Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Star Wars Trailers, and Why I Find Them Useless

Star Wars fans in general seem to go gaga over every little two second snippet they can see of an upcoming Star Wars film. They gush over all the details in that brief moment, speculate about what it's about and hypothesize the internet up with rumor after rumor all based on nothing short of speculation. Which leads me to the conclusion that Star Wars trailers are pretty useless.

Let's take a recent film as an example. Go ahead and take a moment to watch the trailer if you will.

Watching this trailer, you get a solid understanding of what the movie is about and not only that, it gets points for being flashy and pretty. Sure, you don't know the characters in and out, who the villain is or overall how it will all come together. However, you know the world is pretty much garbage, many people prefer to spend their time in an alternate reality known as the Oasis and the creator of said place has passed away. In his wake he's left an Easter egg somewhere in the "game" and the person who finds it will not only be financially set for a lifetime, but also gain control of the place.

Great! Tells me everything I need to know about the movie to determine whether or not I want to see it.

Then there's Star Wars. Movies guarded in such high esteem secrecy that the trailers tell you little to nothing in the expectation that the name alone will make you see the film.

You can watch any trailer for any of the Star Wars films and walk away with nothing but pretty pictures. Let's look at the trailer for Solo.

Okay. What did you get from that? Someone is putting together a crew for a job. The end. You have no clue what the film is about. What the job is for. Where they're going. What the end goal is. Nothing. In essence this is a poor and pretty useless trailer set to do nothing but appeal to fans who will sit back and speculate non-stop about what they've just seen.

UPDATE - After seeing the film, turns out the trailer was also full of fancy editing - Lies if you will. He wasn't even putting a crew together for a job...

Star Wars wants you to see it because it's Star Wars. Not because it has an appealing story it wants to "sell" to movie goers. I mean at the end of the day it may be a great movie, but based on this trailer if I were to try and sell this movie to someone outside of Star Wars Fan Band Wagon the conversation would go as such.

"Hey you should see the new Solo movie."

"Why? What's it about?"

"It's about someone putting together a crew for a job!"

"What kind of job?"

"I don't know."

"So why should I see it?"

"Because it looks great!"

"What looks great about it?"

"It's got a lot of flashy scenery."

"Okay, but what is the story about?"

"Um.....Someone putting together a crew for a job."

Where are they going? What are they after? What's the end goal? Solo relies to heavily on the concept that people know the entire back story for Han Solo from various books, comics or other Star Wars films. Well what if they've never seen a Star Wars film or read a single piece of Star Wars literature?

A good trailer is one which mixes eye catching visuals to put you on the edge of your seat and a brief synopsis of the story to lay out the expectation in your mind. Without a solid combination of both of these you're left with little to get excited about...Unless you're a raving fan already...Which is who these trailers are clearly made for.

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