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The Force Awakens

A trailer is tailor made to do a few things:

1. Get the audience excited for the film the studio is marketing. It should give you an idea what the story is about, but give little away as possible, something many trailers seem to forget these days.

2. Get a buzz going about its release. The more people talking about it, via word of mouth or by social media, the better.

3. Get the fanboys and/or fangirls (the built-in audience who read up on movie sites every nugget of information on the movie or film series that they can find) excited about what is coming their way in months or in a year's time.

That's the job of a trailer. A teaser, on the other hand, works the same way, but with one big difference: A teaser is like foreplay (for lack of a better word); it's designed to get you excited and whet the appetite for the audience. A teaser is basically something the filmmakers want to show off. The effects aren't completely done yet, the final product is still in the editing room, the sound mixing and editing needs to be complete and the score is either being written or in it's early stages of composition, but there's some early stuff that is finished that can be used to show off what's coming down the pike next year.

In my opinion, there are few people and films that do this properly. Christopher Nolan is a great example of this: When he does a teaser, that's exactly what it is: a tease, a guessing game about what will the film be about. The Teaser for Batman Begins does a great job of this.

We know it's Bruce Wayne, we can see it's going to be a much different take on the superhero, and we know the man behind the cowl is Christian Bale. In fact, we only see him in a glimpse of the suit, and then cut to black. He's not fighting crime, or flying around Gotham, it's just him, a brief shot of the suit, and that's it. Nolan leaves us wondering what he has in store as we anticipate the newest chapter of the Batman legend.

J.J. Abrams is also good at teasing the audience as well. The last time he did it, it was with the reboot of the Star Trek franchise.

Unlike Batman, the Star Trek movie series had been dormant for several years. The Next Generation series of films weren't that revered, save for First Contact, and after the critically panned Nemesis, the series hadn't been back on the big screen since. The only thing we're shown are construction workers, building something massive in scale, with famous quotes from JFK, Neil Armstrong, and NASA control counting down to liftoff. Then, we're treated to a long-familiar sight: the U.S.S. Enterprise. Unfinished, still in construction, but the face of the ship, as if it were staring back at us, with the main theme of the Star Trek series blasts through, as it fades to black, with a shot of the Federation logo fades in and out (complete with lens flare!) of the blackness. 

And now on Black Friday, Abrams does it again, but this time with the anticipated new leg of the Star Wars series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (due out December 2015).

Like any good teaser, it shows off what's in store, from X-Wings in flight, to a mysterious woman carrying the coolest light saber I've seen since Darth Maul's double-headed weapon, and with ending with a shot of the Millennium Falcon being chased by Tie Fighters. I don't know what J.J. has in store, but he's done his job: i'm excited, and I cant wait to see how he continues the Star Wars saga.


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