How the Star Wars Teaser Saved My Shoes

On Friday November 28th, the teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was released (http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/lucasfilm/starwarstheforceawakens/). In the long tradition of celebrating Kardashian posterior, I’m pretty sure it blew up the internet.

I found myself walking through downtown Toronto on the day-of, skirting skyscrapers and bagel shops, street meat vendors and cyclists. I was wearing a suit. Carrying a briefcase that held my laptop. I picked up a moccachino, and mostly thought about what the street salt was doing to my dress shoes. It really bothered me, that salt stain. I even considered ducking into one of the under-street malls that line downtown Toronto and buying a new pair.

Going into the office tower, there was no sign that anyone cared about something as measly as a movie trailer. But I like caffeine, need it, and when I stopped for another coffee, a teenager was sitting at a table in the shop, watching something on her computer… and I stopped.

Now I don’t remember when the state of my dress shoes or the caffeine content of my hot beverage mattered so much to me. I imagine it was around the time I brought my briefcase. In this soul-sucking world of corporate affairs, we get small: we concentrate on the minutae that is necessary to make that world run, and seldom do we look beyond ourselves and feel a moment of wonder.

But I did sit down at the coffee shop and open my laptop. I pulled up the trailer (not a real trailer – just a teaser) and had a look at 1 minute and 28 seconds of nothing. There was no plot contained in the thing. No sense of what this movie is even going to be about. There weren’t even any images of the classic characters (the Luke, the Leia, the Han Solo, the Wookie, the droids, all of whom are supposed to be in this movie) to be found. Sure, there were stormtroopers, x-wing fighters, a funky lightsabre, and a glorious moment with the Millenium Falcon (piloted by who???) and some tie-fighters, but that’s it.

I watched the trailer and then I watched it again. And again. And again. And soon I had watched it enough that I had it memorized, and despite myself – despite the suit and the briefcase and the soiled shoes – I felt a spark of things I had imagined becoming when I grew up and finally I was an adult, too. I remembered dreaming of space and being an astronaut; of diving to the bottom of the seas as an explorer; of sitting back and composing stories because I was a writer. In the oily air of that coffee shop, with my tie choking me and my cell phone buzzing endlessly, it was hard to understand just where I had ended up.

And that’s the question. Where have we ended up? We’re urged to grow up, to mature, to be adult, but at the same time it feels a lot like we make our worlds smaller and less possible by doing so. I think, maybe, we’re at our most intelligent when we’re kids – not necessarily as experienced, but still more intelligent. We see possibilities. We feel wonder. And we don’t let anything limit us.

I didn’t make my meeting. You know, I’m positive that was a bad decision. I’m sure I’m going to pay for it. But so what. Sometimes, you need a reason to re-right yourself, to have a moment to remember that this world has got to be about more than the state of your shoes.

Star-Wars-Movie-Poster-1977-original

53 thoughts on “How the Star Wars Teaser Saved My Shoes

  1. Fine, one teaser for a sci fi extravaganza saved your shoes, but my sci fi novels will save your life… Or at least change it… OR maybe just save your underwear… Or make you change them… Or something…

  2. Such a neat post Trent. You know I’ve always been comfortable going back and forth from one world to the other. When you’re a worker, scuffed workboots are a badge of honor. And it is so much more acceptable to act child-like (provided it’s not in front of the boss- but even then sometimes it’s OK). And yet, dressing up in a suit with polished shoes (Bostonians) and a new briefcase gives a feeling of power and completeness – like you said every detail covered and you know it. I know I can make lawyers cower when i enter the room and plop my briefcase on the table. I like that power because i can choose when to use it and I can also be amiable and open when I want. It takes a more overt show to use power when dressed casual or acting child-like.

    I enjoy both scenarios but I can certainly see how one or the other exclusively could engender feelings of incompleteness. There are plusses and minuses to both. You may not see this as you dress always in suits for business, but when you walk down that street in Toronto, there are many you pass by who would love to be you – to be able to stride confidently along in nice clothing and perfect shoes carrying a briefcase. They don’t know how cut-throat the business world can be, or how much work it takes to look perfect, or how depressing an office job can be. They don’t know that you by times long for a simpler time and life.

    Great post Trent. I hope the new Star Wars flick lives up to its hype.

    • Interesting point about using power in that manner… it’s not something I think about much, or am very comfortable with. There’s a job to do, and unfortunately, sometimes it means tussling with people, possibly stamping on their egos, possibly having my ego stamped… and I wonder, isn’t there a more gentle way of getting through life? A more childlike way?

      Yup, a longing for a simpler life… or the old life. I’m sure I’d love that. Even if it means waiting in line for the mere matter of a movie, about a year from now. In the snow with my kids. Dreaming of popcorn and starships.

  3. Very bold of you to blow off the meeting after being jolted back to more innocent times by a Star Wars teaser. Very bold indeed.

    I must say that based on the last three, I would have said I couldn’t care less about the new one. They lacked all the magic of the originals.

    But this thing is lookin pretty good.

  4. I got sucked into that trailer, too. Watched it over and over. I like the series well enough but am not an obsessive fan. Yet, I got sucked in. What magic spell are they casting? That original ad you posted took me back as well. I vividly remember that image from a long time ago in a galaxy far away.

    • Me too. I remember being a little confused by it, cause I’d not seen anything like it before. But it was magic, still is magic, the weird magic that seems to cross decades in the most startling way. It’s almost 40 years since the first one was made; how we’re still talking about this now, that long after the fact, is amazing. Can you imagine creating something with that much staying power???

      • In answer to your question, no. I can’t imagine that at all. I’ll have a memorable impact on my family, my kids, etc., but after I’m gone the universe will shrug its shoulders. Many are called but few are chose.

  5. i am anxiously awaiting/completely dreading the release of this movie. The prequels were just so horribly disappointing. But this trailer took me back to 1977 when I was a youngin’ (20!) and found The Force.

    May The Force find you other, better opportunities, Trend!

  6. Interesting that you should bring this up just two days after I finally saw the second installment of The Hobbit, which we know is a way better movie franchise than Star Wars. 😉

    Equally interesting is that I had a similar experience to yours a few days ago, although not as profound. I saw Interstellar the day before Thanksgiving. It’s a pretty impressive movie and story, although it gets a little too Hollywoody for me in places. But it reminded me of my own “end of the world” story that I started years ago. I was reminded of a time when I was exploding as a writer — not necessarily producing great work, but just writing a ton. Over the course of about five or six years, I wrote two novels and dozens of short stories, and started several more novels that I haven’t been able to finish. Watching that movie and thinking of my own end of the world story I realized I had to get back to that place, whatever it was, where I really enjoyed writing and didn’t have 83 reasons not to write.

    • Oh Mark… lest we plunge into that debate again! Must I remind you of how efficiently the average lightsabre-wielding Jedi could dispatch a little hobbit? It’s really no contest.

      I hope you’re hammering at the 83 reasons. Rip them down and get at it. The apocalyptic stories sound great – especially if they remind you of Interstellar, which I quite enjoyed (except for the one punch-up scene – that was ridiculous).

      • After watching part two of The Hobbit and seeing how many orcs the dwarves and elves can mow down with nary a scratch, methinks you missed something in your reading and watching of the hobbit tale.

      • My apocalyptic story is more like The Road by Cormac McCarthy and I have this silly idea of writing it in reverse. Which is the single biggest reason I haven’t done much on it. And I agree with you about the punch-up scene — that is the part of it that went too Hollywoody for me. They could have very easily done without that scene and interaction.

  7. We were so excited to see that teaser! My kids aren’t allowed to watch Star Wars until they’re 7 (they get scared easily), and my oldest is going to be 7 in January. We’ve known for a while that the movie was coming out in 2015 (the year she turns 7! Yay!). But we didn’t realize it was going to be *December* 2015. At least she’ll have plenty of time to catch up on the first 6 episodes!

  8. I think about “re-righting” myself all the time. 3 and a 1/2 years ago having a great career in the corporate world was everything I thought I wanted. Then came the role elimination, made slightly more bearable by the sizeable golden parachute, but devastating all the same. When the money ran out nearly two years later, I felt I had no choice but to go back to what I know, to what I get paid a lot of money to do. But something funny happened in the interim. I realized that other things fulfill me in ways that this corporate gig do not. Unfortunately those things don’t pay. Not well. And so I question myself, endlessly, about whether I need to be re-righted.

  9. My theory has always been that we are born as smart as we are ever going to be in our lives. Quite brilliant, actually. As we age we get stupider and lose that intelligence. We become more confined whether by suits or shoes or life experience we lose lose the ability to use our brains to their capacity. Our imaginations don’t work the way they did when we were younger because we have put too many restrictions on them. I’m glad you had the opportunity to re-right yourself. May the force continue to be with you.

  10. Good morning Trent. Re-righting oneself when drowning in a sea of responsibility and life choices is such a battle, isn’t it? Your words caused me to pause and really think about my actions/reactions lately. I watch my daughters, one rushing to get to the end of a degree and to begin her ” life”, it pains me. I try in earnest to tell her to not wish and rush The next 18 months of her life away. The other gal is stressing about college and majors. Youth youth I cry..stop being so serious. It will fall into place.

    Sigh…and then , I remember just where they came from. Me. What kind of example did I set?

    Hope you didn’t get a can of whoop ass for missing the meeting 🙂

  11. I feel like such a misfit. I did like the first Star Wars! Elyse said it was 1977? Ha! What 16 year old of 1977 wouldn’t have loved that movie I ask you?? The ones that followed just didn’t grab me at all. In fact I am not even sure if I saw them in their entirety. EVERYONE in my High School was reading The Hobbit series. I tried. Did nothing for me. I bought a boxed set some years ago thinking I would try again. Nope. Nothing. Perhaps I am broken.

  12. I think as a kid the whole world is full of possibility then you get older and think ‘oh I can’t do this and that because of this and that reason’, but maybe sometimes we say that a bit too quickly.
    PS I have never seen any of the Star Wars movies.

  13. My husband is a Star Wars fanatic so he’s beyond excited. I vividly remember watching the first one in the theater when I was a kid with all my brothers and it blew our little minds away. Parts of it scared the crap outta me though. I guess my dad was pretty cool to take his little 7 year old daughter to see Star Wars.

  14. For some reason, I am not getting new post notifications! grrrr. Anyway…I am so there…this hurrying up to become an adult shit, only to turn around and realize everything you needed to know you learned in kindergarten (yes, that book was great) and the rest is bullshit. It tickles me that you can still get your kid on when you need to. I do it also, just not the same way. But any way a person can get there…they should! And often.

  15. Good for you. I’ve often yearned for the days where my imagination ran wild and the possibilities were endless. Even now that I quit my big girl job and I like what I’m doing much better, the responsibility of being an adult and having to worry about things like bills and health insurance still hangs over my head, creating doubt and stress.

    By the way, I just watched the trailer and got all teary when the music started. What is it about those movies? (prequels excluded of course) My cousin, Lindsay, has never seen them. I’m planning to write a blog post about it. Just think of all she’s missing…

  16. I won’t watch it, because I don’t need to see a butt the size of Saturn. All that aside, I agree with you… some days I get to work, and my kid comes out to play, and I just say f-it all. Life is just too short to be an adult.
    Life sucks, being a grownup sucks, and when I do grow up, I still want to be an Indian and ride a paint pony, on a planet we don’t even know exists! When they discover it… me and my horsey will be there! 🙂

  17. And so it is that, through small glimpses of what we have otherwise forgotten, we are allowed to see and remember and feel that all things are possible again. We are allowed to believe in the ideals we had before the world stole our youthful dreams. And let us never fully realize that we allowed those dreams to be stolen, for that would surely crush us.
    I’m sorry I haven’t been around as much… corporate life is complicated, as you know. I will try to stop by more regularly again. I miss the hope in your words. I miss your fight for the world as it should be rather than what is convenient or accepted.

  18. I won’t watch the trailer. I’m afraid it will be yet another depressing reminder of our society’s diminishing intellect. I’d much rather watch salt stain your shoes.
    You and fisticuffs make me not hate bloggers. You are genuine and talented. And funny as fuck, which let’s face it, is harder to come by than a Jew with a big cock.

    • There is no one else around who could leave a comment like this… wish I was as funny as fisticuffs, but more than that I’d take your level of punch-up. It’s funny how blogs that I once found interesting are just the same thing over and over now, never new, never anything to look forward to. Just the same. If I ever turn the same, stab me in the eye, Fay. It’s the one thing I can’t stand. Sameness. Same old shit. Same whining, same complaining, same characters, same same same. And that’s why I love you, but goddam I could do with a post. Give a guy a break eh. That’s right, I said eh. Because a spiked coffee in the morning just kicked my ass, I had it coming, and all I want is to hear someone write something that also knocks me on my ass in the best way possible.

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