Would the trailer for Empire still hold up in the modern era?
Let’s experiment, shall we? Let’s pretend I am a reviewer for a PRINT site that covers media. It’s late 1979 and I just saw the trailer for The Empire Strikes Back. I have no internet so I cannot rewatch the trailer unless I go to the movie theater or happen to see a commercial. I saw the “first” Star Wars nearly 3 years ago and I liked it a lot. I’m used to Star Trek but this one seems…different. And different is good.
If I saw this trailer for Star Wars in 1980, I may not have been eager to see it. The movie industry has degraded over time but the one thing they’ve perfected is, making trailers where they don’t spoil a movie. This 1980’s trailer does that. We see almost all of the plot points presented in this long trailer. We see Leia, Luke, and Han form a love triangle; we see the Battle on Hoth and the chase through the asteroid field. We see Lando! We also basically see that Vader surprises the gang at Cloud City in the dining hall. We don’t see the “No, I am your father” which is good but it isn’t enough.
Trailers should not give away too much information about the movie. It spoils the fun. Would I have seen Empire back in 1980; after watching this trailer? Probably. Yet I would also probably not be surprised when I sat down that May and saw it. I believe trailers should be confusing and give away as little plot details as possible and Star Wars is no exception. Disney at least gets that right.
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Max Nocerino is a regular Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter @MaxN2100 where he shares his love of the Force frequently!