ByScott Gilley, writer at
Science Fiction cinema is amazing.
Scott Gilley

On Friday, the good folks with Lucasfilm at

Hall H brought us some new footage, straight from the set of

[Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158)

. No finished footage or screengrabs from the movie were unveiled, but plenty of content was revealed about the good guys and the baddies alike in this promotional behind-the-scenes video.

Real settings, rather than CGI
Real settings, rather than CGI

The video starts off with a sequence of establishing shots, first focusing on a desert planet–presumably Jakku. We already know that a good portion of the first act takes place on this sandy world, with the three protagonists (Finn, Rey, and Poe) allegedly meeting up.

The video then progresses to a high-tech interior, possibly a spaceship. One prominent spaceship that has been featured is the crashed Star Destroyer on Jakku and the spaceship in which Captain Phasma was walking from the second trailer.

A quick shot of everyone's favorite astromech, with a nondescript backdrop.

This shot centers on two of the space rogues featured in Vanity Fair's photo shoot on the Episode VII set (which took place in in Maz Kanata's (Lupita Nyong’o) castle), so it wouldn't be surprising if this couple played a small part in the story.

The sleek new design of the First Order stormtroopers is apparent in this BTS replay of the dropship scene from the initial teaser trailer.

A crashed First Order TIE fighter (again, presumably on Jakku) might herald the beginning of Finn's escape from the evil group. This could potentially be the same one that was spotted in the second trailer, shooting Stormtroopers inside of a Star Destroyer hangar.

The Millennium Falcon dominates this concept art, an endearing and persevering symbol of the legacy of the franchise.

An interior shot of the Falcon's corridors.

Mark Hamill provides a voiceover, referencing practical effects and film, and how they are being implemented in The Force Awakens. In this picture, an animatronic alien is being tested, with what seems to be a CG body double of an actor being posed on the monitor.

The fully robotic BB-8 peers around a corner in the Falcon, a shot also featured in the second trailer.

Mark Hamill (reprising his role as Luke Skywalker) discusses the value of subtle changes in the same canon and how they can help, rather than starting fresh. One complaint many people had about the prequel trilogy (I-III) was that it took a different route aesthetically that made it feel distant from the original trilogy (IV-VI).

A First Order Stormtrooper holds an unnamed prisoner at gunpoint, escorting him into a room. This could possibly be one of the protagonists in disguise, or it could be a parallel storyline.

Lupita Nyong'o wears a Vicon mocap rig, capturing her motion input in order to animate the character Maz Kanata.

Anthony Daniels is suited up into the iconic golden plating of protocol droid C-3PO.

A camera utilizing real film, a value that was previously discussed in the trailer–keeping older, retro ideas alongside new innovations.

Preparing to shoot in the desert. A spaceship (possibly the Falcon) can be seen on the right.

JJ Abrams displays his enthusiasm about filming The Force Awakens, which is greeted by applause and excitement.

A large explosion is seen in the desert, possibly related to the TIE fighter attacking Finn and Rey in the second trailer.

A rebel pilot, possibly Poe Dameron, is sighted with a new blue rebel X-Wing similar to the ones in the first two trailers.

New Sith antagonist Kylo Ren steps out of a dropship (perhaps the one in the first two trailers), surrounded by First Order Stormtroopers.

A First Order flametrooper fires his flamethrower at an object, most likely used as a placeholder for either a person or another CG object.

Simon Pegg, English actor and comedian known for his humorous original characters and roles in other Bad Robot movies (e.g. Star Trek: Into Darkness, Mission: Impossible 5) expresses his joy about being on the set of Star Wars.

Peter Mayhew removes his costume. Mayhew played Chewbacca in the original trilogy, as well.

An alien make-up mount is being sculpted and balanced on this actor's head, another example of practical effects in action.

Droids being brought to life by human actors in costume.

The aforementioned Simon Pegg in costume.

Yes, there are GNK droids in the new movies.

More practical effects at work, this time with a voice changer, makeup, and mask.

The plans of the Falcon.

New footage seen from raw video–a dilapidated building along with Stormtroopers.

John Boyega talks about how overwhelming the experience of Star Wars is as Daisy Ridley boards the Falcon to film an action scene.

This partial mock-up of the Falcon spins and dips via remote control and has two cameras attached to the front.

A huge ball of fire explodes in a battle between Rebels and the First Order, the setting similar to a photo featuring Captain Phasma from Vanity Fair.

Stormtroopers fly backward from the previous explosion.

Various rebels and staff crowd around the Falcon as the sun sets on the Force Awakens set.

C-3PO examines a panel of a display as R2-D2 fades into view.

Domhnall Gleeson (who plays the evil Captain Hux) talks about working with living legends and about seeing rising stars such as Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, and Daisy Ridley.

Admiral Gial Ackbar is back and presumably in charge of a majority of the Rebel Fleet once again.

Nien Nunb (the copilot of Lando Calrissian) is returning, even though Lando is not.

Princess Leia is returning, without the iconic bun. She's also sporting new, less formal attire and the ring that was on her hand in the second teaser.

After much research on what the alien species in this picture is and consultation of friends who also know much about the lore, I have concluded that this is a new species. If you know what it is, comment away.

The footage ends with a shot of Han Solo and company in the cockpit of the Falcon.

Watch the full footage here:

The footage shown at SDCC was the newest bit of info on the highly secretive franchise. A new trailer is not set to come out until later this fall and will be the last one before the movie comes out in theaters. Comment which new character/actor you're excited for!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is slated to be the first movie of three in a new trilogy and is set for release December 18, 2015.


What did you think of the footage?


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