First off, I think everyone can agree that the entire trailer is a thing of genius. It’s an exciting and wonderfully paced collection of images that make Star Wars fans salivate in anticipation–yet essentially reveal none of the details of the movie to come.
Nevertheless, here are six moments that especially standout to me. And since the trailer is only a minute and a half, odds are that… sorry, you probably don’t want me to tell you the odds, but it’s my hope that some of these moments have stood out to you as well.
Let the speculation begin.
1. Vader’s Helmet
The charred remains of Darth Vader’s helmet. Who has it and why? The image sparks these questions while also serving as a way to ground us in this newly developed Star Wars universe. And thanks to noted Star Wars fanboy J.J Abrams, the galaxy looks as new as it does old.
What I mean by that is that the trailer does an excellent job of feeling like the original trilogy, as opposed to the prequels. Not that I want to invite a bunch of prequel hate or anything; “from my point of view” there’s too much of that as it is. However; it does feel good to know that the conflict in The Force Awakens is going to be about more than trade routes.
The last we saw of Vader’s body was on Endor atop his funeral pyre with Luke looking on. An easy explanation is that Luke simply took the helmet with him when he left the forest moon… but I don’t think that’s what it is. Maybe it’s just the ominous music cue, but it seems more sinister. Judging from the meagre knowledge I have of the expanded Star Wars universe developed in the subsequent novels, it would not surprise me if Kylo Ren, or some other Sith not yet named, has taken Vader’s helmet for some evil purpose.
2. “You have that power too.”
When Luke’s voiceover began, I thought it was simply the previously recorded dialogue from Return of the Jedi. I think this is largely to the credit of Mark Hamill, an actor known for his extensive voice work. His voice sounds exactly the same as it did in the scene between Leia and he on the bridge. And of course it is the same dialogue, with one very apparent difference. Who is Luke speaking to? And what’s more, what relationship do the people and various species of the galaxy have with the Force thirty years after the destruction of the Death Star, and the deaths of the Emperor and Darth Vader?
When Luke says “my sister has it”, we see his old hand-me-down lightsaber being passed to someone. The voiceover suggests that it is being handed to Leia, and judging from how Carrie Fisher was clothed in the Comic Con featurette, it seems like the lightsaber is indeed being handed to her. Is Leia now a Jedi too? Where the hell is Luke?
3. Luke’s Robotic Hand
The image of Luke placing his hand on R2-D2 is highly reminiscent of Obi-Wan’s reunion with the little astro droid in A New Hope. Rumour has it that Luke Skywalker will be taking on the wise mentor role that was once filled by Kenobi, and this image speaks directly to that.
At first I thought it was a lava planet, and a second thought quickly followed that one: MUSTAFAR! Luke is returning to the place where Anakin and Obi-Wan had the epic confrontation that decided… well, everything.
Next I thought that Luke looked to be on a desert planet, crouching next to a fire. I’m more inclined to believe this, and it would make sense because most of the trailer does occur on this desert planet that J.J Abrams has dubbed “Jakku”. Not sure if that’s the crew’s slang for Tatooine or not, but I’m thinking it’s a ruse to try and confuse people. And more power to them; our collective befuddlement makes for some entertaining speculation.
Luke also seems to have abandoned his black glove in favour of the bionic look. On point.
4. Stormtrooper Pep Rally
What’s going on with the stormtroopers? Are they even stormtroopers? Didn’t the Rebellion defeat the Imperials thirty years ago? It’s clear from the red flag backdrop that this isn’t your parents’ Empire. Since this trailer first dropped, we have learned that the Imperials are now known as the ‘First Order’ and the rebels are being referred to as ‘the Resistance’. Not sure what the state of the war is, but it looks like it’s been going on for a long time, judging from the dead Star Destroyer in the opening shot of the trailer. It makes me wonder if Luke, Han and Leia ever got any peace after destroying the Death Star; has the war dragged on for thirty years?
5. The Cloaked Villain
His name is supposedly Kylo Ren, who we know to be one of the antagonists. What we don’t know is anything about him, other than his enduring love for Lena Dunham. Although, for now, Girls is still in a galaxy far, far away.
Kylo Ren is a Jedi/Sith of some sort, and appears to be in a leadership position of the First Order. Since Darth Vader was thought to be the last of his kind during the events of the original trilogy, does this mean that the Force is more prevalent in the galaxy now? Are there more Jedi? Luke’s narration, already mentioned above, suggests to me that the study of the Force is still very rare, so how and why does this Kylo Ren exist? I’m actually very grateful to J.J Abrams and his team that I can watch this trailer a hundred times and still have very little idea what the movie is going to be about.
Speaking of J.J Abrams, you may remember that the identity of Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into Darkness wasn’t revealed until the movie premiered. He played Khan, arguably the most famous and formidable of Captain Kirk’s nemeses, but his character had a different name on IMDb until the movie was in theatres. And although fans of Star Trek were pretty sure they knew who he was actually playing, they only knew for certain when they watched the movie. J.J Abrams plays his hand very close to his chest.
We don’t know anything about Kylo Ren, and I think it possible that his lineage is suspect. It’s been thirty years since Return of the Jedi, I wonder who his parents are…
6. “Chewie, we’re home.”
Cue tears of overwhelming joy.
When I stopped crying, however, I started to wonder where Han and his furry companion had been that they would need to step aboard the Millennium Falcon with their weapons drawn. Harrison Ford’s deeply felt line reading suggests to me that they have been away from their home for some time. But what would tear Han and Chewbacca away from the Falcon?
Or maybe they weren’t torn away. Maybe Han let’s his daughter take it for a spin now and again.
It’s a great trailer, but as we learned from the prequel trilogy: great trailers guarantee nothing. It will be a long six months. But, hopefully, along the way we will learn patience.