UPDATE: An Additional Character Name has Been Revealed - See Below For Details.
As has become standard procedure for a film directed by J.J. Abrams, the mystery box has been locked throughout the production process of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It wasn't until the teaser trailer was released a couple of weeks ago that fans got their first official look at what the director has in store; biding their time by seeing what pops up on the rumor mill every now and then.
Things have been so secretive regarding our return journey to the galaxy far, far away, that the names of the franchise's new characters had yet to be revealed, despite us knowing the identities of the actors portraying them for some time. Now, that question has been answered by Lucasfilm in a creative manner that pays homage to the series' history.
EW released a batch of images (head over there for the full set) modeled after 1970s Topps trading cards (which produced a Star Wars line when the original film came out), and on them are the names of the characters seen in trailer. It's another instance of the filmmakers using The Force Awakens as a way of honoring the long tradition of their brand and continuing the "mix the old with the new" promotional style that has defined the marketing campaign thus far.
The images are pictured below, but here is a list of who's who in the new movie:
- John Boyega is playing Finn.
- Daisy Ridley is playing Rey.
- Oscar Isaac is playing Poe Dameron.
- The soccer ball droid is called BB-8.
- The cross guard lightsaber-wielding Sith is named Kylo Ren.
You'll notice that each card has a number on it. Abrams told EW that these figures have some kind of significance, but wouldn't elaborate from there. In trading card terms, the numbers typically identify its place in a collector's series, but it's also possible that their meaning pertains to the film itself. Without much to go off of, it'll be yet another aspect of the movie that fans will debate until the truth is officially revealed.
... As will the names of the characters who are not included in this reveal. Actors like Andy Serkis, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie, and Domhnall Gleeson still haven't been seen as their Star Wars selves yet. There's a strong possibility one of those thespians is behind the evildoer Kylo Ren (since his/her face remains hidden for now), but for the time being their roles are still undisclosed.
UPDATE: Stitch Kingdom (via CBM) has reported another Force Awakens character name supposedly registered by LucasFilm and Disney: Captain Phasma. It's unclear which actor is playing that role - but the popular theory is that it's Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones). Thoughts?
In regards to the people we do know, much to learn, we still have about their backstories. What does the lack of "Darth" (the usual Sith prefix) before Kylo's name mean, if anything? Is Rey's last name "Solo" or something else? For those who enjoy such things, there's still plenty to speculate even as we find out more about The Force Awakens than we knew just yesterday.
In the meantime, this is a nice little treat for fans as the Internet still buzzes about the teaser. It also illustrates that Disney/Lucasfilm has a firm grasp on their product and is in complete control of the flow of information. We'll find out what they want us to know when they choose to tell us. If the last couple of weeks are any indication, all the layers will be peeled back in a slow, deliberate process over the next year. Whenever the next reveal is made public, it's bound to raise as many questions as answers - and make this waiting process all the more fun for it.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be in theaters December 18, 2015.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.