Update: Entertainment Weekly have just released many more exclusive images. Check them out further down in this article.
The Jedi may have returned at the end of Star Wars: Episode VI, but that doesn't mean the Empire is done for. Not by a long shot. In fact, a new international TV spot for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens seems to suggest the Imperial Forces are as strong as ever!
The Korean spot is essentially a recut of all the previous footage we've seen, however it does feature about 3 more seconds of additional unseen footage. In these snapshot moments, we get a little look at the strength of the Empire post-Return of the Jedi. Check it out below:
As you can tell, the snippets of additional footage do not hang around for long, so Stitch Kingdom has taken it upon themselves to release high quality screen grabs of the moments. Let's break them down below:
An Imperial Star Destroyer
An Imperial shuttle and escorts approaches a slightly redesigned Star Destroyer. I'm not going to speculate about its class, since that will probably just open a can of argumentative science fiction worms. However, this shot does show the Empire (now rebranded as The First Order) is still able to field mighty capital ships.
Having said that, the Episode VII trailers have also shown the Millennium Falcon flying into the bowels of what appears to be a downed Star Destroyer, perhaps showing the diminishment of the Empire's power after the Battle of Endor.
Stormtrooper Parade Ground
Perhaps the most interesting new shot of the Korean TV spot shows an amassed First Order Army in a snowy location. As you'd expect, most are speculating this is Hoth, which would make sense considering the Empire captured the icy planet in The Empire Strikes Back. As well as showing what is technically termed a 'whole sh*tload' of Stormtroopers, we can also see a couple of other interesting features. Firstly, the chrome helmet of Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) is visible, suggesting she spends some time on this location, and secondly, the AT-ATs in the picture appear to have been redesigned.
It is likely this is the primary First Order base, which has been revealed to be called Starkiller Base. According to details revealed by Disney, the facility is commanded by General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), who may be the darkly dressed figure standing to the fore of the stage.
Stuff Blowing Up
And what do you do with all his military hardware? Well, clearly you blow it up with gratuitous explosions. This shot isn't actually unique to the Korean TV spot, but it's still worth looking at closely. It seems to clearly be a First Order base under attack (there appears to be TIE Fighters in some kind of hanger), suggesting the group is by no means invincible, despite their apparent strength. However, it looks like the Stormtroopers are actually being fired upon by a TIE Fighter. Was it stolen by some kind of enemy infiltrator, or are there disputes between various factions in the post-Empire forces? Furthermore, is this scene from an attack on Starkiller Base? It's certainly possible.
On a side note, I sincerely hope the Stormtrooper being flung through the air is accompanied by a Wilhelm scream. It only seems right.
New Images Built On Trailer Action
Entertainment Weekly has just debuted 12 new (and some not so new) images as part of their front page coverage of Star Wars: Episode VII. Although some hail from behind the scenes, others also build on elements shown off in the trailers, including the nefarious agents of the First Order and a slightly redesigned C-3PO. Check them out below:
Rey and Finn Flee The First Order On Jakku
Kylo Ren Shows Off His Impressive Lightsaber
J.J. Abrams also revealed to Entertainment Weekly that there might be more to the mysterious Kylo Ren than meets the eye. In fact, Kylo Ren isn't even his name. Abrams explained:
He is a character who came to the name Kylo Ren when he joined a group called the Knights of Ren. He is not your prototypical mustache-twirling bad guy. He is a little bit more complex than that, and it was a great joy to work with Adam Driver on this role, because he threw himself into it in a deep and remarkable way.
Entertainment Weekly even dropped in an interesting piece of speculation, adding:
There are many implications to this piece of Kylo Ren’s history. If he had a different name before aligning with these mysterious knights, maybe we’ve heard it before. Maybe we know… his parents?
Signs of a Major Battle? Finn Passes A Downed TIE Fighter
Rey Saves BB-8 From A Scavenger With An Impressive Mount
A Red Armed C-3PO and R2D2 Reunite
Kylo Ren and His First Order Minions Raze A Peaceful Jakku Village
Domhnall Gleeson's General Hux
Entertainment Weekly describe General Hux as a cruel leader who hopes to show the galaxy his might.
Captain Phasma In Her Full Chromey Glory
J.J. Abrams and Co-Writer Lawrence Kasdan on The Starkiller Base Set
The similarities between the architecture in this image and the battle picture above, seems to suggest the conflagration does indeed take place in the Starkiller Base.
Oscar Isaac Strides Away From His Black X-Wing
J.J. Abrams and Daisy Ridley On Set in Abu Dhabi
"Chewie, We're Home"
Unfortunately, we might have to wait a while before we see anything new from Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. Director J.J. Abrams recently revealed that no new footage from Star Wars would be debuted at Disney's upcoming D23 expo, suggesting we'll probably have to wait until the fall for new footage. He told Entertainment Weekly:
"It is true, we are showing no footage, behind the scenes or otherwise. In the fall, there’ll be a trailer. We’re thrilled to go to D23 and meet the fans, but it’s a tricky thing to try and rush [footage] for a convention or preexisting event that would, of course, be fun to show something at."
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens will debut in theaters on December 18, 2015.