I’m not a Star Wars expert. I watched the original trilogy obsessively as a kid—what kid didn’t?—but (unfortunately) I’m no historian. There are many people better equipped to talk about the trailer that was released yesterday. But I’m still really, really, really excited about what I saw, so I’m going to take a crack at it anyway (hopefully many of you can chime in with your thoughts, too; if my speculation is too ridiculous or unrealistic, feel free to correct me!). There’s too much to discuss not to. Even though we’re more than a year away from the film’s release, the Internet is running wild with excitement. Episode VII very much looks like the Star Wars many people grew up loving in the 70s and 80s (real locations, reliance on man-made objects, not CGI).
First thing’s first: we’re introduced to John Boyega, of Attack the Block fame, right off the bat. He’s supposedly the titular hero of the new film(s), so it’s good that we’re getting his introduction out of the way; he doesn’t talk, and we only see him for a brief second, but we see get a great look at his face, as if to say, Here’s your hero. Our narrator sets the entire movie up, saying, “There’s been an awakening… Have you felt it?” It’s difficult to tell whose ominous growl that is in the teaser. Around the blogosphere, many believe it’s Andy Serkis, who is confirmed to be in the film. There are others who believe (or hope) it’s Benedict Cumberbatch; oh, that Cumberbatch.
So up pops Boyega, who is wearing a freaking stormtrooper suit. Why? We don’t know. But he’s panicked (confused) as to where he is; we (the viewer) aren’t sure where he is, either. But, I mean, yeah, it’s a big desert, and Boyega is in trouble. Maybe he just escaped from somewhere, or perhaps he was just involved in a major battle. Is he fighting for the Empire at this point in the film? Or has he just gone undercover? The suit looks tattered, beaten up, scuffed. He (or at least the suit) has been in a battle or two.
And then we cut to some new kind of cutesy robot, which is essentially a ball with a droid head floating on top; yep, it probably belongs to the R-series lineup, those squat, three-legged robots that typifies RD-D2. It looks to me like some sort of recon robot, though that’s purely speculation. Folks believe it belongs to Daisy Ridley’s character, who we also get a brief glimpse at. But that robot; it’s cute and charming and precisely how we’d want a Star Wars robot to be. It also makes the most wonderful little beeps and boops. Perfect Star Wars.
Another cut back to a group of stormtroopers wearing what look to be new helmets. They look mechanical, brooding, mindless. The camera is focused on one stormtrooper in particular, though we obviously don’t see who it is because he’s wearing a helmet. He’s visibly shorter than the others in line; is that Boyega? Perhaps. We then get a quick glance at a new blaster concept, which looks like a more refined E-11 blaster.
The whole scene leaves a lot more questions than answers. The ship descends and the main doors open up, though it’s very difficult to tell what the doors are opening up to. It’s dark out, and there are some lights in the distance. But that’s about all I can discern from the quick cut. The stormtrooper crew is very clearly prepared for some sort of battle. The where, what, who and why is unclear. Are the stormtroopers looking for someone? Or something? Or are they just on a mission to destroy?
We then meet Daisy Ridley’s character, who is supposedly playing someone named Kira. Everything up to this point suggests she’s actually the daughter of Han and Leia, but nothing has been 100-percent confirmed just yet. It would fit in nicely with how we’d expect the story to have moved on since Episode VI. Remember, this is happening 30 years after Return of the Jedi, and Ridley looks about the right age. It’s important to note what she’s wearing: a lot of people have pointed out that the goggles on her head are salvaged from an old stormtrooper helmet. She’s obviously a bit of a rebel which, I mean, her dad was a bit of a loose-cannon himself. Ridley is running from something, though we don’t get to see what. Off in the distance are a few structures, but it’s difficult to tell if that’s a city or just a bunch of space junk.
Oscar Isaac’s character is then introduced, piloting what appears to be a new X-Wing. We’ve seen some pictures of these new ships before, but it’s so awesome to see them in action. They’re flying low over what is probably a lakebed, with some beautiful mountains sitting in the background. Again, it’s unclear what’s actually happening in the scene, but it’s probably just before some fighting takes place.
Back comes the narrator: “The Dark Side, and the Light.”
A cloaked figure then enters the frame and unveils a lightsaber with a crossguard. The figure, who might be played by Adam Driver, stumbles through a dark, cold location; wind is blowing fiercely. Notice how the lightsaber lights up the snow floating around in the scene. It’s a nice touch. Who is this cloaked figure about to fight? I can’t see anyone off in the distance. Judging by the way he’s staggering around, it looks like he’s been beat up pretty good, or at least been involved in something. Who knows what. He could be chasing someone. But is he part of whatever awakening the narrator is talking about?
Just as we’re about to see who or what the cloaked figure is fighting, the Millennium Falcon appears onscreen along with the famous John Williams score. Who’s inside? We follow it around in a kind of loop (on another desert planet) before coming head on to TIE Fighters. More hints to the Empire. Stormtroopers, TIE Fighters, scary cloaked dudes. It all points to a massive battle, and suggests whatever Force that’s been awakened (Dark and Light) is coming back in strength. It’s a bummer we don’t get to see the face of Han, Luke or Leia, but this new film is likely all about the new characters (mostly). Is Boyega maybe in one of those TIE Fighters, and gets show down? Hence his predicament in the desert?
So many questions, so few answers (though I’m sure folks more well-versed in the Star Wars Universe will be able to answer them). With over a year to go until the film officially hits, I think it’s time to start brushing up on my Star Wars history. I know a lot of people don’t like J.J. Abrams, but I’m incredibly excited by the footage that was shown, and can’t wait until we get a proper trailer. Hopefully that hits sooner rather than later.