I've been into the Fine Brothers
on Youtube for a while now, and hearing that Youtube will be releasing their own actual series, with one of them being by the Fine Brothers. To wit, the Fine brothers do, among other things, react videos, particularly react videos by three separate age groups (kids, teens, elders) as well as celebrity groups. React videos, for those who do not know, are where people record themselves...well...reacting to something, usually a video. it isn't surprising that these are popular, as it serves to satisfy an emotional and social component within us, especially those of us who probably get less social interaction now that we have become such a tech-based culture.
I can understand the connection here. You watch something and have a good response to it, and seeing someone else react positively to it online gives a good positive emotional boost to you = we all get happier and healthier emotionally.
However, it was certain responses to a particular video that really got me thinking. That video happened to be the second Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer. The number of very emotional responses to this had me delving into what I know about psychology, as well as my own emotions. If you haven't seen it (or if you have), check it out as part of an experiment:
And now, watch these two ( of many more) responses to it:
My own response to the trailer was one of amazement and wonder, but I won't lie to you--watching other people tear up got me doing the same thing. Empathy is an incredible emotion.
I'm 46. I was in third grade when the original Star Wars
was released, and my family went to see it in a drive-in theater, where it was a triple feature--not two other movies after it, but Star Wars
three plays in a row. We stayed and watched it all three times. For an eight year old, it was a powerful experience. It was only more powerful three years later, when The Empire Strikes Back
I can completely understand the reactions people have had, especially those who were at or near similar ages as I was when they saw it--old enough to understand the plot, but young enough to still be deeply affected by the wonder and gravitas of it all. The original films had in spades what the prequels lacked: emotional investment. The plot being what it was in the prequels, it was near impossible to connect with the characters.
This is what, to me, makes J. J. Abrams look like such a genius with this trailer. For god's sake, this is just a trailer
...but possibly the most effective trailer I've ever witnessed. From the beginning, he knew he had to get the most important aspect of the fanbase emotionally invested: the original fans. At their age, they have the economic power to make this film a smash hit. They have children to bring to see it. So he starts with Luke's theme music behind a backdrop of nostalgia...a desert planet much like in the original, drawing you back to the original story, and the original emotions. A wrecked star destroyer, a symbol of the Empire's power and strength brought low, and a nod to the passage of time. Then Luke narrates, couching it all in terms of family--closeness, emotional connection. Father, sister...and then he says it. You have that power, too.
No mistake, that. Of course, Luke means a new character, a relative perhaps. But Abrams likely knew the subconscious effect that line would have...you're one of us, viewer. A part of the family. You have that seed within you, that seed of greatness. Feel that power again.
Swell the music. Build jaw-dropping quick scene after quick scene. Show emotion in the new characters. Show camaraderie between them. Then hammer the final nail down with a beloved original character speaking the words every fan felt at that moment: We're home.
Brilliance. Everything missing in the prequels was here, and in spades. Regardless of Abrams' work on other series like Star Wars or Mission: Impossible, he is a fan of Star Wars and apparently has given it special love and attention. If this is what he managed to do with the trailer, I can't wait to see the film.