Well that was a nice surprise. And you thought Disney wasn’t going to release any new Star Wars footage until the film releases next month.
Early Friday morning, a new international trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released, and it was chock-full of brand new footage. Most of it was just a different angle or extended look at scenes we’ve already seen. But there were also some bits that reveal more about the film’s plot, and how these characters fit into the overall universe.
Oh, and this film looks downright gorgeous. That opening shot of Rey standing next to the downed Star Destroyer is amazing, and I don’t think there’s ever been a prettier shot in all of Star Wars than the one of the TIE Fighter squadron silhouetted by the sun. J.J. Abrams sure has a keen eye for the grandiose.
So what are the big takeaways from today’s surprise trailer? Well, we’re certain Rey knows she has a family. And Kylo Ren will eventually cross paths with Rey on a forest planet. But that’s not all.
Up to this point, Rey has been painted as a kind of loner, a character living on Jakku who scavenges ship wreckage. Other than that, there’s nothing to her that really stands out, nothing to make her special. However, these two most recent trailers (today’s and the one from a few weeks ago) have begun to suggest there’s much more to her.
“I know all about waiting… for my family,” Rey says.
The kicker here is that Rey actually knows she has a family, and that she was, for whatever reason, abandoned by them. The question is why, and when? There have been rumors Han and Leia are Rey’s parents, which a) means she could be Force sensitive and b) Han and Leia are pretty crappy parents.
The whole “why” of it will surely be revealed, but it’s interesting to note that Rey is most definitely aware of her family. Disney initially made it seem like she hadn’t known her family existed at all. If Han and Leia are indeed her parents, we’ll see a reunion at some point, which will provide some nice exposition into each character, and also reveal what has happened between the two lovebirds since Return of the Jedi.
The second big thing in today’s trailer is a line from Lupita Nyong’o’s Maz Kanata, who we heard (but didn’t actually see) talk in the previous footage.
“Hope is not lost today… it is found,” Kanata says.
What is she referring to? This probably comes at a pivotal moment in the story when something really awful happens. But what? We have a few ideas, but we won’t spoil them here. Let’s just say when it happens, Star Wars fans are going to be very, very, very upset. But that will apparently serve as a moment of growth for whoever it is Kanata is speaking to (likely Rey), and have some big repercussions in the rest of the new trilogy.
Finally, that shot of Kylo Ren wielding his lightsaber next to the Rey’s face is just chilling. The thing is barely contained, volatile, which is probably a pretty good reflection of Ren as a character. Not only that, but it suggests he isn’t a full Sith, or hasn’t been properly trained in the ways of the Force, leading to such a shoddily built weapon. He clearly has powers and knowledge of the Force, but they don’t appear to be fully realized, making him incredibly dangerous and unpredictable.
It’s unclear where this scene takes place, and we don’t know the context surrounding the encounter, but chances aren’t the two aren’t alone—it looks to me like Rey, who is visibly shaking in terror, is looking at someone before Ren brings his lightsaber close to her face. Is Finn with her? Is Han? We don’t know!
We’re just over a month out from the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and I think it goes without saying that we absolutely can’t wait.