There's an interesting article about the trailer on the NY Times site
. It talks about some of the love/hate relationship of fans with Star Wars as it exists now, and the reactions to the trailer.
Even with the appearance of OT elements like Stormtroopers, the Falcon, X-Wings and TIE Fighters, this trailer *FEELS* different. And I chalk some of my own reaction to the general sense of cynicism that seems pervasive among fans of my own generation. I was just 5 years old when I saw the first film in the theater. And that was after it had been in the theaters for the whole summer of 1977! That experience shaped my perception of Star Wars up through 1983 or so. I continued to watch the OT on pirated video tapes through the 80's and eventually knew the films backwards and forwards.
I was genuinely excited for the PT. And at the time of the release of those films I didn't have so much of a problem with them. At least not like some other fans seem to. But that sense of cynicism from fans who grew up with the OT has spread. My stance has been that NOBODY, not even George Lucas, was going to be able to live up to the expectations of this generation of fans. You know this crowd. The ones who say 'George Lucas raped my childhood'. Blech.
But unfortunately for everyone involved, when you're talking about a story like the fall of the Jedi Order and the origins of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker, George Lucas was painted into a corner from a storytelling standpoint. When a story is boxed in with those sorts of parameters it makes it hard for anyone to get really invested in the process. At least when we knew from the OT that Luke & Leia's mother dies, Anakin gets dismembered and burned, the Jedi are slaughtered and Obi-Wan Kenobi & Yoda go into hiding.
And then there's been the monetization of Star Wars. It's one of the biggest, most lucrative licensed properties of all time. So there's been a financial interest in keeping the Star Wars machine rolling. And then enter Disney: GL decides he's done with Star Wars and ready to move on. So what will Disney do? Make more movies, of course! The financial motivation on the parts of GL, Lucasfilm, Fox, Disney et al does make you question the purity of things. At least I do.
Clearly, the arc of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader is over. What we're left with now is a great unknown. I think it's that unknown factor that leaves me feeling uncertain after seeing this trailer. Maybe some of the PT critic cynicism has worn off on me, too. And I know for certain that I have mixed feelings about Disney and their stewardship of Star Wars. But I'm also left thinking that Disney has actually done a good job with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So I guess I also have a degree of that cautious optimism.