Earlier today, I misunderstood a new thread started by Morhpeo, and unintentionally hijacked his thread. But I thought a new thread devoted to discussions about this and future teasers and trailers for the film is a good idea.
Anything is up for discussion; story theories implied and/or inferred, impressions of tone/spirit, tech aspects such as cinematography (surprise!), sound, visual effects, etc..
Here is my opening salvo covering all that plus my analysis of the Falcon fighter maneuvers, and some crew inside info. You guys take it from here.
Love the voice talent for the voice-over. Clearly this pays homage to the classic cinematographic styles of episodes 4-6, but adds some modern touches such as the chaotic documentary style in the storm trooper assault landing. Love the handheld camera, flashing fluorescents, smoke, and wind.
Nice introductory hero shot of the female lead. Not sure the intro shot of the male lead is so flattering.
Awesome shot of the low-level ingress across the lake by X-wings! That looks like a filmed aerial background plate with the X-wings added.
I love that there was not a JJ Abrams blue-streak anamorphic lens flare to be seen.
Love the dark, cold, snow shot in the forest. The light sabre shaft has a more tangible dangerous appearance. That shot looks like it is done with Steadicam in low mode with the operator coming down steps at first, then following the actor. A-camera operator is South African Colin Anderson who follows Abrams from the Star Trek movies. Colin came to the U.S. in the mid-90s to make his way with the mentorship of fellow South African Steadicam operator, Chris Haarhoff. Both terrific guys! Damn, what an opportunity to do this gig!
I put on my fighter pilot cap (A-7, A-10, F-16) to comment on the Falcon shot. This is a remarkably realistic shot! Unlike the P-51s in Red Tails that flew ridiculously unrealistically, this is really good. The Falcon is doing a loaded roll to get the nose down quickly, and even pulls some higher Gs after about 90 degrees of roll, evident by the "G-conning/cottonballing"; an extremely realistic touch! It continues the roll to level just above the deck with quite a bit of G to stop the downward vector.
This is realistic enough, but the added complexity is the chase camera "platform" POV. It's not POV from the Falcon. It's an imaginary chasing camera that performs the same maneuvers as the Falcon to keep up with it. Both must look very realistic, or it blows the shot for both. It rolls and pulls down with the Falcon, but in an interesting touch, rolls the opposite direction to level off, and even overtakes the Falcon a bit alarmingly close at the end as the TIE fighter pass in the merge. I've been there and done about the same things countless times in the late 70s and the 80s and 90s in the stuff I flew. They clearly have very good aviation consultants on this.
Tactically, it's a reasonable maneuver to give the TIE fighters a very difficult/low PK shot with the high aspect (beak to beak) merge. Maneuvering to ensure a maximum aspect merge is a superb defensive tactic if they are the only bandits in the area. No two reasonably matched aircraft can pass beak to beak and either party be able to make the 180 degree turn and chase down the other. It's a sure separation strategy to escape when low on fuel or out of weapons ("Winchester"). But these two spacecraft are not equally matched. I will pay good money to see how this engagement continues.
Overall, promising, but only time will tell if we have a winner.