March 2005 gave the world two last things before ROTS’s release on May 19, 2005: the theatrical poster and the second, final trailer.
Drew Struzan’s poster was revealed on star wars.com March 8, 2005.
The trailer debuted on Fox’s “The O.C.” March 11, 2005 and was shown in theaters/posted online immediately thereafter.
My immediate reaction originally posted on my LiveJournal:
Best. Trailer. Ever!
Not only are the visuals amazing, this promises to be a very emotionally-charged film, something beyond the usual summer popcorn fare. Every time Palpatine spoke, I kept wincing, knowing that Anakin will fall for his crap hook, line, and sinker. I think one of my key theories, that Anakin won’t betray the Jedi unless he believes he has been betrayed, seems to have some traction. Anakin believes the Jedi no longer trust him and when Obi-Wan asks him to keep an eye on Palps, Anakin responds that it’s treason. The two most stunning scenes to me, out of series of stunning scenes, are Sidious’s fight in the Senate against Yoda (I just said, “Oh my God!”) and Anakin leading an army of clone troopers. Wow! Padmé is shown weeping and Obi-Wan cries in anguish, “You were the Chosen One!” Emotion like that is rarely shown in a SW movie. The duel looks spectacular. Vader and Palpidious are seen together at the of the trailer with an ominous heartbeat in the background. Great way to end it.
Some things flew by me quickly so I’ll pick up on them with mulitple viewings of the trailer. But this already makes TESB look like a comedy.
Here are some additional thoughts I posted the next day:
Having seen the trailer 6 times, which I’m sure is nothing compared to many of you, it continues to amaze. The more I watch it, the more impressed I am with the great but underrated Ian McDiarmid. This is his movie to cut loose and show the world once and for all just how awesome he is. I guess you could say the same about Hayden. That shot of him marching with the clonetroopers…damn, it still give me chills. He just fits the role so well. It’s Vader with a touch of youthful cockyness. Even the Vader shot at the end when he crosses his arms is so, um, pimp-ish. Like he knows he’s the second scariest mo-fo in the galaxy. Ewan will do a great job as always. Once again, I am impressed with the level of emotion shown. There’s a reason why Lucas has his actors hold back from chomping on scenery; when they do show a great deal of emotion, it means something. It makes you take notice. What’s so heartbreaking about seeing Padmé cry (listen carefully and you can hear her sobbing) is that we’ve NEVER seen her cry. She has always hidden her emotions or put on a brave face for the sake of someone else. And it’s not just a few trickles of tears here either. She is really letting the waterworks loose.
I’ve had some fun picking out scenes that remind me of scenes from other SW films. Like the pilot who’s blown up from behind a la ANH. Or Anakin complaining to Padmé about Obi-Wan and the Jedi not trusting him. It’s similar to Anakin kvetching about Obi-Wan in AOTC while Padmé is packing in her apartment. Or Mace Windu telling Anakin he won’t get the rank of Master; sorta like Macey telling lil’ Ani he’s not going to be trained in TPM. If Anakin forgot all about that incident, Mace just reminded him. Way to go, Jedi.
The action scenes look fantastic. How about Anakin and Obi-Wan swinging around on cables fighting each other? Wow! I still love Yoda vs. Sidious. That’ll be great!
Some people have observed the edits and angles look different here than in other SW films. One shot that looked different to me was the lightning shooting straight for Yoda. Never really saw anything like that before.
Reaction to the trailer seems to be very positive. Paranoid me hopes it doesn’t raise expectations to ridiculous heights as it did with TPM, but on the other hand, I think this film will be the one to meet most of those expectations simply because it has the elements the impatient masses wanted to see. I say that because some fanboys have been saying this one will “redeem” the PT. But ROTS won’t mean anything without TPM, AOTC, OR the OT for that matter. There have been some grumblings that “the trailers were always good but the movies always are bad” or “everyone is as stiff as always,” but I am more sure than ever that at the very least ROTS will change some minds about the PT. The most churlish of the bashers and critics who are determined to dislike ROTS will find reasons to hate it. I’m not expecting great reviews, but I think this one will turn on a lot of light bulbs. Fans like me can sit back and say, “Told ya so!”
E! Online had this article about spoilers:
You’ll see why TFN has cut back significantly on spoiler and spy reports.
Then there’s this from Entertainment Weakly online:
In typical EWwww fashion, the “good news” is that there was no Jar Jar in the trailer but it proclaims the “bad news” that the trailer gave away the plot. No, it didn’t. I’m not too spoiled but even I know there’s much more to what’s going on with Anakin than the trailer reveals. Of course, Anakin “whines” in their opinion and they wonder about there being no Dooku (he is there, just briefly), saying “Let’s hope he doesn’t get edited out the way Lee’s Saruman did from the final Lord of the Rings installment.” Yeah, like that’s going to happen. And was it a problem for EWwww when ROTK came out? I think not. At the end it talks about the rumored t.v. show and concludes with, “there’s no escaping the power of the Force.” Nyah, nyah!
In related news, starwars.com posted all of the goodies available at this year’s Disney SW Weekends. That Darth Mickey Mouse is awesome! That puppy will sell even faster than the Jedi Mickey from last year. It mentioned that some of the items will be sold at Disneyland as well; guess it’ll be worth a trip to Anaheim to see!