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All the Star Wars Trailers, Ranked by How Much They Reveal

Updated January 4, 2018 640 votes 125 voters 4.8k views19 items

List RulesVote up the Star Wars trailers that unveiled the most tantalizing details about the saga

This is going to make you feel really old or really young, but people have getting excited about Star Wars trailers since the '70s. When the original trailer for A New Hope hit, no one knew the kind of fandom that the film would inspire. And after watching the a few versions of that original film’s trailer, it’s kind of hard to figure out what’s going on - mostly because it’s 90% laser blasts, and it’s presented a possible documentary. Later trailers in the Star Wars saga would continue to try and keep audiences in the dark about the twists and turns of the series, while still dropping hints about the mythology.

Despite the franchise's secretive nature, revealing Star Wars trailers are a huge part of the series. Although without context it’s kind of hard to know what you’re seeing. These are some of the most revealing Star Wars trailers, and some notes on what we learned from each of them at the time.

Most nerds worth their weight in credits remember where they were when the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailers were released. And if you didn’t get goosebumps the first time you saw the Millennium Falcon flying through the sky then you might be as dead as Emperor Palpatine. If you can’t wait until the next Star Wars film is released, wet your whistle with this collection of Star Wars trailers and vote up the Star Wars trailer or trailers that revealed the most about the films they advertised. Then feel free to leave a comment about which trailers you liked the best. After all, what are we doing if we’re not talking about Star Wars?
  • 1

    Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Teaser

    Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Teaser
    Video: YouTube

    What We Learned:

    - Star Wars might be a documentary. After all, it could be happening right now
    - There's some sort of armed conflict in space. A star war, if you will.
    - Darth Vader's needle droid is creepy. 
    - Luke's voice was initially very Jerry Lewis in the Nutty Professor, no? 
    - The Star Wars was initially Helvetica, making the series about a billion times nerdier. 
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  • 2

    Star Wars Episode VI: Revenge Of The Jedi Teaser

    Star Wars Episode VI: Revenge Of The Jedi Teaser
    Video: YouTube

    What We Learned:

    - Luke Skywalker goes full goth.
    - The Jedi will be getting their revenge. 
    - At this point in post production, Luke's still using a blue lightsaber. 
    - Lando's back and no one's mad about it!
     
    40
    16
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  • 3

    Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition 1997 Trailer

    Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition 1997 Trailer
    Video: YouTube

    What We Learned:

    - The movies were coming back to the big screen with a bunch of superfluous changes and terrible CGI.
    - Presidents Day 1997 was the only time anyone was excited about Presidents day.
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    4
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  • 4

    Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakes (Japanese Edition)

    Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakes (Japanese Edition)
    Video: YouTube
    What We Learned:   
    - Storm Troopers know how to use (and aim!) modern day fire extinguishers! 
    - Kylo Ren almost slashes Rey in the face with his cool lightsaber!
    - Han Solo is probably dead!  
    - BB-8 was, at one point, "waiting" for something!  
    - Finn has a blue lightsaber! (Possibly Luke's?)  
    - Rey is in trouble at the beginning. The voice that asks her, "Who are you?" uses an authoritative tone, and is likely an Imperial leader. 
    - Rey is not very rebellious at this point. The way that she answers "I'm not anything," suggests that she's conformed to the Empire her whole life, as opposed to Princess Leia, who stood up to it.  
    - The Japanese subtitles say, "Wake up" which could refer to the fact that the Force is awakening, or that Rey is awakening to the knowledge of her own power.  
    - There's a strong subtext about family - Rey acknowledgers that she misses her family, and the Japanese subtitles that overlay the scene where Kylo Ren is talking to Darth Vader's crumpled helmet say, "I am the one to inherit your legacy," which could signify some kind of familial relationship between the characters.  
    - At the end of the trailer, Rey says, "Hope is not lost today... it is found." The Japanese subtitles, however, translate to: "Our hope is not lost... it was reborn." 
      
    Source: Time
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