From fan fiction to theorycrafting, sharing in the spectacle of a film or game’s release is a great opportunity to engage with art, even before release.
“There’s been an awakening, have you felt it?” Because everyone else has. The internet is abuzz with rampant speculation, arguments, and lengthy screeds about the first reveal for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The teaser, released last week, speeds past in a mere 88 seconds with short but chilling voice over and a few brief images from a galaxy, far, far away. Even so, the glimpse at the franchise’s rebirth has stirred up a storm of chatter and for those willing to dive in and all those hopping aboard the hype train, a year of shared excitement and conversation.
I love these types of shared cultural experiences. I remember intimately the first time that I saw Bungie’s teaser for Halo 3. I was in a packed room at PAX Prime. The teaser had already been shown at E3 earlier that year, but I don’t remember having heard about it until the moment that Martin O’Donnell’s amazing score started to play. The crowd instantly reacted as a chill passed through the room. Cortana speaks: ““I have defied gods and demons. I am your shield. I am your sword.” Even now the teaser gives me goosebumps. It recalls a shared excitement between fans, something similar to the ripple of excitement stirred up by Star Wars.