A Linguistic Look at the New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer | The Language of Star Wars


In our previous articles about the language of Star Wars, we’ve looked at how past films used language creatively, and we’ve drawn some theories about The Force Awakens, which is coming to US theaters on December 18. The new trailer just came out, and we found some movie clues in the linguistics.

The Force Awakens will begin quietly.

The Whispering

Most of the dialogue in the new trailer is spoken calmly, if not in a whisper. Volume is an important linguistic tool that can communicate stillness, fear, and mystery. We believe the tone of The Force Awakens will begin quietly as the storyline explains the last 30 years. And, of course, what else would the force be awakening from except from sleep? Watch the trailer, and listen for the emotions behind the whispering.

The Accent

Early in the trailer, a character asks, “Who are you?” There is an accent, but it is hard to place. It has a tinny grittiness. It sounds like the words are being produced deeper in the character’s throat. This isn’t a normal dialect of English. In past Star Wars films, human characters have generally had English accents of one kind or another. We speculate that the first voice in the trailer is alien.

The Voice

Kylo Ren, the new dark side villain of The Force Awakens, has a few lines in the new Star Wars trailer. His deep voice spoken through a mask underscores the sense of foreboding that audiences are supposed feel, the same way that Darth Vader’s iconic voice did. This Star Wars archetype assures audiences that the new films will reflect the best of the original trilogy. We can hardly wait!

Join the conversation with #languageofstarwars! What did you notice in the trailer?

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