Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,
Solarbird
solarbird

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a sense of scale

Oh no, you fuckers do not get to make me care about Star Wars again. You have no right.

But I am going to say a thing nonetheless, about storytelling with cinematography.

J.J. Abrams was always the wrong choice for Star Trek. Always. He never got it, and really, said so, in that infamous Daily Show clip everyone's seen, and that failure to get it reverberated throughout his choices.

But I hoped, just hoped, that he might be a good choice for Star Wars. And that opening trailer shot says a lot about him getting it. At least some of it.

See, the first, opening shot in the original Star Wars? The Star Destroyer sequence? That's about scale. It's about setting a very, very large scope, without ever saying HAY LOOK HOW HUGE THIS IS. It's about dropping you in there and just letting it happen... in a way you don't expect. There's that little misdirection with the kind of a little ship that was in SF films before Star Wars... and then things change, and you know the scales have moved.

And that's exactly what this trailer does. Right out the gate. A little landspeeder going across a desert; a little ship, crashed, like you've seen before...

...and then things change, and the scales are moved. It does so more successfully than either of the prequel films I saw managed at any point. The prequels mostly just looked busy and overly-concerned with minutia and, as a result, kind of... small.

There is more sense of largeness in this one shot opening the trailer than both of the prequel films I saw managed to achieve, combined.

And unlike with Star Trek's early promotional shots, this isn't about just duplicating previous material effectively. Those looked good too - but they were duplications, re-creations. The same shots, staged with new actors.

This isn't that. This isn't just repeating but bigger. This is showing how to parallel, without duplicating.

You can't take very much from a teaser-trailer. People have noted that Phantom Menace's teaser trailers looked pretty good too. But for J.J. Abrams to get this right, so very effectively... maybe there's hope it won't be the only thing he gets right.

Echoed from Crime and the Blog of Evil. We're geek musicians; come check out our new album!



Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

Tags: f&sf
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