There are only 60 days left until Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens opens in theaters… but who’s counting, right? As we approach this release date, arguably the most anticipated opening weekend for any film ever, every single news bit and every bit of marketing is being shared, analyzed, dissected, and of course, compared to rumors and speculation.
With that in mind we’re going to take a closer look at today’s release of the new Star Wars 7 poster, a teaser of sorts for tomorrow evening’s Monday Night Football debut of the third full-length Episode VII trailer. For more on that, check out these short preview teasers, then come back here because we have something big to talk about. Death Star big.
In this article we’re going to discuss several Star Wars 7 rumors that could be potential spoilers. If you want to go into the next entry in the saga with a fresh mind, clear of spoilers, you have been warned.
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
Above is the banner version of the latest Star Wars 7 poster from starwars.com. In addition to our first official look at Leia (Carrie Fisher) and noticeable lack of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the key takeaway and point of discussion in this poster is what sits in the stars above at the top right of the image.
Like many of the designs featured in Star Wars: Episode VII, this Death Star-like object takes a cue from the original Star Wars conceptual art by Ralph McQuarrie. From landmarks seen on the new desert planet of Jakku and Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) costume and speeder to the designs of BB-8 and the latest X-Wings, director J.J. Abrams is making a point of pulling in as much as he can from McQuarrie’s original work. Here’s McQuarrie’s take on the original Death Star:
Note the more mechanical and defined structuring around this Death Star’s primary planet-killing weapon. The original trilogy embraced a simpler, smoother design for its Death Stars but Abrams’ version from the poster art seems at least partly based on McQuarrie’s.
Episode VI – Return of the Jedi introduced a second, larger Death Star under construction (but “fully operational!”) and the Rebels successfully destroyed it alongside the Imperial leader, Emperor Palpatine. However, just like that victorious strike didn’t eradicate the Empire or its vast galactic star fleets, so too did it not prevent future factions from building similarly devastating or even more advanced weapons… which brings us to what’s depicted in the new Star Wars 7 poster. We believe it is what it looks like – a new Death Star.
It was unclear from the poster but from the banner variant, we can confirm that the spherical station is massive. The detailing reveals small lights – windows or ports – so it seems the new object will be at least comparable in size to the old school Death Stars. No small moon style. While there’s a thicker meridian trench of sorts on this super weapon compared to Death Star 1.0, this one appears shielded or, if it’s actually a moon or planet, contains an atmosphere.
The Force Awakens takes place 30 years after Return of the Jedi where the political climate has changed but remains similar. There’s The First Order (the new Empire), and fighting against their tyranny stands the Resistance (the new Rebel Alliance). We suspect things are not as simple as they appear though and we certainly don’t expect the trilogy to play out just like the original saga. No, there will be twists and turns, and advanced and complex threats to match the complex universe and its advanced tech and weapons.
Next Page: Is This The Death Star 3.0?
Is This The Death Star 3.0?
So, is this simply an even more dangerous Death Star that belongs to The First Order that’s (finally) X-Wing proof? It’s possible but not necessarily.
We do know The First Order has a super weapon in Star Wars 7 and that it’s much more devastating than the Death Stars. The Official Star Wars website updated its Databank during the “Force Friday” merchandise marketing campaign and described the Starkiller Base (the base loaded with Stormtroopers seen in the trailers) with the following text:
An ice planet converted into a stronghold of the First Order and armed with a fiercely destructive new weapon capable of destroying entire star systems.
The curious wording specifies that the planet itself is a base and that the planet itself is armed. Does that mean this new solar system crushing armament is mounted to the planet and that it, itself, is the Starkiller base? You could argue that the object in the poster matches that description. Or does it mean the super weapon is a smaller craft that deploys from the Starkiller base? Could it be that it’s just referring to this new Death Star that could be orbiting said ice planet?
Rumors from makingstarwars.net claim that The First Order’s Starkiller ice planet base draws energy from its core and relays it to an orbiting object that can then take out a star system. Maybe that’s what this is. Maybe not.
As we explained at the time of this description’s reveal, a weapon that can take out solar systems is not new to Star Wars lore. In the Expanded Universe, there’s a tiny, starfighter-sized craft known as Sun Crusher which could send any star into a supernova, taking out all planets in the system with it. It’s possible that elements of that device have been adapted for The Force Awakens and The First Order has something like it. All we know is that The First Order has a new base of operations and that they can blow up systems.
There’s another possibility though…
What If There Are Two Super Weapons?
The inclusion of another Death Star (even if it’s converted planet we’ll call it this) in this poster means this object is a major plot point in Star Wars 7 but this is only one movie of a story that has at least two direct sequels in the works and likely many more in the future. So, the conflict will be an ongoing one and needs to differentiate itself from what we’ve already seen in the films.
Some of the earliest rumors about the story and characters (a lot of which has since been proven true) revealed that Domnhall Gleeson’s character (later revealed to be General Hux) was actually someone who defected from the Resistance to The First Order because the new-age rebels constructed their own super weapon. According to those reports there are some not-so-good guys in the high ranks of the Resistance so it’s not a case of clear good vs. evil like there was before. Hux might be the son of someone important in the saga and he might not really be as “evil” as Gleeson described him as this summer at San Diego Comic-Con.
It’s therefore possible that since The First Order’s super weapon is on or attached to the Starkiller ice planet base that it has nothing to do with what’s in the poster. What if the poster object is not the ice planet base and it’s a new Death Star actually belonging to the Resistance? Wouldn’t that be neat? That would explain its positioning in the top right of the poster, enjoying a blue-tinted light side glow alongside lightsaber-wielding Finn.
Next Page: A New Death Star Is No Surprise
A New Death Star Is No Surprise
That’s one possibly outlandish theory – That the perceived “good guys” have built themselves a Death Star of their own to battle The First Order for galactic supremacy. We’ve not heard any additional rumors regarding The Resistance’s super weapon outside of Queen Leia potentially having a powerful ship that can collide with and survive ramming into enemy capital ships. That doesn’t seem to equate to a super weapon that would cause Hux to defect though.
The idea of a new Death Star isn’t too much of a surprise since J.J. Abrams sort of teased something related a year ago. When Apple unveiled the first of its line of iPhone companion watches in September 2014, Abrams tweeted his desire to own one from the account of his production company Bad Robot and did so using an intentionally selected background reminiscent of the inside of the original Death Star. Take a look:
Remind if you of anything? Take a closer look at the lighting and compare to these stills from A New Hope:
This could mean nothing or it could be a jab at the rumors at the time that there will be flashbacks featuring Darth Vader and the original battle station in Star Wars 7. Or it could be a tease of the saga’s next super weapon pictured in the poster. You decide.
Share your thoughts and theories of what you expect from Star Wars 7’s two factions and the Starkiller base!
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.