There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it? Surely, if you’ve been paying attention over the last day and a half, you have. Yesterday, at the Star Wars Celebration, which I honestly didn’t know was a thing, a new teaser for Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens dropped. Whereas the first was Star Wars-y in visuals, sounds and feel, this one dives into the nostalgia headfirst off the top. Let’s take a look!
A speeder zooms across a desert wasteland, dunes in the background. The camera pans to the right, revealing the skeleton of a crashed X-Wing fighter. In the background, the slope of a mountain gradually rises, until… holy crap.
“The Force is strong in my family.”
The unmistakable voice of Mark Hamill, quoting himself from Return of the Jedi. Any Star Wars fan knows where this is going. I myself began to quote along with him:
What an image. Darth Vader’s melted mask and skull.
Luke and R2-D2! Kinda looks like another pyre. Maybe he’s become an Obi-Wan-like hermit on Tatooine? His artificial hand looks like it got an upgrade too, then again it used to have skin on it.
“My sister has it.”
That looks an awful lot like Luke’s lightsaber from Jedi. Is that Leia receiving it?
“You have that power too.”
There’s no shot along with this quote. Who, exactly, is Luke talking to? Does he have children? Could this be Leia and Han’s children? Is one of the protagonists a Skywalker? I don’t know, I haven’t read much about the movie to keep it a mystery. This trailer is certainly doing a good job of that.
More X-Wings! I assume this is the same planet we saw them skimming over in the last trailer.
Evil Sith with the crossguard lightsaber cuts someone down.
Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, not dressed like a Storm Trooper, run from an attacking TIE Fighter on a desert planet, presumably the same one as the opening shots of both trailers. I still don’t know if this is Tatooine or not. Hey, it’s soccer-ball robot rolling behind them!
A quick shot of this guy again in the same fiery environs, probably pushing or choking someone with the force. You know now that I think of it, this looks like it might be the same place Luke is in above. In the background are some kind of mechanical structure, and storm troopers. Speaking of:
Lines of Storm Troopers in formation in front of a black-robed figure on a platform. Who’s that? The Emperor? Are his clones canon? The red banner with black sigil hanging down from this station evokes Nazi Germany (the first film could be interpreted as a World War II allegory), the sigil not quite like that of the Galactic Empire, but not unlike it either. New-styled TIE Fighters are off to the left, while the landscape in the back is cold and icy and adorned with turrets. A spitting image of Hoth, but likely not Hoth.
Daisy Ridley looks up. ’nuff said.
TIE Fighters fly through the air. Again, what are they doing on a planet?
Inside the hangar of what I would imagine is a Star Destroyer, a rogue TIE Fighter attacks stationed Storm Troopers and blows up some docked TIE Fighters. We’ve seen hangar action in the prequels too, but this one looks much closer to Jedi than those did. That’s good!
John Boyega is not a Storm Trooper. Again, this is maybe some Trojan Horse style plot, not unlike the first Star Wars film. He’s sweaty and panting, obviously terrified and perhaps has just done or seen something regrettable.
A shuttle with folding wings flying accompanied by four escort craft return to an Imperial Star Destroyer. This is another visual I’ve not seen since Return of the Jedi, and boy is it welcome. The shuttle clearly derives from the old Lambda-class, while the ISD itself appears very close to the original, albeit a bit darker?
Who’s this guy!? Another villain? He looks like a badass mixture of a Storm Trooper and a TIE Fighter pilot, and this is the only shot we’ll see of him yet. Hopefully this film doesn’t have too many secondary plot lines…
Soccer-ball robot! I think I love this little guy. I hope he’s this generation’s R2-D2. Hey, wait a second. This place looks familiar. The ladder in the background, the grungy, rounded corridor frame…
Daisy extends a hand to John, who’s again on the ground, sweaty and panting. I would posit that this is after the explosions we saw earlier. He ponders a second, then gets up … without actually taking her hand. Hmm.
The Millennium Falcon! I know we already knew it was returning thanks to the climax of the first teaser, but I can’t help myself. It’s so good to see it back. It’s fleeing TIE Fighters, and again I assume this follows (or precedes) the sequence we saw in that teaser. They fly into a tunnel. Except that’s no tunnel. That’s clearly the engine of a crashed starship. And you know what? The configuration of the engines in the background can only mean one thing: this is an upside-down Executor-class Super Star Destroyer. Holy crap.
After a classic reverse POV shot of a TIE Fighter pilot, we’re treated to a chase down into the ship’s structure, not unlike the foray into the second Death Star in Jedi. This trailer is hitting all of the nostalgic beats, but unlike the prequels, this reeks of ruins — from Vader’s mask to the wreckage of classic starships. The Star Wars universe has aged as we have, and this time we’ve gotten back on the ride.
Han and Chewie! Shit just got more real. The first reveal of the old cast in the new film. As if I wasn’t already interested! They’re on the Falcon, of course. Chewie’s got a Bowcaster, of course. And Han, well he’s wearing the same clothes he wore in Jedi. That’s… well, nostalgic I guess. I can’t believe we’re seeing these two together again. Han is naturally older, but Chewbacca hasn’t aged a day! Now the question becomes: how do these two fit into the chaos and intrigue of what we’ve seen? I’m cautiously skeptical, but getting more optimistic the more I see of this film.
It’s been almost five months since the first teaser and it’s just about eight months until release day. Time has flown — hopefully the wait until December is as short as the wait for this second trailer has been. Each time a new one comes out, the fact that Star Wars is actually coming back, the fact that the old cast is returning and probably not just peripherally, the fact that it’s not George Lucas writing or directing these new sequels, all of these things become more real. I’m staying reserved and cautious, but man, I can’t freakin’ wait for this film.