[Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158) was one of the highlights of SDCC, with a panel that entertained and enthralled, ending with a surprise firework show. They even released a showreel featuring unseen snippets of the movie, along with interviews with the cast and touching reunions between the original trio. It was fantastic! And we've only got more exciting things to come. The next trailer will be unleashed soon, and with a huge production team, leaks are inevitable. Beware fakes though! So what can we expect from the next trailer, and what does the showreel tell us?
Oh, and if you haven't already, watch the showreel now!
Blink and you'll miss 'em! Just in case you missed the highlights, let's break them down.
Keen to set The Force Awakens apart from the prequels, the reel begins with the promise that Episode 7 will, as many fans suspected, feature practical effects. The prequels made full use of the CGI that was available at the time, generating everything from droids to cities to aliens with computer animation.
While this was impressive, as the technology advanced the effects looked dated very quickly. And many fans who appreciated the innovative practical effects of the original trilogy took this as a black mark against the prequels. The current trend is that of nostalgia, appreciating the feats of engineering that were involved in creating fantastic sci fi worlds. The Force Awakens is definitely running with the popularity of practical effects: this film "has a physicality to it", and the reel showed us both the Millennium Falcon and the X-Wings being built (not just the interior sets, but the actual crafts themselves).
So this promise really wins J.J. Abrams fan points, and just fuels the hype surrounding Episode 7!
Leia! That's right, we finally got a look at our favourite galactic senator. She seems to be inside some kind of base... Could she be talking to the rebel troops (who aren't rebels any more, but the force of a new government)? There is definitely going to be a lot of action in this film. The reel showed us TIE fighters with red stripes, smoldering and burning after what must have been a vicious battle. It's going to be First Order Stormtroopers vs the new generation of rebel fighters, and it's going to be messy.
What comes next?
By releasing information a bit at a time, Abrams is really keeping fans guessing. But there are some major topics that we're being fed info about, and it's easy to predict what we're going to find out next. So here's what to expect from the next trailer...
Poe Dameron caught by the First Order! The reel showed Oscar Isaac's character being dragged away, presumably after the X-Wing assault that we caught a glimpse of in the first trailer (the X-Fighters skimming across the lake, remember?) What could be Poe's fate? Is this how he meets up with ex-Stormtrooper Finn, and could a budding friendship lead to Finn defecting? And speaking of...
- The First Order pursuing Finn. We've seen Finn and Rey running from explosions, and this pursuit is definitely going to be a major factor in the plot. At the moment the timeline seems to go like this. Finn defects (for some reason), meets up with Rey, they flee from a First Order attack, they meet up with Han Solo and escape in the Millennium Falcon. (Read more about this here!) There was also a leaked photo showing Captain Phasma and the mysterious General examining some report about Finn. Chances are that the next trailer will go into this in greater depth, maybe revealing why Finn chose to leave the Order!
The Grave Robber's identity. This enigmatic figure has spurned many a fan theory since their appearance in the first concept art, yet the trailers have so far neglected to give us any hints as to who they might be. Though we've had very little recent information, this is still a hot topic, so it's likely we'll get another hint about their character in the next trailer, just to keep us guessing! You can read more about the Grave Robber and just who they might be here.
Maz Kanata's big reveal... Lupita Nyong'o featured in the reel, all dressed up in her motion capture gear. Her character, Maz Kanata, is an alien, and will be portrayed in the same way that Smaug was created for The Hobbit: using motion capture technology to graft the actress's movements onto a CGI creature. So far we've only seen the behind-the-scenes creation of Kanata, and Abrams is clearly building up to a big reveal of what she will look like in the final film. We also have no idea what role she will play in the story! Hopefully the next trailer will give us a taste of what this new alien is like.
- More characters, more problems! There's a host of villains that have yet to be fully revealed. The General is one that hasn't yet featured in a trailer, as well as Max von Sydow's unnamed character, and Andy Serkis' Supreme Leader Snoke. We're due an update on just how these characters are involved, so the next trailer should feature some information on this. And we'll probably get a better look at Kylo Ren too. He featured in Variety's exclusive photoshoot, and will definitely cause problems for our heroes. We'll also probably see more of this icy planet (not Hoth, but somewhere new)...
All in all, there's a lot to look forward to in the next trailer, and plenty of unanswered questions! We can't wait to see what Abrams has in store for us next.