It may be hard to believe, but we stand just over four months away from the theatrical premiere of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (at the time of this writing). And though Lucasfilm has mostly kept things close to the chest, time dictates that soon they’re going to have to open the vault and start revealing more information about the studio’s highly anticipated film.
The new wave of marketing seems to have commenced, thanks to some in-depth coverage from EW that detailed everything from Harrison Ford’s triumphant return to backstory on Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren. And as fans await the film’s third trailer (which will debut this fall), they can bide their time checking out a new poster for the movie.
At the 2015 D23 Expo, attendees were lucky enough to get an exclusive one-sheet by famed artist Drew Struzan. It features characters many moviegoers should be familiar with now – Han Solo, Finn (John Boyega), Rey (Daisy Ridley), and Kylo Ren. However, the contents of the poster may cause a few raised eyebrows.
As you can clearly see, Finn is wielding a blue-bladed lightsaber, which theoretically could be Luke Skywalker’s old weapon from The Empire Strikes Back. We know that the saber has some kind of presence in Episode VII (it was featured in the second teaser trailer), and it’s long been rumored to be the catalyst of the Force Awakens’ plot. However, this is the first time we’ve seen a piece of Force Awakens marketing that shows someone actually using it.
That newcomer Finn is the one holding the lightsaber is an interesting fact to consider. Though little is known about The Force Awakens plot at this juncture, it seems to suggest the character may have some level of Force sensitivity, and perhaps Finn’s storyline will deal with him marching towards a destiny as a Jedi Knight. Given that Rey has long been speculated to be the daughter of Han and Leia, some fans may be surprised she is not the one with the lightsaber, but for now it seems like only one of the youngsters is on a path to learn the ways of the Force.
Some readers may be disappointed that this is another item of Force Awakens marketing that does not feature Luke or Princess Leia (two of the film’s biggest mysteries), but Captain Solo being the only original trilogy player featured is justifiable. We know that Han will be one of the movie’s leads, and the iconic smuggler has already been shown in the second preview (so the studio is comfortable putting him on a poster). As eager as fans are to see the Skywalker twins, Lucasfilm clearly isn’t ready to put them in the spotlight yet.
Still, with official information about The Force Awakens hard to come by, it’s difficult to complain too much about what is or isn’t on the poster. It has a nice, classic design that maintains the aesthetic of past Star Wars movie posters. And like most studio-sanctioned Star Wars materials, it fuels further speculation about what we’ll see this December.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Star Wars: Rogue One 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.