Movie trailers have become events unto themselves these days. Whereas they used to just catch you by surprise on the front of whatever movie you were seeing, now the release of a much-anticipated new trailer is heralded for weeks beforehand. Hell, it’s not uncommon for studios to release teasers to tease the trailer, which is just ridiculous. They’ve also become more polished, more stylized, and, unfortunately, often way too spoilerific. So, if some of our favorite science fiction movies were released today, what might they look like? How about The Empire Strikes Back, for instance?
That “modern trailer” for Empire was cut together by a dude named Cameron Arrigioni, and it definitely feels like something we might see if Empire were released today. Aside from the general style of it, Arrigioni’s trailer just dances right up to the edge of the movie’s biggest spoiler. It doesn’t outright say that “Darth Vader is Luke’s dad,” but it might as well have, given all the portentous declarations about the elder Skywalker over shots of Vader. If I had never seen Empire and I saw this trailer, I would probably be pissed off, so that definitely passes the “modern trailer” test. Also, the way it ends on “There is another” kind of makes me wish Lucas had done more with the whole notion of Leia being Force sensitive. Maybe it will get more play in the upcoming trilogy that will launch with next year’s The Force Awakens.
And if you’re pulling out your hair trying to remember where you’ve heard that amazing music before, it’s a track called “Freedom Fighters” by the group Two Steps From Hell, who specialize in making trailer-friendly tunes. It was used to excellent effect in one of the trailers for J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek.
But let’s keep the trailer fun rolling with another entry, this incredibly badass modern spin on The Last Starfighter, courtesy of YouTuber Tim Gonzales. The music is “This Is Our Legacy” by Zack Hemsey, the bloke responsible for Inception’s epic “Mind Heist” track.
The quick cuts, the propulsive music, the whole thing makes me want to buy a ticket to see that movie again today. Even with the early-days CGI effects and ’80s trappings, it still feels fresh and exciting. Actually, it makes me think a remake could be really good in the hands of the right writer and director. Or hell, somebody just give us a special edition where all the effects are upgraded. Hey, it worked for Star Trek.
Finally, just for comparison’s sake, here are some of the actual trailers used to promote The Empire Strikes Back and The Last Starfighter. Hmm, also maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on modern trailers, seeing as the LS trailer pretty much includes the final scene of the movie…