After several months spent poring over “vintage” trading cards, reading fan theories on Reddit, or re-watching last November’s 90-second teaser frame by frame, we finally have another trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Director JJ Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy kicked off Anaheim’s Star Wars Celebration weekend this morning with their highly anticipated panel and premiered the goods to millions of fans in an online live stream. Watch it below.
“The force is strong in my family,” Luke Skywalker explains in a meditative monologue over shots of a wrecked Star Destroyer, Darth Vader’s cracked helmet, an intimate campfire night with R2-D2, and so much more. A lightsaber is passed, Poe Dameron cheers as he leads a squadron of X-Wings, Finn’s mysterious stormtrooper watches in horror as Tie Fighters explode, Rey extends a helping hand, and, yes, Han Solo and Chewbacca return to the Millennium Falcon.
It’s a lot to take in. Couple that with all the news that Abrams and co. divulged in the panel and, well, it’s going to be an exciting day online for Star Wars fans. Among the highlights of the hour-plus presentation include confirmation that the desert planet is not Tatooine but a new world called Jakku; Abrams’ insistence on practical effects (“Building as much as we could was a mandate”); Kennedy’s promise of “wonderful new characters” for female fans; and an arsenal of new behind-the-scenes stills.
Stars John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Daisy Ridley were on hand to provide various details about their characters. Boyega explained that “Finn is in incredible danger and the way he decides to react to his danger changes his life.” Ridley called Rey a “scavenger” living on the aforementioned Jakku. While Isaac declared Poe Dameron to be “the best friggin’ pilot in the galaxy,” adding: “He’s been sent on a mission by a certain princess and he ends up coming across Mr. John Boyega’s character and their fates are forever intertwined.”
If that weren’t enough, a few more promotional photos and artwork leaked online earlier this morning, which is something to be expected as the weekend unfolds. So far, they’re all images of the Imperial kind, specifically new shots of the Stormtroopers and the film’s shadowy villain with the controversial lightsaber, Kylo Ren. Take a gander:
The seventh entry in the Star Wars film franchise and the beginning of the third trilogy hits theaters on December 18th, 2015. John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, and Oscar Isaac all star alongside Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o, and Gwendoline Christie. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker will also reprise their respective roles from the previous films. And yes, John Williams is helming the score.