Disney and Lucasfilm may be done releasing trailers for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, but they’ve only just started putting out a flurry of TV commercials for the highly-anticipated film. Each one seems to show tidbits of new footage, but follows the basic Star Wars marketing campaign principle of not revealing anything too juicy just weeks ahead of the film’s premiere (leaked children’s books notwithstanding).
That’s a practice that continues with the latest 30-second spot, which showcases moments from the various action sequences that appear to define the film’s three acts (Jakku, Takodana, and Starkiller Base). Fans can see more of the participants in the fight.
The commercial begins with the now-recognizable shot of BB-8 and Rey (Daisy Ridley) looking up in horror as First Order ships fly through the sky. It’s unknown why they’re bringing so many forces to the jungle world, but if the rumor mill is any indication, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is after the lightsaber Finn (John Boyega) is in possession of. It seems as if Rey, Finn, and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) were followed after their escape from Jakku.
Viewers also get another look at Finn’s battle with a stormtrooper wielding an electric melee weapon. It’s been speculated that the soldiers learn lightsaber techniques as a part of their training, something that has essentially been verified by the wave of TV spots. Both the stormtrooper and Finn (who was part of the First Order) look like they’ve been prepared for an encounter like this, which is a fun new angle for the Star Wars movies to explore. The stormtroopers’ poor aim with blasters has been well-documented in the past. Perhaps they’ll have better luck with swords.
The small sprinkling of new material comes in the beginning, as fans see more of the X-wings that appear to be attacking the First Order’s Starkiller Base. Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is leading the charge with Red Squad and Blue Squad. Among his allies are an unidentified female Resistance pilot and Nien Nunb, the Sullustan who was Lando Calrissian’s co-pilot during the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi. There’s also a glimpse of the Millennium Falcon‘s aerial chase through Jakku, with BB-8 going for a ride as Rey spins the ship around to evade her pursuers.
There isn’t a whole lot to read into with this commercial, as it’s mainly showing off action bits to further excite moviegoers for the film’s premiere in December. A lot of the footage is reused from the prior trailers and spots, which seems to be Lucasfilm’s go-to move as they fire up the promotional campaign for the home stretch. In an age where studios are keen to spoil key plot points to get people to the theater, it’s nice to see a blockbuster film rely so much on secrecy. Star Wars is the rare instance where a studio can get away with that, but it will hopefully make the final product all the more rewarding.
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.