I had the good fortune to be in the main event Hall yesterday and watched the trailer reveal live with thousands of other fans, and it was quite the experience. Sitting their cheering with the crowd and practically bursting with excitement is something I won’t soon forget. That said, even though they played it a couple times, being at the Celebration Hall didn’t exactly give me much chance to really think about what I was seeing. Fortunately, I’ve had a few chances now to watch it again in a more intimate setting, and can pass on some more information your way on what we’re seeing:
Darth Vader on a Pedestal
The trailer opens with a pretty dramatic shot of a crashed Star Destroyer, but the real bone-chilling moment came a few seconds later when we get to see the melted helmet of Darth Vader, obviously taken from his funeral pyre on Endor. While seeing the iconic helmet in a new setting is exciting, what’s intriguing is the fact that it’s sitting on a pedestal of some sort. Meaning, not only did someone go out of their way to retrieve it, but they have it on display like a collector’s piece.
Rumors have circulated for a little bit now, that the villain in the film, Kylo Ren, is a Sith “fanatic” who is obsessed with older Sith or dark side artifacts and spends time tracking them down. That might explain his odd Lightsaber and mask as well. There are other reports that his attachment to Darth Vader might be on a more personal level too. I’m not sure on that part of it, but I’ve heard an awful lot about the “collecting” aspect to Kylo Ren’s character. We’ll have to wait and find out for sure, but it certainly brings up questions.
One of the neat aspects about the trailer is hearing Mark Hamilly doing the voice over as Luke Skywalker. Based on his words we were able to associate characters on the screen with his dialog. That means this image from the trailer is likely our first “look” at Luke in the new movie. We see a cloaked figure sitting by a fire as he places a cyborg hand on top of R2-D2. It would make sense that he’s still hanging out with R2, but what’s up with his hand?
Is there a particular reason he’s no longer covering his hand with fake skin to blend in? What in the world is he up to in this moment and where is he? It’s pretty clear that this is some sort of camp, which begs the question as to why he’s out “roughing it”. To be honest, this may not even be Luke. We’re assuming at this point based on things we’ve heard before, and it’s timing with the voice-over in the dialog. If it’s NOT Luke, then that raises even more questions as to who/what’s going on here.
We heard the Lightsaber in the first teaser, and got confirmation that the sound we heard was indeed the weapon Anakin wielded in Revenge of the Sith and that Luke used in A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back before losing it (and his hand) on Cloud City. This time around we get to see it, and sure enough, that looks like Anakin’s old saber being handed off by an orange alien creature to an unseen person.
Who’s this person? Chances our it’s Leia. Once again, the voice over at this point makes reference to Luke’s sister and I’ve heard reports about a scene in which Leia receives her father/brother’s old Lightsaber from a new alien. I’ve also seen some concept art and images that look somewhat similar to the outfit the person is wearing (though we only see the side here), so I’m guessing this is, in fact Leia. With that aside, the real question is, why is she being given the Lightsaber to begin with? Not to mention, how in the hell it survived and was recovered from Bespin.
There’s been a lot of rumor about this in the past, with it falling through space in the opening sequence, but the truth is, we don’t know quite yet. We do know that Anakin’s Lightsaber is what initially sparks the journey with our new heroes and is something of a “macguffin” for the film. Perhaps this ties in to Kylo Ren being a collector and trying to track it down. After all, he already has Vader’s helmet, why not his original saber?
The First Order
Out with the Empire and in with the First Order. We’ve learned that this new organization are the new baddies in town and they’re not messing around. Their Stormtroopers look sleek, and come in a variety of packages. From Flametroopers who burn down villages, to Chrome Troopers who are supposed to be the elite commandos, or potentially a new take on “Royal Guards”, the First Order are well organized and likely stem from the remnants of the old Empire. The new trailer shows them off quite a bit and it’s all pretty neat.
For one, the TIE fighters are now black and white. While it’s a simple change, it makes them look even more sharp and streamlined, matching the troopers and everything else. Those aren’t the only ships getting a new look, as the trailer shows us a new take on the Imperial shuttle craft, as it makes its way towards a new Star Destroyer. While similar to the iconic wedge shaped vessels, look closely and you can see the differences. The pointed “nose” of the ship is no longer there, instead being more open like a claw or something. Again, these aren’t huge changes in design, but certainly feel like a natural progression of the Imperial designs 30 years later.
One of the most intriguing shots we get, however, is when you see all the Stormtroopers amassed in a giant parade ground, that’s very reminiscent of the scene in Attack of the Clones where Palpatine is overlooking all the troops loading up for war. In the background, we get a solid look at the First Order’s symbol. It looks as though it’s evolved from the old Imperial Cog, but is markedly different. Under the new banner, however, we can see figures standing at a stage/podium area overlooking all the troopers. This person looks like the leader, (or someone close to it), of the First Order, perhaps giving a pep talk. While some have guessed it could be Kylo Ren…I wouldn’t bet on that.
While Ren is definitely the villain of the new film, he’s not THE ultimate villain either. Much like Vader, he’s a henchman of sorts, and not the overall leader (at least not that I’ve heard), and likely whoever is leading the First Order is his boss. Who that is remains to be seen (possibly Andy Serkis?), but it will be very interesting to see who’s pulling the strings on this new faction.
Finn in Distress
It’s kind of funny to me when I realized that pretty much every single shot of Finn (John Boyega’s character) we’ve seen in these trailers, he’s been freaked out or in distress of some kind. The poor guy seems caught up in events well beyond him and he’s just trying to stay afloat! Regardless of that, one specific shot I wanted to discuss, deals with him removing his helmet.
This scene comes right after we see a TIE Fighter laying waste to a hangar filled with Stormtroopers. It’s a great shot, but raises many questions. Why is a TIE fighter attacking it’s own people? Perhaps, that’s answered in the next shot. If you look closely, you can see a bloody hand print on Finn’s helmet. From what we’ve heard, Finn’s Stormtrooper friend is killed in action during an assault that Finn doesn’t agree with from the start (he has misgivings about the First Order apparently). This starts Finn along a path of desertion, which could explain the TIE fighter in the hangar. Perhaps that’s him trying to escape.
We will have to wait and see how it all plays out, but I would be surprised if Finn wasn’t somehow involved or part of the TIE fighter scene we get a snippet of. Hopefully we’ll see him NOT in distress at some point in the film too!
Han Solo’s Home?
Easily, one of the most exciting aspects of the new trailer, was the first official look at the return of Han Solo and Chewbacca. It came at the tail end of the trailer and provided the perfect end-cap for eager fans anxious to see the original cast back in character. The dialog he says is simple, “Chewie, we’re home”, but it has a couple meanings. At face value, it feels like they’re talking directly to fans, saying they are “home” back in the Star Wars universe once again. But This is obviously a line from the film, and as such, makes one wonder WHY Han is saying this.
Home could mean many things, but if you look at the background, you can see that they’re on the Millennium Falcon. It’s probably safe to assume that this is “home” to these guys, but that begs the next question…how long have they been away from the Falcon? If he’s taking the time to exclaim out loud to Chewie that they’re home, that likely means they haven’t been for a long time. Couple that with the fact that they both have weapons in their hands, and it seems like at this scene, Han and Chewie are just getting back on board and possibly preparing to deal with anyone unexpected on the ship.
We’ve heard a lot of rumors about who will be piloting the Falcon in the film, and that Han and Chewie haven’t been for a long time. There’s word that they’ve been so busy working as commanders in the Resistance army (even rumors about them being in charge of a Star Destroyer have popped up), that the Falcon has been passed to someone else. We still don’t know who for sure, but there’s a good chance that in the shots we see of the Falcon flying in the last couple trailers, it’s not Han behind the controls…
No matter how you slice it, the new trailer for The Force Awakens delivers in a big way. More than just giving us new and exciting footage, it offers up a BUNCH of little clues about the story and state of the galaxy during this time period. What did you guys notice and have questions about? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below!