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Rebel Reaction: The Jabberjays Discuss ‘Our Leader the Mockingjay’


After waiting months for a real teaser trailer, the wait is over and we can finally bubble over and react to real footage and the re-emergence of Katniss Everdeen. Read below for reactions from the staff regarding ‘Our Leader the Mockingjay’.


I’d been ever so slightly sulky waiting for Monday to come because with a newborn, I really couldn’t go out to Best Buy, especially since it’s half an hour away. Finding out that the trailer was coming out at midnight EST was such a treat! When you examine it piece by piece, the teaser seems very sparse, but was still very well done. I got goosebumps when Plutarch first started speaking and was a little surprised at how caring Coin seemed to be when talking about Katniss. While we know Coin is probably just concerned about how this affects her rebellion, she still sounded like she cared, and somehow I appreciated that part of her. The way she said it felt more natural to the story’s focus on Katniss’ reluctance.

There were so many small details I loved. The mockingjay crop circle was cool, the lumberjacks climbing the trees was eerie, and the haunted look on Gale’s face made me immediately want to shake Carla by the shoulders in excitement for her, but alas, she’s a world away. ;(

The District 8 hospital looks pretty much exactly how I’d imagined it, though I think I’d preferred a much younger person asking Katniss if she’s going to fight. Katniss’ face contained the heart of the teaser. She nailed it down so hard. She doesn’t look brave, she doesn’t look badass, she looks scared out of her mind. And to me this is just how Katniss is supposed to be at this point and for that, I love Francis Lawrence.


Although I had heard about what would be in the trailer, everything about it surprised me and impressed me. Julianne Moore is perfect as Coin, I felt like she captured the character from the book exactly like I had imagined. Philip Seymour Hoffman is also as good as usual as Plutarch (even though it hurts to see him). I’m so happy we saw Natalie Dormer as Cressida! She looks awesome! Her hair is just half-shaved but it’s still an incredible look! The boy who plays Eddy (I’m assuming it’s Eddy) is really good too, I love how he asks her “Are you here to fight with us?” in a sort of desperate but confident way. It’s clear that he truly believes in their leader the Mockingjay. While we’re on it, the scene with Snow and Antonius was really great, and it’s our very first glimpse of Robert Knepper as Antonius. Donald Sutherland will always be the best (or should I say worse, in a good way?) President Snow, and it was such a great addition to make him officially forbid the symbol of the rebellion.

Now, THANK YOU FRANCIS LAWRENCE. While this movie is dark, the cinematography looks so beautiful. It looks an action-packed war movie (which it sort of is, in fact) but still the scenes with the Peacekeepers and the people climbing trees are just unbelievable. I honestly wasn’t expecting such a short, effective and intense trailer. Now, with only about 4 months before the movie, we’re sure to be thrown footage and pictures here and there, and I’m so excited!


So I didn’t have the same screaming level of excitement that everyone else seems to be reveling in but I really enjoyed this teaser. I like how it focuses on Katniss as a broken individual after the Games and having to get up and fight again. It was such a smart move to take advantage of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore to establish this. Clearly they’re also doing a wonderful job to show the fight outside of Katniss’ perspective. I loved seeing Natalie Dormer too, she looked great. Mostly this is another reassuring addition for me that everything in on track and set to be another excellent, above-par addition to the franchise. I have no worries over this adaptation like I had before the release of the first two. But now I’m geared up and ready for the inevitable 2:30 minute trailer, that will make my jaw drop in the coming months. Hopefully scored by TTL again. A Hunger Games trailer scored by TTL will always reach legendary status.


As usual with these releases, I only got to see the trailer at an ungodly hour and this time it was at 6:30 am when I was on my way to the airport to board an international flight. I was at my hotel, in between sleepy bites of scrambled eggs, when I first watched it on my phone among my family’s protests that I lower the volume on the device so the whole dining room wouldn’t hear what I was fangirling about. Well, the high volume setting turned out to be a good trade-off because it kept me from screaming out loud. I was still half in the land of Nod by that point, so I couldn’t really process much of what I’d seen, but I knew that I loved it.

Now, having seen it quite a few more times, I think my opinion differs a bit from most of the reactions I’ve seen online. Not that I didn’t like it, because I absolutely did, but I think my favorite aspect of the trailer is not the appearance of Katniss (FINALLY!) or her words at the end of the trailer, or even the appearance of all the characters we hadn’t heard from before and whom I had long been waiting for (CRESSIDA! PLUTARCH! COIN! YAAAAY!)… for me, what really makes this a hard-hitting trailer is that they made it all about the people. The suffering of the people, the violence and oppression they’re subjected to, and the hope they’re given in the form of “The Mockingjay.” The little moments: the expressions of the people being threatened by Peacekeepers after Snow outlaws the Mockingjay sign, the people running down stairs which I assume are during D13’s bombing, even the fact that the boy himself asks Katniss if she’s fighting with them; all of that directly shows us the human component to a conflict that before seemed a bit exclusive between two opposite factions. That’s what a true, well-done war movie should do: remind us that the story is not necessarily about politics, or even the people fighting, but what and who they’re fighting FOR. That’s the real emotional weight of a war story, and I’ve always wanted Mockingjay more than anything to be a genuine war story.

This trailer hit that spot on for me, and it makes me feel incredibly relieved that despite the flashy marketing (which granted, it’s really freaking cool, and a great nod to fans), they’re truly aiming for a war story, and the fate of a girl who ends up involved in a war that was never hers to begin with, but she decides to fight it because she learns she can make a difference for her people and her loved ones. Great job with this first teaser trailer, and now I’m really looking forward to seeing more in the future, in the form of a full-length trailer.


FINALLY we have action and story line clips. Praise all good things! Of course the running motif of being stingy with movie footage was continued in this trailer, but at this point I’ll take what ever bread crumbs fall from Lionsgate’s table. I feel like I could watch an entire movie of dialogue between Plutarch and Coin. Their conversation about Katniss felt saturated with intensity and desperation. Katniss’ sanity dangles on the same thin string that the suspends the hope of the districts. The Mockingjay symbol wields two contrary faces of fragility and unstoppable resilience, and there is no separating the two.

This sounds dark, but I hope we get to be immersed into the blood and cries of the districts so we can feel we are a part of the rebellion. I loved seeing what I assume is the hospital in District 8, albeit I imagined the scene being more dirty, desperate and chaotic. Being from Georgia myself, I also loved seeing the Peacekeepers against the pine trees, but I have no idea why the people were climbing the trees to get away from gun fire. It looked more like a lumberjack cirque du soleil.

We got a few, simple character glimpses, like ¬†Gale and Cressida, where simply their faces held enough story to give more meat to the trailer itself. The flashing seconds of bombs and people frantically running down stairs gives us just a taste of war, and I can already tell it’s going to get very bitter.

And we see Katniss, looking more fiercely beautiful than ever, making a stand with the rebels against the Capitol. Really, that’s all I wanted. Just those couple of seconds did the trick for me. All is well with my soul.


The opening scene of the trailer featuring Plutarch and President Coin sets up precisely each of their agenda’s for the movie. Plutarch is establishing the symbol of the Mockingjay while President Coin is doubting Katniss’ ability to lead the rebellion. We get a more revealing look at the control room, which I’m sure will be where we spend some good time. We saw the still of Haymitch writing on that same screen showing the map of D13.

And we get to see District 8 before the bombings. I have to say I really like the look of it, except there don’t seem to be as many injured people unless that’s more of a holding area. And of course possibly my favorite moment in the trailer is seeing Natalie Dormer’s green vine tattoo on the buzzed half of her head.

“Any association of the Mockingjay symbol is forbidden.” President Snow sets the stage like that’s the primary conflict, which symbolically it is, but that just means they may be saving the idea of Peeta being captured for the full length trailer, if they introduce it at all.

We see the stairs where people are panicking in D13 heading down before the bombings, which weren’t the concrete ramps with huge doors we get in the books, but that’s a small detail they changed. I just don’t know how they are going to deal with Prim going back for Buttercup visually if she is getting to safety with seconds to spare, and then having to descend a flight of stairs holding a cat.

Since I’m from Georgia where they filmed the movies, I think it’s funny they shot in a planted pine forest where the trees are all in neat rows. It makes it too easy for the Peacekeepers to shoot at their targets. And as Crystal stole my thoughts when she called it, “Dawn of the Planet of the Lumberjacks,” I couldn’t help but laugh at that part. Everybody who has ever climbed a tree knows pine trees aren’t good climbing trees. And everyone who has or hasn’t been shot at knows climbing a tree would be the absolute worst idea ever. They’re just trying to show off…damn lumberjacks.

And a minor note. I have no idea what is going on with the explosion at the silo looking things where Gale ducks away from the dust. Possible attack on District 12?

We get our answer to the discussion between Plutarch and Coin from the trailer’s opening. Will Katniss be the Mockingjay and fight? She sums it up nicely I think – “I am. I will.

And Thank God for Katniss. Amen.

About Crystal

A 40-year-old mom to three living in Honolulu, Hawaii, Crystal Watanabe is a full-time freelance fiction editor.

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