It was a long, unbearable, grueling journey, but we finally have our second official look at Episode VII, and it’s a doozy. Compared to the first trailer we saw late last year, this one ups the drama significantly—and it even hints at some of the major plot points we can expect when The Force Awakens hits theaters at the end of this year. Star Wars fans: today is the most beautiful, glorious, amazing day.
Because the new trailer features all-new footage, we thought it prudent to break it down frame-by-frame. Despite an astonishing number of rumors and speculation, we still don’t have an official synopsis of the next Star Wars saga; we don’t even know what roles a large chunk of the new actors are playing. We do get a much better look at Kylo Ren and his controversial cross guard lightsaber, along with some hints as to why Finn (John Boyega) is on the run.
Let’s do this.
The trailer kicks off with a gorgeous shot of what has been confirmed by J.J. Abrams to be a new planet called Jakku, not Tattooine, which is where Rey (Daisy Ridley) lives. It seems like a kind of planet for refugees—war-torn and seemingly devoid of life. The caracas of an enormous Star Destroyer sits in the background, while an X-Wing rests in the foreground. Obviously some epic battle went down.
A vehicle of some sort (maybe Rey’s from the first trailer) is hovering through the desert planet.
The screen goes black, and a voiceover from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) kicks in. What he says in the trailer is the same thing he said in Return of the Jedi.
“The force is strong in my family.”
Darth Vader’s helmet is slowly revealed, and it’s completely destroyed.
“My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power, too.”
Some significant reveals in this small span. Not only do we potentially get a glimpse of Luke Skywalker’s robot Terminator hand (touching R2D2), but we also see what is potentially the lightsaber he lost in Empire Strikes Back. Remember that iconic scene? The fight on Bespin in Cloud City? It was originally Anakin’s lightsaber, and was eventually given to Luke, but he lost it when his hand was chopped off while fighting Darth Vader.
Who found it? And who is that person handing it to? It appears to be a woman but that’s not really enough to go on. Is she purchasing the lightsaber? We need answers! There have been rumors that Rey could be Han and Leia’s daughter, but we don’t get confirmation in this trailer.
It’s notable that Vader’s helmet is still out there in the galaxy. We don’t know whose possession it’s in, but it’s obviously in poor shape. Someone from the old empire might be admiring the good old days.
When we do get a glimpse of Luke’s robot arm, he seems to be in hiding, suggesting a lot has happened in 30 years. He’s with R2-D2, but he doesn’t appear to be in contact with anyone else; it’s also unclear where he actually is. Maybe on Jakku?
We then get a second glimpse at Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), who Isaac described as the baddest fighter pilot in the galaxy. He’s out on point of a group of X-Wing fighters, on what appears to be a beautiful and lush planet—much different from the desert landscape of Jakku.
While onstage this afternoon, Isaac said that he’s been asked by Princess Leia to complete a mission, but we don’t know what, or why. Isaac did confirm that while he is on his mission, he’ll cross paths with both Rey and Finn, so perhaps his journey does eventually take him to Jakku.
The trailer cuts, and gives us a quick glimpse of Kylo Ren swinging his cross guard lightsaber. It’s dark—there are Stormtroopers in the background, which could mean that he’s leading some sort of raid. Perhaps he’s looking for the Skywalker family.
Cut to a scene of Rey and Finn running from a TIE Fighter attack, with the cute and charming BB-8 following close behind. In the original teaser that hit last year, it looked as though Finn had crash-landed on a desert planet (we now know as Jakku), but the Imperial Army has seemingly tracked him down. When asked if Finn was a bad guy in the movie, Boyega was coy on his answer. I think it’s clear that he did join the Imperial Army as some point, and then defected. Either that or he joined as part of a covert operation that went wrong.
We get another glimpse of Kylo Ren on an unknown planet, and it’s dark. It looks like a group of innocent people have been wrangled together, again suggesting that Ren is hunting someone. He extends his hand to use the Force, and we get a really good look at his mask, which looks menacing and AWESOME.
A rally of Stormtroopers turn toward the camera, with a new red banner flying in the background. That’s not a traditional Imperial logo, suggesting a new rule is in place. A figure is at the top of a stage overlooking the army, but they don’t talk, and they’re too far in the distance to discern who it is. In the background there are snowy peaks. Evil armies just love setting up home bases on snowy mountain tops.
TIE Fighters come swooping past the camera (probably attacking Rey and Finn), and then we cut to a hanger up in space, probably from the belly of a Star Destroyer. A TIE Fighter is attacking a group of Stormtroopers, so it could very well be Finn who’s piloting the spacecraft; the next cut is of Finn taking off his Stormtrooper helmet, and he’s breathing heavily, like he either did something or saw something.
By the way, these TIE fighters are slightly different colors than previous looks—they look a bit more menacing, but I’m not sure if I dig the new color scheme. They’re mostly black, with greyish/white side panels.
The next cut shows a chromed-out Stormtrooper, who could be some sort of captain. We don’t know their name, and we don’t know who is under the shiny mask. But they look badass, and the cape is a nice touch.
And then comes the final shot, wrapping up the newest trailer just like the first one: with a shot of the Millennium Falcon. It’s being chased by that new Stormtrooper through the guts of a Star Destroyer, but we don’t quite get to see the outcome of the chase.
“Chewie, we’re home,” Han Solo says.
This is our first look at the older (and wiser?) Han Solo, with Chewbacca still faithfully by his side. The shot is from inside the Falcon, and Solo’s words would suggest that he has been separated from his beloved vessel for some time. How he lost it is unclear, but he has it now, and just in time for a new adventure.
We’re still picking the trailer apart scene-by-scene, so there may have been some smaller details that we missed. There’s a lot here, and still a lot to reveal, which Abrams teased on stage at the celebration. Episode VII is still 8 months from release, so there’s a lot that hasn’t yet been shared—we still don’t know how actors like Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis and Domhnall Gleeson fit in.
But we do have two amazing to watch in the meantime, which is enough to tide fans over in the interim.