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‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Trailer Breakdown: “The Force Calls To You, Just Let It In”
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Star Wars The Force Awakens Poster wide version

These past few days have gotten Star Wars fans in a massive geek frenzy. Following the release of the first official poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the teaser videos for the trailer, and the online advance ticket sales, came the debut of the first full trailer for the film earlier today. We had gotten teeny glimpses of the film last year and during Star Wars Celebration, and another small one on Instagram, but this new trailer does so much more than just set the tone for the film itself. So just in case you missed it during tonight’s Monday Night Football game, we got the trailer for you here. But if you want something more, like a breakdown of each scene, then check out our thoughts on it here below.

We still have yet to receive some sort of plot description for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but at this point, I doubt anyone cares to know right now what it’s about, because we are finally getting more Star Wars.

The funny thing about this trailer is that it still feels a lot like the teasers we’ve seen: it doesn’t tell us much, but it does set the tone for the film as a whole. While we do get a lot of new footage, but without actually having context, we don’t know why (or even how) The First Order came to power; how the Rebel Alliance turned into The Resistance; why Han Solo and Chewbecca are on the run; or how Rey, Finn, and Poe cross paths. However, Han Solo does point out that much time has past since the events of Return of the Jedi.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer Image 1

That first shot sees a masked Rey (Daisy Ridley) opening a hatch of some sort, as if she were looking for something. That one shot looks as if she was looking at the audience. We then see her scavenge through the remains of a fallen Star Destroyer. Of the many characters that we know so far, her last name has yet to be revealed – neither has Finn’s – but the fact that Rey is front and center in the most recent poster leads us to believe that there is some sort of important lineage, one that perhaps she is ashamed of – as hinted when she replies “I am no one” when someone asks who she is. But she clearly dreams of escaping the planet Jakku when she sees a starship launch into the sky in the distance.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer Image 2

The next scene is nearly the same shot of what some think is the Starkiller Base. There are those who believe that the planetary battle station that appeared on the poster is the Starkiller Base, while others think that the base that we saw in the second teaser and this trailer is the Starkiller Base. While we have yet to confirm that, the scene is almost the same as the one that of the Stormtroopers doing an about-face in the second teaser; however, instead of just reusing that same scene, we see these troopers’ backs are turned to the audience, looking up at who I presume to be a General Hux (Domnhall Gleeson).

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer Image 3

We then see an out of breath Finn (John Boyega) take off his Stormtrooper helmet. He seems to have lost his faith in the First Order since he “has nothing to fight for.” That first teaser revealed that he was separated from his troop. Then a new set of images showed us that he had piloted a TIE-Fighter before crash-landing on Jakku. But in the new trailer, it looks like he was flying solo. For whatever reason, we don’t know yet. But he crash lands on Jakku where he will eventually meet Rey. It’s very likely that this is the IMAX shot that we’ve been hearing so much about. Again, that has yet to be confirmed.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer Image 4

The next shot shows us that director J.J. Abrams hasn’t given up completely on the lens flare. A red light flashes before our eyes as the the camera zooms in on Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), who promises “Nothing with stand in our way.” The scene also confirms that Kylo is obsessed with Darth Vader’s ideals, and assures a burnt and warped Vader helmet that he “will finish” what the Sith Lord “started.”

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer Image 5

But the next scene is the most surprising one. It seems that Kylo Ren can wield The Force or at least thinks he can, as we see a subdued Poe Dameron, a Resistance pilot, shout in agony as Kylo Ren puts his hand in front of Poe’s face as though torturing him. Abrams has gone on record that to say that Kylo isn’t not a Sith Lord, so what mystical power is he using to make Poe scream like that?

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer Image 6

We then see a massive deforestation as the scene immediately transitions to TIE Fighters chasing the Millennium Falcon.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer 7

A voiceover then tells us that “There were stories about what happened,” and a grungy Han Solo confirms that “It’s true.”

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer 8

This one scene is our next best look at the inside of Millinneum Falcon, which seems to be equipped with a sharper 3D holographic render.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer 9

But that’s not the only visuals that have improved. Lightspeed looks a whole lot cooler as well.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer 10

This is where it gets intense and the action really starts to heat up. The trailer then centers storm intensifies as Kylo’s elite guard gather around him. Their helmets don’t appear to be that of a Stormtrooper, so it’s easy to surmise that they are probably in a league of their own.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer 11

Battles between the First Order and The Resistance storm in, as we see ground troops hold their position on a Resistance base and Resistance fighters prep for battle. We even see Poe and Finn acknowledge each other.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer 12

All the while X-Wings and TIE-Fighter dogfights are happening in the sky. (By the way, if you haven’t already tried the Star Wars Battle Pods, go do that – it is a thrill. I got to live out my dream destroying the Death Star!) Next, we get hit with one wave of battles and hot pursuits after another, we hear Han say “The Dark Side. The Jedi. They’re real.”

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer 23

During that portion, we also get a small snippet of a new setting that has never been seen before: A temple draped with all sorts of flags, at least that’s that I think it is. Maybe this is the homebase of the space pirate Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o)

Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer 13

As the trailer comes to a close, we see the same shot of who many presume to be a cloaked and hooked Luke Skywalker resting his robotic hand on his loyal droid R2-D2 (otherwise, Luke has not been seen at all yet, and was noticeably absent from the new poster). We then see an Imperial Shuttle land on what looks like the same planet that the presumed Skywalker is on. The fiery setting seems to hint that it is the same area. If that is the case, it seems that Kylo has been searching for Luke for quite some time, and he finally has the opportunity to apprehend him. But he isn’t taking any chances, as he brought what looks like a fleet of soldiers with him. We also get to see a shot of Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) soldiering on.

Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer 14

We then see a quick shot of Kylo raising his crossguard lightsaber, then furiously striking down at his victim.

Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer 15

It then transitions to Rey weeping over a body; the area looks like the same same snowy forest as the one where Finn and Kylo have their lightsaber duel, though it is unclear who Rey is crying over. There are some who argue that it may even be Chewie or Han. Again, that remains to be seen.

Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer 24

We then see Finn, Chewie, and Han take out their hands from interlock as they look to the sky in shock. It’s not clear if this is a good thing or bad, but it appears to that they are on the same Resistance base as the one seen in the trailer.

Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer 24

With speculation that the Starkiller Base is more of an actual base than a planetary battle station, we see the rolling ball droid BB-8 assisting Poe in a dogfight against a fleet of TIE-Fighters over an icy plain. During this time, we hear a female voiceover say “The Force. It’s calling to you.”

Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer 18

Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer 25

Then more stormtroopers charging out of a Imperial Shuttle. Then Rey shooting a blaster at an unseen enemy.

Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer 17

Followed by a single X-Wing mowing down Stormtroopers.

Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer 19

A single TIE-Fighter chasing the Millennium Falcon in the broken down Star Destroyer, followed by an explosion at a base.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer 20

Then our very first look at Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) being embraced by Han Solo, who is mostly out of the frame.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer 21

As we near the end of the trailer, a shot of Finn igniting a blue lightsaber as he prepares to duel Kylo.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Trailer 22

Clearly not impressed, Kylo ignites his red crossguard lightsaber, leaving a shocked Finn starting to back away from his opponent. Then the scene turns black, the same female voiceover from before then says “Just let it in.” Finally, the trailer lights up with the title Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

As much as we saw in this trailer, there is still a whole lot missing. We still don’t know whether or not the hooded person who is resting his robotic hand on R2-D2 is Luke Skywalker. It is implied that it is him, given that it was his voiceover that was heard during that same scene in the second teaser trailer, and that was his right hand, but the fact of the matter is, it is unconfirmed. General Hux and Supreme Leader Snoke are also missing. However, it does confirm that Kylo Ren is obsessed with Darth Vader. But how obsessed is he? Likely a lot, if he someone managed to get his hands on Vader’s melted helmet. And is Finn wielding Anakin Skywalker’s original blue lightsaber? Although the weapon was presumed lost after Luke’s duel with Vader on Cloud City, it’s possible that it was recovered. It seems as though the events of the original trilogy have now passed on into legend, and in some areas, myth, so any of these items would be considered relics from a bygone age. What exactly did Kylo mean when he said he would finish what Vader started? Does that mean Vader was secretly planning to usurp the Emperor? Does this new generation not know that Vader tried to redeem himself to his children before his death? That it was Vader who killed the Emperor, and would have followed his son back to the light? They probably don’t know. We could speculate all the live-long-day, though we won’t get any answers until we see the film. But, with a film like this, it’s too much fun not to wonder what the filmmakers have in store for us.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Domhnall Gleeson, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Max von Sydow, and returning alum Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker. Directed by J.J. Abrams, who co-wrote the script with Lawrence Kasdan, the seventh installment of the Star Wars saga opens in theaters on December 16 in France, in the U.K. on December 17, and in the U.S. on December 18, 2015.

1 Comment »

  1. My initial thought after seeing the trailer was that Poe was just giving Finn a comrade-like greeting like he would anyone on the base, but didn’t necessarily “know” Finn. Finn however looked surprised to see Poe with a hint of recognition on his face and reaction. We know that there has been some interaction between Poe and Kylo from the earlier clip, couldn’t it be that Finn was there in his Trooper mask at the time and therefore Finn recognizes Poe but not necessarily the other way around? The clip of Kylo and Poe could even be a flashback of Finn’s as he places who Poe is? In which case, is it possible Poe has been compromised in some fashion, hence Finns expression when seeing him?

    Comment by Mark Petar — October 20, 2015 @ 9:46 am

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