Ever since moviegoers got a chance to see the teaser trailer for J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there's been one thing predominantly on their minds: when will more footage be revealed? Given the nature of the highly-ancitipated project, it's understandable that fans would be clamoring for an in-depth look at the film, even though it's still ten months away from its theatrical premiere. This is, after all, the first Star Wars movie in a decade - and a sequel to 1983's Return of the Jedi.
The prevailing theory regarding the release date for that second preview has been that it will be attached to the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron (since both Lucasfilm and Marvel are owned by Disney). However, we may get to see a new Star Wars trailer a little earlier than that, as Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy are scheduled to appear at this year's Star Wars Celebration event.
In an official press release from starwars.com, it is revealed that the duo will be kicking off the festivities in Anaheim on the morning of Thursday, April 16. Details beyond that are nonexistent, but it is teased that their participation will launch this year's Celebration "in a big way," and that attendees will be in for "a day long remembered," to quote a famous Sith Lord.
The obvious assumption that many will make is that it's at Star Wars Celebration where the second Force Awakens trailer (or at least new footage) will be released, and those with that belief would be justified. After all, other than bringing a working cut of the final film with him, it's hard to see how the director of Episode 7 could begin the party in a bigger way. Since this is essentially Comic-Con for Star Wars, it would be a wasted opportunity if they didn't showcase fresh clips from the latest movie.
With all signs pointing to a new trailer dropping in about two months time (as of this writing), Star Wars fans will no doubt begin theorizing what will be shown. Hopefully, this will be a full trailer that provides more hints and clues at the overall framework of the narrative (which has been subject to an endless stream of rumors for quite some time). Abrams has done a solid job keeping his infamous mystery box locked up throughout this whole process, so viewers shouldn't expect to see too many secrets spilled, but like the teaser, it should help separate fact from fiction.
Longtime fans of the franchise will no doubt be hoping that this second trailer will give us our first official glimpses of returning original trilogy stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher, but that crowd shouldn't hold their breath. Conflicting rumors have popped up in the past couple of months, one saying that the veterans would be in the new preview, and another claiming that the old guard would not be featured in marketing. The safe money is on Disney once again putting the new faces front and center, but it's not outside the realm of possibility we'll get a quick look at Luke, Han, and Leia.
Regardless of what gets shown at Star Wars Celebration this year, it'll be another step in what has been a surreal journey for Abrams. Once upon a time, he attended the event as a fan of the galaxy far, far away and now he's a major part of it, ushering in a new era of Star Wars movies for the multiple generations of fervent supporters the series has. Hopefully whatever he has in store for the panel is worth the wait; and even if it's not, the final product will be here before you know it.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be in theaters December 18.