Although Star Wars: The Force Awakens is still months away from hitting theaters, it seems the media blitz is now in full swing to make sure everyone knows about this film.

Following up on the first Star Wars: The Force Awakens TV spot hitting Korean television the other day, we now have a cover story from Entertainment Weekly that provides us with new pictures and information on the upcoming film. Before we dive into what was said in the article, a bit of analysis on the images in the gallery above.

  • C-3PO had been rumored for a while to have a red left arm in the film. That is now confirmed.
  • Captain Phasma (played by Gwendoline Christie) is shown in close up. It appears the First Order is using all forms of old Imperial equipment as her blaster looks to be a modified E-11 blaster rifle, the same used by the original Stormtroopers.
  • We finally get a good look at Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, a leader of the First Order.
  • The shot of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) with the First Order Stromtroopers is now confirmed to take place on Jakku, the desert planet.
  • The shot of Rey (Daisey Ridley) is a peculiar one to be sure. Why is BB-8 in a net? What in the world is that creature the scavenger is riding? Very odd.
  • It’s difficult to tell if Finn (John Boyega) was inside the crashed TIE Fighter, or if he’s just running up to it.

As to the meat of the article, it seems that some 30 years after his death, Darth Vader still casts a shadow over the galaxy. It is confirmed that Leia (Carrie Fisher) does come into possession of Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber that was lost by Luke (Mark Hamill) in the duel on Cloud City. Kylo Ren is described as being a “Darth Vader obsessive.”

Arriving at where everyone is in their lives this many years later was more difficult. Apparently director J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan went for long walks with a voice recorder running as they tried to map out the state of the galaxy in the new film. But on the personal level it was more difficult to get down to.

“I thought, ‘Wow, okay, these people have lived — they’re in a different place in their lives, Han and Leia and so on. They’ve lived the same 30 years I have. What would that be like? How would you see things differently?’” said Kasdan. “And I was trying to figure out how I saw things differently, and one of the surprises is that you don’t learn all that much. You haven’t become much wiser than you were, and things are not clearer to you, and the world is just as confusing as it always was — and that’s a kind of lovely thing to get to write about again. Age does not necessarily bring wisdom; it just brings experience.”

Speaking to the future of the new trilogy, Abrams confirmed he will not return for Episode IX, but his plot threads will run through both that film and the middle chapter being handled by Rian Johnson. “We know where we’re going, but only in the broadest sense,” said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “When Rian came in and started writing his script, he started from scratch, other than knowing what we had done in Episode VII and projecting out where it was going. He then sat down and put pen to paper, and it’s 100 percent him.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.