If you’re like us, you’re still recovering from the amazingness of the latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer. It’s so incredibly filled with good stuff, we just had to go through and pick it apart frame by frame.
Beware, though—we will mention some rumors, spoilers and speculation in our discussion. Here goes!
Finn was the first shot of the first trailer, and Rey is the first shot of the last one. We also know she’s on Jakku, because this is her outfit from the toys. Plus, this makes it even more obvious that her goggles are salvaged from a Stormtrooper. Salvaged from where? Well . . .
Rey is climbing inside something. Something big.
Still exploring, Rey rappels down to reveal what appears to be the hangar of an Imperial ship... maybe that Super Star Destroyer from the last trailer? Meanwhile, we hear the voice of Maz Kanata. The pirate asks, “Who are you?”
“I’m no one,” replies Rey, chilling with BB-8 in the desert. Does she really believe that, or is she trying to hide her true origins? There’s been a lot of speculation that she’s related to Han, Leia, or Luke pretty much ever since Daisy Ridley was cast—maybe the “no one” is less of a hint to a humble background and more a desire on her part to keep her legacy hidden?
This ship flying off Jakku possibly mirrors Rey’s hope to escape her scavenger existence. Also note the foot of an AT-AT walker on the right: there’s been a lot of talk of Rey’s home on Jakku being built out of the ruins of one of the hulking Imperial Walkers.
General Hux addresses the First Order in a shot very similar to what we saw in the last trailer. We’ve seen the reverse of this shot and it reveals a pretty ginormous army of the First Order—who it seems, according to the new swathe of Expanded Universe material released on Force Friday, have been building up their power at the edge of the galaxy pretty much since the end of Return of the Jedi.
Now we’re onto Finn. “I was raised to do one thing,” actor John Boyega says with an American accent. A First Order TIE Fighter—the red markings denote that this is a Special Forces TIE, another thing we learned from all the toys—gets shot out of the sky. We assume it’s Finn’s.
Notice a Star Destroyer hanging near where the TIE Fighter is hit, and no other ships around that we can see. Did the Star Destroyer shoot Finn down? We’ve heard a lot about the early parts of the film depicting Finn, arrested for disobeying orders in the village attack seen later in the trailer, and how that leads to him (alongside an also captured Poe Dameron) escaping from their captors in a TIE Fighter.
“But I’ve got nothing to fight for.” This suggests that he was brought up to be a Stormtrooper and doesn’t want to do that any more. After the crash, Finn somehow gets that new jacket—which we’ve see in the toys being worn both by him and Poe Dameron—and spies some sort of market on Jakku. When do we think he’s in the Stormtrooper armor we first saw him in? Right after the crash?
“Nothing will stand in our way,”says Kylo Ren, standing on the bridge of a ship with a classic J.J. Abrams lens flare. There’s been speculation about a new superweapon, and the giant ball on the poster had a big red dot on it. Could we be seeing it firing here?
“I will finish what you started.” Ren is speaking to Darth Vader’s mask. That’s the implication here. Does he have some kind of shrine that he addresses?
We’ve seen Vader’s burnt-out mask before, but this part—Ren speaking to it—is new. Is this tricky editing to make us think Ren has it, or a legitimate weird Vader shrine? It wouldn’t be surprising, as JJ Abrams has described the character as a Darth Vader obsessive. The recently released novel Star Wars Aftermath features a group of cultists called the “Acolytes of the Beyond” hunting down relics of Darth Vader, including his lightsaber. Are those Acolytes precursors to Kylo himself?
So much going on here. First of all, we see Ren using the Force—or at least that’s what it looks like. Second, he’s using it for some kind of torture against Poe Dameron. We’ve never seen it used like that. Third, it fades into a massive, red destruction. Remember the red lens flare above? Something’s blowing up.
So, is Ren torturing Poe with a memory? A vision of something that could happen if he doesn’t talk? Or is it something that happens in the film, that’s been cleverly cut into this?
“Those stories about what happened,” starts Rey, as we see the Millennium Falcon fly through the ruins of Jakku.
“It’s true,” answers HAN MOTHER-EFFING SOLO. “All of it.” Finn and Rey are standing on the Falcon, almost as if they’re ready to hear a story told by their grandfather.
What star system is this a chart of, to the right of Rey’s head?
The Millennium Falcon jumps to, and travels through, lightspeed. George Lucas could never show it like that. That’s a Clone Wars or Rebels shot.
Crashing thunder. Rain. The Knights of Ren stand on what appears to be a battlefield. Dead bodies are everywhere. It’s interesting to note that only Kylo Ren has his homemade lightsaber, but the rest of the Knights have melee weapons and blasters. They’ve just kicked a whole bunch of ass.
“The Dark Side,” continues Solo, as we see a bunch of First Order Stormtroopers in some kind of ruins waiting for a fleet of X-Wings to arrive. The same X-wings—which we saw in previous trailers skimming over the water—are chasing TIE Fighters in the next shot.
“The Jedi,” Solo continues. Poe exits his X-wing and gives Finn a knowing tap at the Resistance base. These guys are friends. Finn, however, feels like a mentee in this relationship. Also notice in this shot, a blue protocol droid in the first half (PZ-4CO, Princess Leia’s to be specific) and then the Millennium Falcon at the end. Also, tons of new aliens walking around. This appears to be the Resistance’s hidden base, seen from above during filming thanks to some cheeky drone pictures.
An almost Star Wars Battlefront-esque shot of an X-Wing targeting and destroying at TIE, probably in the same battle from above. It looks awesome.
Notice that this battle is taking place above an island, or a peninsula, where a ton of structures are on fire or in ruins. Is this the same Rebel base where we see Poe and Finn greet each other? Is it under attack from the First Order? Or is this the Rebels attacking a First Order base? More likely, it seems like it could be...
...this absolutely gorgeous temple we see our heroes going into. Flags hanging down, a weird red droid. But there’s something else.
That certainly appears to be a Mandalorian skull symbol. Boba Fett isn’t in there, is he? Finn, Ray, Han and BB-8 are about to find out.
“They’re real,” finishes Solo. So, to recap, on the Millennium Falcon when asked about the stories from the past, Han Solo says “It’s true. All of it. The Dark side, the Jedi—they’re real.” This means a lot. It means that after the Rebels won in Return of the Jedi, those ways did not continue. The Jedi have faded even further.
Also, think about those lines in contrast with A New Hope. “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side kid.” It seems Han is a changed man. Oh, and this shot is apparently our only one of Luke Skywalker in this trailer, and it’s a shot we’ve already seen.
Kylo Ren’s ship lands in the middle of a massive battle at a village. You can see troop transports on the side too. Is Finn on one of those, like in the first trailer?
The chrome trooper herself, Captain Phasma, walks among the fire.
A new shot of Kylo Ren being absolutely violent with his lightsaber. I could watch this GIF for hours.
Probably the trailer’s most mysterious shot. Rey is crying in the snow. She seems to be holding some kind of leather jacket. People who wear this kind of leather jacket in the movie: Finn, Poe, Han—and to us, this looks like it might be Finn. Are one of them in danger, or worse? If you’ve heard rumors, maybe we have an idea. We’ll get more snow in a second.
Finn, Chewie and Han have been captured...but they’re about to be set free by something that makes Han’s jaw drop. Could it be Luke? Doubtful, but they’re certainly surprised. Also, Chewbacca’s got a bandage on—who shot Chewie in the arm!? Buncha savages.
Back to the dialogue from the beginning of the trailer. “The Force,” says Maz Kanata. “It’s calling to you.” We heard Maz talking to Rey at the beginning of the trailer, so the implication would be they’re still talking. The unrelated shot of BB-8 flying in the astromech slot in the back of Poe Dameron’s X-Wing is unrelated yet awesome. That’s a lot of TIEs coming on the snow planet.
More of that X-Wing, TIE Fighter battle. This thing looks massive. But what the hell is that trench? We know that Starkiller Base is a planet that’s had a huge First Order base carved into it—and it’s presumably that planet we see in the theatrical poster. Let’s hope, for the First Order’s sake, there isn’t a thermal exhaust port at the end.
Stormtroopers exiting into battle at the village from earlier. More JJ lens flares.
Rey, apparently on the planet Takodana, is royally pissed at someone and shooting her (really cool looking) blaster at them.
Another beautiful shot of an X-Wing flying around, this time taking aim at a single Stormtrooper. Lots of mountain destruction too, possibly on that same island we saw before. And... is that a stormtrooper blowing up above the rubble? It sure looks like it. Poor guy.
We’ve seen this shot of Kylo before, but it’s still awesome. It seems to be the village his shuttle lands at earlier, which is now on fire.
A TIE Fighter chases what appears to be a flaming Millennium Falcon, a bit cooked from a nearby explosion. That can’t be good.
The next shot, of a bridge to a ship blowing up, seems unrelated. Bonus, there’s a Mouse Droid in there! Those little buggers survived. Based on that, the uniforms, and the design of the computers, this is an Imperial/First Order ship blowing up.
The second most intriguing shot of the trailer because it also involves crying. Well, first, this is our first look at Princess Leia in the movie. She looks pretty great. You think she’s crying tears of joy because Han arrived on the Millennium Falcon to the Resistance base, but maybe something bad has happened.
And then, the final shot of the trailer. Finn ignites Luke Skywalker’s former saber in the snow.
Kylo Ren approaches, mask off, and ignites his own saber. Finn’s face goes wide and they begin to fight. A few things here. This seems to be the culmination of the Ren shot from the first trailer so, for some reason at some point, he takes off his mask. Maybe to say something to Finn like “That weapon is mine!” Finn definitely doesn’t look too sure with the Jedi weapon though.
To conclude, over black, Maz Kanata says. “Just let it in.” So her full line, to Rey, is “The Force. It’s calling to you. Let it in.” The implication there is that Rey is strong with the Force. And maybe that “no one” is really the daughter or Han and Leia. Or Luke. Either way, that dialogue bookending this trailer, like Luke’s dialogue about the dark side and the light in the first one, seems like a great parallel of the two sides of the Force.
We won’t have to wait that much longer to see more, of course—Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens December 18th. Can those two months just disappear right now please?