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.