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Tale of Two Trailers

I was ten when Star Wars was released, and I saw it in theaters a bunch of times. (Those were the days when popular movies played in theaters forever. SW ran for over a year.) I enjoyed Episodes V and VI. Moderately enjoyed Episode I. Hated Episodes II and III. Got a warm wash of nostalgia watching Episode VII. I thought Rogue One was okay, but I like it better now when watched immediately preceding Star Wars. (I will never call it Episode IV.)

I said all that to say this, the first teaser trailer for Episode VIII is extremely boring. Here it is, in case you haven’t seen it…

Now, a movie trailer is supposed to do one thing and one thing only: sell tickets. Movie trailers are supposed to put seats into seats, if you get my drift. I already want to see The Last Jedi just because it is Star Wars, and now this trailer is making me think…eh, I don’t need to spend money on a movie ticket. I’ll wait until it hits home video. This trailer is actively UNselling tickets.

There’s nothing about this trailer that excites me or makes me want to find out more. Even Luke’s big ending line, “It’s time for the Jedi to end,” is a throwaway. We KNOW that will be said in the first five minutes of the film, followed by Rey successfully cajoling Luke into training her. Why bother “teasing” it?

What the marketing gurus at LucasFilm need to do is walk across the studio lot to their friends at Marvel. Just a few days before The Last Jedi trailer hit the interwebz, we got the first teaser trailer for Thor: Ragnarok. Here it is…

It’s OK if you want to rewind and watch it a few (hundred) more times. Now, the Thor movies have always been my least favorite (modern, since Iron Man in 2008) Marvel films. [1] I never saw Thor: The Dark World in theaters because the first one was just so blah. I was moderately excited about the new Thor (Jeff Goldblum! Karl Urban! Benedict Cumberbatch! Hulk!), but wasn’t really anticipating it. Then I saw that trailer.

Sweet Christmas! [2] I’m now thinking Thor: Ragnarok might be the most exciting superhero movie this year. The movie might be BAD, but that trailer is going to put me in a seat in the theater, and that is its job.

As a side note, I am a huge non-fan of the Zach Snyder DC movies, but the first Justice League trailer is moderately awesome and makes me want to see the movie. Not as much as Thor, or Guardians, or Spider-Man, but WB/DC has significant baggage with me that must be overcome. Here’s that trailer…

Yeah, I know, that’s three trailers, not two. You got a bonus.

[1] I have a theory that casting Natalie Portman as the hero’s love interest is a death sentence for a movie. Discuss.

[2] I know I’m mixing my Marvel catchphrases. Not sorry.