This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for X-Wing dogfights and Han Solo’s trusty blaster. While the newest TV spot for the movie that we’re all thankful for, The Force Awakens, contains mostly footage that we’ve already seen one place or another, it does contain some great aerial combat clips and Han Solo firing a weapon, which is a thing I didn’t know my life was missing so badly until I saw it again. Check out the "All the Way" TV spot below.
All the way is a fitting title as the spot shows both sides involved in some of the biggest scale scenes we’ve seen to date. While the original films were all about a small rebel force and a galactic empire, this shows us a larger Resistance and a small First Order. What we get in return much more closely resembles an all out war between two evenly matched sides. Both the battlefields and the skies are full of combat.
Putting this much X-Wing combat into a single spot really begins to show what makes this movie feel different. All of the spacecraft combat that we’ve seen so far is in-atmosphere. Very little, if any has been in space. While we saw non-space combat in The Empire Strikes Back, the vast majority of the dogfight-style combat we’ve seen before has been in space. All of X-Wing v. TIE Fighter stuff that we’ve seen here, which appears to take place on at least two if not three different planets, is all within the planets’ atmosphere. This gives the fighting a more visceral feel. It gives you the feeling of a smaller battlefield, and thus it feels more risky.
At the same time, the fighting on the ground feels bigger. While the Resistance still doesn’t appear to have an army on par with the Order’s Stormtroopers, the ground combat feels bigger than anything we’ve seen before. The Gungans battling on Naboo in The Phantom Menace is the largest scale ground combat I can think of thus far, and the fact that it was all CGI didn’t make it feel nearly as real as this does.
The most interesting thing of all, however, may be the opening voice over that talks about the "test" somebody has to face. It sounds like it could be Supreme Leader Snoke speaking to Kylo Ren, but that’s not entirely clear. What is the test? Luke Skywalker? The line could of course be getting used entirely out of context, it’s impossible to know for sure. That’s part of the fun of the whole thing.
We’re only three weeks away from the first early screenings of the newest Star Wars film. Perhaps we can eat ourselves into a Thanksgiving food coma and wake up significantly closer to the release date that’s taking it’s sweet time getting here.