I’ll kick this off with the latest (and reportedly last) entry into my favorite film cycle of all time, Star Wars. To date two materials have been released to the general public for Episode III – Revenge of the Sith: the teaser poster and a trailer. The poster works for me, but not as a movie poster. Honestly, this looks like the cover to the comic book adaptation.
The teaser poster for Ep. I worked because it played up the story that would be unfolding over the next three movies, namely that of this small boy turning into Darth Vader.
The sheet for Ep. II similarly used the image of Anakin and Padme divided physically by the Jedi Code to highlight the emotional core of the movie (even if it did make Hayden Christiansen look like he had a bruise on his jaw). The trailer relies heavily on nostalgia for the first series of movies (the ones we grew up with and Lucas has endlessly futzed within the last decade) to draw people in, devoting the first third to half of the running time to scenes from A New Hope. This is the wrong time to do that, George, as your core audience is still fuming that you can’t keep your hands off the editing software with the recent DVD release and the previous Special Editions. After it gets off the past, though, the trailer does kick into high gear with scenes of a large capital ship space battle, a couple shots of masses of honked-off Wookies and, just because it was viewed as a highlight of Ep. 2, two or three views of Yoda wielding his mini-lightsaber. I can tell you that I think this is great as a teaser since it contains no dialogue and really does just tease at the entire movie, not just one or two scenes. I’ll be revisiting Revenge of the Sith quite a bit over the next few weeks and months as we get closer to the May 2006 release.