During the opening keynote of Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California we were treated to a number of glimpses into December’s release of Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens. From droids to Stormtroopers, Skywalker twins, new faces, everyone’s favorite Wookie, and some spectacularly bad Star Wars themed dubstep, you could say we got to see quite a bit short of seeing the movie itself. Then, right at the end of the broadcast, Director J.J. Abrams finally let us see the second trailer for the movie. Take a look, if you haven’t already (or if you’re like me… the hundredth time.)
I’ve been tasked with breaking down what he saw in this trailer and attempting to squeeze as much information out of it as I can. There will no doubt be some speculation here, as my head is now exploding due to the overabundance of theories.
Sequence 1: Speeder in the Desert.
The first shot shows the deserts of a new planet in the Star Wars Mythos, called Jakku. For a while now it was believed this desert setting was series staple Tattoine, but Abrams revealed the actual setting during the keynote. Several other scenes in the trailer took place here, with the majority of them showcasing more wreckage like the X-Wing and Star Destroyer pictured here. Are we looking at the galaxy’s scrapyard planet?
Sequence 2: The Force is Strong with the Skywalker Family
When Luke reveals to Leia that they are siblings during Return of the Jedi, he makes a speech about how the force was strong in his family, with his Father, Himself, and Sister all having ties to it. Via voice-over, Luke repeats this speech word for word while a series of clips are shown, beginning with the charred remains of Darth Vader’s helmet. When referring to himself, we see a hooded man put his robotic hand on R2-D2 reassuringly. When he mentions his sister, however, we see one person pass a light saber to another. The screen then goes black and Luke says “You have it too.”
At this point we can’t say for sure who exactly is who in that lightsaber hand-off, so I’m going to speculate a bit. After several slowed down replace of that specific scene, I think we’re seeing one woman hand the saber to another younger one. If you watch closely, the person on the right of the frame has a bunch of bracelets on that slide down her arm, so they are clearly decorative in nature and very fitting of Leia. (She’s royalty, after all. It fits!) It looks like she’s handing it to another woman, so this could perhaps be the new female lead played by Daisy Ridley, or another character we don’t know about yet. An educated guess here would be that Leia is handing it to a family member. Possibly the daughter of either Luke or Leia, keeping it in the family. Naturally.
It’s also interesting to note that unless there are a lot of similar looking lightsabers out there, the one shown here appears to be the one Anakin Skywalker passed down to Luke, which was then lost at Cloud City when Luke’s hand was severed. Cue the Lando Cameo.
We get a whole bunch of quick shots in succession here. First is a squadron of the redesigned X-Wings flying through a river valley, followed by a shot of one of the new characters, Poe Dameron, portrayed by Oscar Iassic. He’s clearly enjoying himself in that cockpit. We then see new characters Rey and Finn (who do not have confirmed last names but are portrayed by Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, respectively) running from what appears to be an attack by TIE Fighters.
We get a really revealing shot of the new villain for the movie, named Kylo Ren, holding the infamous new lightsaber design teased in the first trailer. We know almost nothing about him at this point, except that he appears to be leading a squad of Stormtroopers into battle and that, generally speaking, red lightsabers means bad guys.
Our next shot is of a battalion of Stormtroopers in front of what is presumably the new icon of the Galactic Empire. Clearly the emperor’s death in Jedi did not leave them as defeated as fans have believed the past thirty years, as they are clearly geared up and ready for war, sporting updates to just about all their armor and weapons. This scene reminds me of pictures of Nazi military rallies I remember from history classes. Very ominous imagery. Take note of the black robed figure on the platform behind them. Perhaps a new Emperor has risen to power? Could this just be Kylo Ren doing a villain-esque monologue? Either way, it is very reminiscent of Chancellor Palpatine’s scene at the end of Attack of the Clones, where he oversees thousands of Clone Troopers preparing for war.
We then get another quick shot of Rey, some flying TIE Fighters, and some Imperial-on-Imperial violence in a TIE docking facility, complete with aerial coverage from one Stormtrooper.
We follow with a shot of Finn without his helmet on.. It was confirmed during the keynote that he’s actually a Stormtrooper and not in some rebel disguise, but would not elaborate on the level of evil he is in the film. Following that, we get a shot of some new spacecraft, including shuttles, escorts, and a deadly looking new class of Star Destroyer.
More quick shots, starting with a chorme armored Stormtrooper (with a cape!), BB-8 peeking from behind a corner, and a shot of Rey helping Finn (sans armor) up from the ground.
The next sequence shows the Millennium Falcon being pursued through more junked star ships by a TIE Fighter, bringing back memories of the attack on the second Death Star. This is probably more of the scene we saw at the tail end of the first trailer, and probably still takes place on Jakku.
And the final shot, which is probably my favorite, is of Han Solo And Chewbacca, arriving back home.
The final piece of speculation I’ll drop here is Han’s Solo’s only line of dialog. “We’re Home.”
This quote made my stomach jump for joy, but then sink after having looked closer at the setting of the scene. It looks like they are standing inside the tunnel leading into the cockpit of the Falcon, and it looks dirty. Abandoned, even.
I think that the Falcon was, at some point since the end of Return of the Jedi, stolen from them, or purposefully scrapped or sold. Whatever the reason, I’m guessing this is the first time they had been on it for quite a while, leading to the scene at the end that was so heartwarming. From the looks of Chewie, they may have even had to fight their way into the cockpit, since he’s clearly ready to use that bow caster of his.
All in all, Lucasfilm managed to outdo itself with the second trailer after what was already a satisfying teaser we saw last year. I’m impressed at how little they spoiled while still giving us a ton of new content to obsess over. In an era where trailers are plentiful and seem to ruin whole swaths of movies in advance (Here’s looking at you, Avengers 2) I would be pretty satisfied if Lucasfilm stopped here and let us suffer until December 18th, when the movie finally hits theaters.
Stay tuned to LevelSave for more coverage, including the premier of the highly anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront trailer from Celebration tomorrow!