Moviegoers all around the globe are eagerly anticipating December 18, 2015, when Lucasfilm will finally release Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. Despite the intense amount of secrecy surrounding the project, the studio will not be distributing it to all territories at the same time. It was recently announced that China would have to wait until January 9, 2016 to see it in their theaters, making the one week most of the world has left seem bearable by comparison.
Disney has begun to increase their advertising presence in the Chinese market, first releasing a somewhat controversial poster and now with a brand new trailer (watch it above). As is the case with the flurry of TV commercials that have debuted over the past month, fans have some new morsels of footage and dialogue to examine while the big reveals are kept under wraps.
The preview begins with villain Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) communing with the burnt helmet of Darth Vader, vowing to "show them the power of the darkness" and finish what the Sith Lord started. These lines play over images of stormtroopers invading a Jakku village (presumed to be the movie's opening sequence) and the First Order gathered at the Starkiller Base planet to admire the power of their new super weapon. Things get even more ominous later on when Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) swears that the First Order will wipe out the Resistance at long last, echoing similar statements a certain Emperor made during the old Galactic Civil War.
While the Dark Side gets its moment to shine, the trailer also puts a spotlight on the heroes of the film. Viewers get an extended look at a conversation between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and BB-8, where the droid tells the scavenger that his origin is "classified." Rey responds that where she's from is a secret too, an amusing meta moment that will only inspire more theories and speculation about the young protagonist. There are also shots of Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) in action, which are mostly reused footage from earlier spots.
Nostalgia has been a key part of the Force Awakens marketing, and this trailer is no different. Longtime fans are treated to a familiar sight pulled straight out of the original films: Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) urging on the Millennium Falcon while being pursued by enemy ships. It would appear that the Falcon is going to be quite involved with the action in Star Wars 7, as there's a moment where it crashes onto a snowy surface, which could be the same location as the Starkiller Base.
With so many new previews coming out, viewers have to begin feeling that to watch the next one would be a major gamble (due to the risk of being spoiled). However, director J.J. Abrams admitted that Disney played a huge role in maintaining his trademark mystery box style of filmmaking and ensuring the big plot points are saved for the film's premiere. The Force Awakens is right around the corner and is already a blockbuster hit. The studio isn't going to change their promotional strategy now.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens releases in 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.
Source: Walt Disney Pictures/Lucasfilm