that teaser is already better than any of the last three Star Wars films.
The trailer has left me giddy, sure. But …
I posit “The Star Wars Problem”. Most people fell in love with “Star Wars” as children. We love it completely and irrationally, so irrationally that no movie including “Star Wars” itself could ever meet expectations.
What I want is that moment in a theater when the lights go down, a “long time ago…” appears to silence followed by a blare of of horns, the “Star Wars” logo and the iconic theme music and crawl. “It is a period of civil war …”
It’s a moment of pure transcendent transporting joy back into the comfort of childhood that no movie can possibly equal it.
Whatever comes after that moment just needs to be “not terrible.” Guess we’ll know for sure in about a year.