Hours ago debuted the long anticipated second teaser trailer of the upcoming Star Wars sequel The Force Awakens, unveiled at the Star Wars Celebration. Prior to the release of the first teaser, fans all over the world were eagerly awaiting to see more about the film and the second teaser, no doubt, left many not only satisfied but excited. The new footage took us back in time and the feeling of nostalgia was all over the air. Beloved characters reunited, newcomers looking for a place in the new canon and, of course, the music of John Williams.
Now, putting aside the hype and excitement caused by the second teaser, let us examine what is that Disney actually did surprisingly good and that might ensure that the new trilogy, spinoffs included, would work magnificently.
When first announced, Star War fans were really dubious and uncertain about the project. Yes, there was source material that could be considered to develop a new series of movies but, will it work or will it just fail as the prequels? Nowadays it cannot be argued that The Phantom Menace was a complete disappointment, Attack of the Clones was a let down and Revenge of the Sith managed to be the only of the prequels that actually did work, for the most part, for the fans. So, what was the point in going back to make a new film? It is simple: Disney acquired Lucasfilm and, having already bought Pixar and Marvel, the House of the Mouse executives would not simply let pass the opportunity to make revenue with their new property.
For months, people at Disney were looking for the film director that would helm the new entry in the saga and after many speculations J.J. Abrams landed the director chair. And fans received the news with joy. Having resurrected the Star Trek saga and made it appealing to both fans and casual moviegoers the top choice was Abrams. Once the director was hired the task was to find the screenwriter and still there was a long way to go, if we considered that Michael Arndt's script was dumped by the executives. Finally, Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, who penned the last two episodes of the old Star Wars trilogy, put hands to work and then production began. However, would people at Disney be happy with only three films, having spent a lot of money in the investment? The answer came sooner than expected.
If we already mentioned that J.J. Abrams was the perfect choice, the ones that the studio made for the spinoffs and sequels were just fantastic. It seems that people at Disney learned from the mistakes of Lucas with the prequels and they went on looking and hiring talented, skillful and, most important, soon to become A-list directors. And what does the last aspect means? All three directors locked in to participate in the saga have something in common: they have made a name for themselves with small budget productions.
Let us take a look to those three. In the first place, Gareth Edwards. He did such a wonderful job with the critically acclaimed Monsters and that was his passport to direct the reboot of Godzilla, which also did good with both critics and box-office. Edwards is a director capable of depicting really good action sequences by showing nothing. What does that mean? If you take a look to Monsters and Godzilla, most of the time the action and destruction is left to audience imagination and in the end he repays that with marvelous shots. Remember when Godzilla fires off his radioactive breath? not many saw that coming. Edwards, we might say, is a specialist in teasing audience, that would be his strong point. We will see what would he do next to surprise us in the first spin-off already entitled Rogue One.
Secondly, we have Rian Johnson. He is perhaps of the three the best known. Johnson crafted one fine piece of Sci-Fi work with Looper, considered to be one of the best Sci-Fi flicks in the last decade. Even if the landscapes and scenarios were not that futuristic as the ones Hollywood is used to, Looper showed us a not so distant future in these terms: actual cities are not completely alienated so that those would not seem strange enough to our look and we could feel them "real". But what is the key point in Looper, as it is in his previous films like Brick and The Brothers Bloom, is narrative, essential for any director for a film to work. Therefore, it is safe to safe that Episode VII will have in the chair not only a visionary but a good screenwriter as well. Johnson has even been courted to be the director of the last episode of the trilogy.
And finally, Josh Trank. Bet is really risky at this point and only when Fantastic Four comes to screen we would be able to see if he was able to pull off the task of rebooting a franchise that was a disaster in its two previous, and forgettable, chapters. What supports Trank's election is the fact he admirably used in Chronicle two genres like the Found Footage and Superheroe ones. Moreover, his characters had a depth and the way he portrayed the story, and for what we have seen in Fantastic Four trailers, we might say it recalls to the Nolan style. It is as if Trank would like to ground his story to the "actual" world and that is where his strength comes from. Bet is risk, but we will give him the benefit of doubt.
All in all, we could agree that Disney has hired talented and visionary directors in order to present a fresh and renewed Star Wars to both old time fans and new generations. And for what we have seen so far, we can say they nailed it. What do you think about the choices? Did you like them? Who would you think might have been chosen?