It's been nine and a half years since the last live-action Star Wars movie opened in theaters and just over two years since Disney acquired Lucasfilm and the Star Wars brand. From the get-go, Disney made their intentions clear, to not only continue the saga, but blow it wide open with annualized releases and transmedia, inter-connected storytelling. It's already begun with Star Wars: Rebels on TV and it's only going to keep growing. In fact, there already are already another three directors lined up for four more Star Wars movies after J.J. Abrams launches Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens.
And that brings us to today. The first official Star Wars 7 teaser trailer just dropped online and is trending around the world. Watch it and watch it again because we're going to take a closer look at the brief shots the teaser includes and how it seemingly proves a lot of previously reported plot and character rumors true.
At the top of the month our own Kofi Outlaw recapped the leaked plot details of Star Wars: Episode VII, explaining how the official subtitle of the film - The Force Awakens - may prove at least some of them true. Below are some updated bullet points from that list we'll add to with images from the new trailer.
Impressive and nostalgic visuals aside, it's the narration of the trailer that sticks out, a seemingly cybernetic-augmented voice, sounding like Benedict Cumberbatch (it is actually Andy Serkis), expressing the following:
POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOLLOW!!!!!
(NOTE: While most of the info below has not been confirmed, it's a compilation of what we've heard about Episode VII and can be considered SPOILERS).
"There's been an awakening.
Have you felt it?"
- The setup is a dark future 30 years after Return of the Jedi. Things have not been easy, as The Empire has not simply rolled over and died with the defeat of the Emperor. It's been a long haul fight for both sides.
- The story starts with John Boyega as a Stormtrooper who is shot down on over Tattooine. The sound of an Imperial Probe Droid can be heard in the background as Boyega looks around, seemingly panicked.
- The rolling droid is inspired by one of Ralph McQuarrie's original trilogy ideas for R2-D2 where he "thought of him as running on a giant ball bearing - just a sphere, a circle, wheel-like. He had gyros so he could go in any direction on this ball."
- There he encounters Daisy Ridley's character, who helps heal and protect him, thereby starting his transition to the good side.
- After encountering a severed hand holding a lightsaber, Ridley and Boyega try to return it (either out of duty or for profit). That could be it in the above image.
- Ridley's character is said to be a street-smart salvager working for Max von Sydow's old demented cyborg character. She brings him the lightsaber for info - but he may be an old member of the Jedi-hunting Inquisitors, who are connected to the Sith.
- Ridley and Boyega's quest ultimately leads them to Han Solo and Chewbacca, who recognize the lightsaber as Luke Skywalker's. Above you can see a lightsaber seemingly attached to the speeder and below you can clearly see the Falcon on Tatooine..
- With the kids in tow, Han and Chewy set off to find Luke, who has supposedly been missing since the events of Episode VI (or sometime thereafter). We're guessing that's where the Tie Fighters come in.
- After they leave Tatooine (after what we see in the trailer), they do find an older Luke Skywalker, (possibly half-crazy living in self-imposed exile) who tells them of the Inquisitors - who are indeed actively hunting down any Jedi Masters or Jedi-in-training when Episode VII takes place - and how they are very much connected to the Sith. (The first Inquisitor was introduced in the Star Wars Rebels cartoon series.)
- For more plot details, and how the origins of the Inquisitors will be revealed, click here. It explains how Gwendoline Christie and Lupita Nyong'o fit into the story and teases a showdown on an ice planet with a mysterious cybernetic villain.
- That lightsaber powering up you can hear at the end, that's Luke's first lightsaber that Obi-Wan gave him in A New Hope- the one he lost in the Bespin cloud city in a duel with Darth Vader.
"...The dark side.
And the light."
It's just a teaser of course, but by all accounts, what we've heard about John Boyega and Daisy Ridley's characters so far, are now confirmed. Boyega is a stranded trooper and Ridley is a Tatooine local, piloting her own transport speeder which looks like it's used for salvaging. We also see the Falcon flying through the dunes of Tatooine, presumably after meeting up with these characters where they begin their adventure to find Luke Skywalker.
Without context, it's just guess work as to what the Sith warrior (with a new lightsaber design) scene and the X-Wing sequences are from, but visually we can applaud J.J. Abrams and company for honoring the sounds, visuals and tone of the original trilogy. You can feel the saga when hearing the X-Wing and Falcon engines roar, or when those Tie Fighters appear on screen. Even the look of the Rebel pilot's (Oscar Isaac) helmet and the X-Wing interior are appropriately grungy compared to the all-too-shiny prequels.
The questions remain, who is the lighsaber-wielder, who is offering the voiceover and can that lightsaber crossguard hilt actually stop an opponent's lightsaber from sliding down the blade?
For the next trailer, we can only hope to see the interior of the Falcon and the original characters on screen. What do you want to see most in the next Star Wars 7 marketing push?
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is directed by J.J. Abrams and stars Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow alongside original stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
Sources: Star Wars: Insider #135