Warner Bros. gave a big sendoff to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 (as we’d hoped the studio would). That presentation in Hall H included cast and crew members who have been involved with all five of the previously-released Middle-earth film installments – which, like The Battle of the Five Armies, were directed by Peter Jackson. Above, you can watch the official teaser trailer for the Hobbit trilogy finale, as was shown to the Hall H crowd during the film’s Comic-Con panel.

This Hobbit preview, as is to be expected from a teaser, is foremost a promise that there are big things on the horizon. Here, we get the calm before the storm as well as glimpses at the final epic battle depicted in Jackson’s Middle-earth – one that could rival and/or exceed the Battle at Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers and battles from Return of the King, in terms of the sheer size and scope.

Beyond that, there’s a fair amount of imagery and story/character material featured here that’s worthing taking note of. That includes Bilbo’s (Martin Freeman) commentary on the significance of these events to his life, Smaug the Terrible (dragon) – again voiced and mo-capped by Benedict Cumberbatch – laying waste to Laketown, and the familiar characters seen on the battlefield – some of who shall be okay (seeing how they return in the Lord of the Rings trilogy decades later), while others will end up… well, not doing okay, when the dust clears.

CLICK FOR LARGER VERSON

Generally speaking, The Battle of the Five Armies looks to offer a mix of spectacle and poignance that’s more on the level with the fighting and war melodrama in Lord of the Rings – rather than the grand, but often goofy, adventuring that persisted throughout the first two Hobbit films. There should also be more paying off previously-established story threads in this installment, rather than introducing new tangents a la the first two Hobbit flicks.

As such, it seems Battle of the Five Armies may prove able to smoothly bridge together Jackson’s J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy movie trilogies – and thus, better serve the larger over-arching story being told. Besides having dubbed Battle of the Five Armies his “favorite” of the Hobbit trilogy, Jackson has also said the film will be the “most emotional [and] most tense.” We shall find out soon enough if the majority of fans share his feelings about this last journey.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in U.S. theaters on December 17th, 2014.