Wow. The new trailer for Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens debuted last night at halftime of the Monday Night Football game on ESPN (Disney corporate synergy!) and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t give me goosebumps. The score, the sounds… it takes me back. Let’s break down the main shots we get to see in the new trailer and see if it tells us anything.
Thanks to Lego toys and stuff like that, we know the masked figure we first see is Rey. She’s some sort of scavenger on the desert planet Jakku (not Tattooine). Is her journey meant to mirror Luke’s modest beginnings or will it turn that idea on its ear? Apparently those goggles are scavenged from an old Stormtrooper helmet.
Rey descends deep into some sort of rotting structure. Best guess is it’s the Imperial Star Destroyer we saw crashed into the sand dunes back in the first trailer. Will she find anything that leads her into a bigger story or be plucked from obscurity for reasons out of her control and swept into a new destiny? We hear a voiceover here of a woman asking: “Who are you?” Supposedly this is Maz Kanata, the space pirate alien that will be played by Lupita Nyongo.
Here’s Rey and her droid BB-8 traversing the desert at what appears to be sunset. BB-8 is pretty adorable. And apparently he was a working remote control ball droid, not a CG creation. There’s an answer to the question we just heard and it’s probably Rey talking: “I’m no one.”
In the distance, a ship is lifting off. Can’t tell what shape it is. The super close forgeground ship looks a lot like the HWK-290, one of which is called the Moldy Crow and piloted by Kyle Katarn in a bunch of video games. But that’s probably a big stretch. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Easter Eggs or callbacks to any of the films but I wouldn’t expect it to include stuff from games or comics.
UPDATE: My friend Ben points out that the thing in the foreground is almost definitely the foot of an AT-AT. I agree.
Rey looks up from tinkering on something. Who does she see? Best guess is Finn (we’ll see him shortly).
We’ve seen a version of this shot before but mostly of the Stormtroopers with the flag behind them. Apparently the remnants of the Imperial fleet have rebranded themselves The First Order. In the center is General Hux. Don’t know much about him yet.
Here’s Finn. He takes off a Stormtrooper helmet, looking very upset. I think he’s decided he’s gone down the wrong career path. We hear (presumably) Finn in voiceover saying: “I was raised to do one thing…” Sounds like he was raised to be a Stormtrooper without really knowing anything about the larger universe.
Here’s a shot of a damaged TIE Fighter (new black design!) hurtling towards what appears to be Jakku. I would guess it’s Finn’s ship, damaged in a battle above the planet. But that’s a fairly big guess. The voiceover continues: “…But I’ve got nothing to fight for.” So obviously this person does not truly believe in the mission of this army. The ship has a red marking on it that according to the toys denotes it’s part of a special mission force. The weirdest thing about this is when we see the ship explode and start to fall the sky isn’t full of X-Wings or anything. There’s just a lone Star Destroyer. Does it shoot the TIE? Does the TIE just malfunction? Or are there more effects work to come?
Finn looks pretty ragged. I guess he’s lucky that he landed wherever he did because he appears to have no supplies and it’s a desert PLANET. Anyway, he sees some sort of settlement, probably wherever Rey lives. Finn seems to be in a black jumpsuit that the Stormtroopers wear under their armor. Not sure where he got that jacket. Maybe he bumps into some locals before he finds this town.
Now we see the bridge of a large ship or a building and villain Kylo Ren in the center. There’s a voiceover that’s definitely actor Adam Driver’s voice (he plays Kylo Ren), saying: “Nothing will stand in our way…” I’m not sure what the red energy is. At first I thought it was some sort of space battle but because of some shots we see later in the trailer, I now think he is in a building and that’s an energy superweapon, not unlike the Death Star. I got the idea from the new poster that shows such a weapon.
The voiceover continues: “I’ll finish… what you started.”
And when he says that line we also see Darth Vader’s burnt Halloween mask. Supposedly Kylo Ren is NOT a Sith but he does believe in the Force and may be collecting important objects that Sith lords have had. Could someone learn how to access the Force with such objects despite their midochlorian count? I sure hope we get stats on screen of everyone’s midochlorian count.
Now we see Kylo Ren slowly wave his hand in front of the face of a prisoner. It seems to be X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron. Kylo Ren sort of does something like a Jedi mind trick hand wave but it does not seem to affect this guy at all. Instead he’s crying and then turns to rage and screams as we transition to…
A massive forest eviscerated by a blast. A blast of red energy. So possibly the superweapon that Kylo Ren seems to have? Does Finn help Poe escape? If so, he may want to leave the ship but get shot down for such an act, I suppose.
The music finally transitions at this point to something we recognize: the somber theme most famously played at the end of Empire Strikes Back. The Millenium Falcon blasts across the surface of Jakku with TIEs in pursuit, weaving through the wreckage of massive starships. A woman’s voice (probably Rey’s) says, “There was stories about what happened.”
We cut to Rey and Finn aboard what’s clearly the Falcon. And we hear Harrison Ford’s unmistakable Han Solo voice answer: “It’s true.”
And we get to see (old) Han! He continues: “All of it.
Now the music starts to become a bit more triumphant and we get very fast shots of the next few scenes. The Falcon going through Hyperspace!
Kylo Ren and some troops on a rainy planet. Where is this? It doesn’t seem to match any of the other environments we’ve seen and his troops aren’t Stormtroopers. But there’s one thing we definitely haven’t seen any of: Luke Skywalker. We know Mark Hamill is in the movie but we have no idea what Luke’s role is. Maybe Kylo Ren would want to go after him since he’s Darth Vader’s son? It’s big speculation but maybe this is somewhere Luke has sort of hermited himself away to, like Yoda on Dagobah or Obi-Wan on Tattooine.
Han’s answer from earlier continues: “The Dark Side…” In this shot we see Stormtroopers getting in formation for something coming their way. If you look at the lake in the distance, it’s got to be the X-Wings we saw in the first two teaser trailers.
And it appears to erupt into a full-on dogfight. Interesting that so many of these battles are happening in the atmosphere of a planet instead of outer space. Maybe it should just be called Wars VII.
Fighter pilot Poe Dameron gets out of his X-Wing cockpit and greets Finn by grabbing his shoulder. Finn is either overwhelmed by all the troops or stunned to have seen Poe for some reason. Either way, as he turns and looks dumbfounded, Han’s line continues: “…A Jedi…” Interesting that they’d time that to a shot of Finn. Rey seems to have the story echoing Luke but is she a Skywalker or just a person? Is Finn the Force sensitive person? It seems likely when you combine it with the final shot of this trailer. Or maybe they both are Force sensitive. It’s almost like the Force is awakening.
A big explosion has Finn, Rey and BB-8 scurrying. Who’s after who? Are they after Finn for leaving his post? Does Rey have something important? Do they just really want to play with BB-8?
Han escorts the trio to what appears to be a base. Combined with the lush grass, I’m guessing this is the planet with that lake where we just saw the X-Wing/TIE battle. Finn seems amazed by the droid walking by. He must really be sheltered.
Han finishes his line: “It’s real.” Meanwhile, Kylo Ren’s ship lands along with transport ships and the Stormtroopers are burning a village to the ground. It seems like a simple place. So they’re probably looking for someone or something that’s hidden. Luke? Finn? No way to know yet.
A woman’s voice (probably the same one we first hear in this trailer) says: “The Force. It’s calling to you…” Meanwhile, we get a quick shot of Captain Phasma, who appears to lead the Stormtroopers.
Here’s a shot of Rey crying. But she doesn’t seem to be on Jakku. It looks wet. Maybe that rebel fortress place. Who is she meeting and what has she learned that’s upset her this much?
We get a quick shot of a stunned Finn, Chewbacca and Han Solo lowering their arms. They appeared to have been captured but are maybe rescued or at least their captors have been distracted by something big.
It’s easy in this quick shot to focus on BB-8 on an X-Wing in the foreground or all the TIEs buzzing towards them but look on the ground. There’s a massive trench.
Here’s a better shot of that trench. This appears to be the snow planet that the First Order was organizing all those Stromtroopers on. But the trench reminds me of the Death Star. Perhaps they’ve found a way to turn a planet into a superweapon instead of building a new battle station in space?
A brief shot of Rey shooting a blaster in a jungle environment. She looks pissed about something.
This is a blink and you miss it shot but we get to see Leia! And Han is holding her. They look upset. They’re at the rebel base. I guess they’re not rebels anymore. I don’t know what they’re called. I hope these two are still together. It’d be sad if not. But Leia seems upset about something personal, not just how a battle would go.
And as the trailer draws to an end, Finn ignites a blue lightsaber on a snowy forest area. But does he have any training? Where did he even find such a thing?
As Kylo Ren ignites his saber and they swing at each other it cuts to black and the woman’s line from a few shots ago finishes: “…Just let it in.”
The movie opens December 18th and you can buy tickets now. Or did you already?