This morning while tuning in for the 'Star Wars Celebration' panel, I was expecting the excitement of the event to amp up my passion for the upcoming film. To be honest, I was always looking forward to seeing Episode VII, but I was slightly apprehensive about bringing back something so near and dear to everyone's hearts. Can you really blame anyone after what happened with Episodes I-III?
But after seeing the trailer that was released at the end of the panel, any doubts I had flew out the window faster than the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel run, and my faith in J.J. Abrams and the fate of the Star Wars cinematic universe was rightfully restored.
If you haven't already, check out the incredible [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](movie:711158) trailer below:
Even though the trailer only lasts about two minutes, it is by no means a one-and-done viewing experience. It is packed to the brim with clips and images that deserve to be addressed and speculated upon. So let's get to it!
We start on Jakku
It was announced on the panel that the sand planet we saw in the previous trailer wasn't Luke's home planet of Tatooine, but an entirely new planet called Jakku (pronounced "Jakoo"). Everything seems normal until the camera pans to...
Two fallen ships
Since this takes place after the fall of the Empire, we can see a fallen X-wing Starfighter and an Imperial-class Star Destroyer. Where there are two fallen ships, usually there are many.
"The Force is strong in my family..."
When the narrator mentions his father has it, the camera lingers on the destroyed helmet of Darth Vader. *Shivers down the spine*
Presumably, the narrator is Luke Skywalker talking about his own family, it is slightly strange though that his voice sounds nothing like Mark Hamill. It's also interesting that Luke would use the word "HAS" instead of "had" when referring to his father. I guess you can argue that when a Jedi passes they become part of the Force instead of dying, but still an interesting choice of words.
"I have it..."
The mechanical right hand on R2D2 suggests that this is Luke narrating, despite the confusing voice. Maybe it's Domhnall Gleeson (who might be playing Luke's son) or Mark Hamill digitally altered to sound younger?
The latter is more likely considering the quote is a play on Luke's speech to Leia in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi,
In time you'll learn to use it as I have. The Force runs strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And... my sister has it.
"My sister has it. You have that power too..."
It's really only touched upon in Episodes IV-VI, but Luke's sister Leia is Force sensitive. Her ability to "always know" certain things wasn't just womanly instinct! It's revealed in the books that her midichlorian count is around the same as Luke's and she later seeks Jedi training from Luke.
It also looks like rumors may have been true and we're seeing Luke's lightsaber (previously Anakin's) that fell from Cloud City! But is being handed to Leia? Despite the rather royal looking robe and ring that could suggest "Queen" Organa Solo, the hand looks pretty young to belong to Carrie Fisher.
The look of the X-wing Starfighters and Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac) of the Rogue Squadron has got me all kinds of pumped for this movie and the upcoming spinoff movie [Rogue One](movie:854980)!
More of the crossguard lightsaber and BB8
Huge "yes" to seeing brief images of two of the most hyped aspects of the movie thus far, the cross-guard lightsaber and BB8. The new droid, BB8, might be small and cute, but it doesn't seem to be having any trouble keeping up with Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega).
Facing new foe
At first glance, it's easy to get caught up in the idea that we're finally seeing the popular Jedi turned Sith, Darth Revan. Fans have been wanting to see the popular character in films for a while, but given the timeline of Episode VII, it would be pretty much impossible.
Instead, this is most likely the new villain Kylo Ren, the character Adam Driver is rumored to be playing. From the limited information we know about his character, Kylo Ren is obsessed with old Sith lore. So, it's possible Kylo Ren either modeled his gear after Revan's, or that he found Revan's actual helmet and is using it as his own!
I can't be the only person thinking that the new Stormtrooper gear looks like it was designed by Apple, right? Not that I mind, but we all saw J.J. Abram's Apple Watch! As for the new emblem behind the Stormtroopers, it belongs to The First Order, the new title for the Empire.
An in-ship battle
Clearly this movie is going to be freakin' intense! Does anyone have any speculation on why the TIE fighter appears to be shooting at Stormtroopers? A hijacked ship perhaps? Then the trailer cuts to...
Do we think this is before Finn is stranded on Jakku? From the few times we've seen him, he always seems pretty sweaty and stressed.
Caped chrome Stormtrooper
This looks like the first real look at Captain Phasma, Finn's commanding officer believed to be played by Game of Thrones' Gwendoline Christie.
More of BB8
I don't know how, but in only two trailers and a panel this little droid has captured my heart.
Rey offers Finn a hand
It seems as if Rey will be getting Finn out of a tight situation or two. This is likely the strong female role for young girls to identify with that Kathy Kennedy was talking about this morning.
The Millennium Falcon is back!
Well, of course it is, but I'm ready to see how the old girl has held up over the last 30 years! Plus, the TIE fighter pilot uniform are looking pretty sleek as well.
And finally, the part that made me jump out of my chair in excitement...
Han and Chewie!
"Chewie, we're home."
HECK YES you're home! There was an actual round of applause heard at the Moviepilot office when Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew showed up together.
Never in my life did I think that the pairing of an old man and a bear-dog would give me goosebumps and make me squeal with excitement, yet here we are. Glad to have you back, Han.
What did you guys think of the trailer? The advertising is strong with this one!
Although it's clear right off the bat J.J. Abrams and George Lucas have very different styles, it doesn't at all feel like this will be a disappointment to fans of the original films.
Since so many of us grew up watching Star Wars and hold it so near to our hearts, it's a massive relief to see that Abrams appears to be updating Lucas' style, as opposed to mimicking or completely discarding it. To be honest, I was a little nervous that we'd see something more like this...
We know that Abrams has always been an admirer of Star Wars, so I'm excited to see a movie made through the eyes of a real fan who will treat the series with the utmost respect. We've been burned before, but I think we're in good hands.
If I missed anything from the trailer that you want to discuss, or if you have any answers or speculation regarding my many questions, please let me know in the comments section!
Now I just have one question left: Is it December 18 yet?