When we all began to stir this morning after a legendary food coma thanks to our Thanksgiving dinners or once we returned from a hectic morning of Black Friday shopping, there was a disturbance in the Force as the first teaser trailer for J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens’ (or ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ for short) was released in a limited theatrical engagement and online for the world to see. While only a mere 88 seconds, there are a ton of things to take away from the first official look at our next journey into a galaxy far, far away, so let’s get a discussion going and jump right into a few things that you may have missed during your first (or second or tenth) viewing.
First, let’s talk about that voice in the beginning of the trailer. Despite rumors being debunked again and again, it sure sounded a lot like Benedict Cumberbatch saying that there has been an awakening. At first, I though that it could have been Andy Serkis or Max Von Sydow, but when the voice says, “Have you felt it?”, it definitely sounds like Smaug, am I right? Especially when he says the word “it,” I feel like Sherlock is speaking to me through my speakers. Though nothing official has emerged about the ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ star joining the cast, there is a very good possibility that either A.) Everyone was lying and Benedict Cumberbatch is actually part of the cast and it was being saved as a surprise or B.) Adam Driver’s British accent sounds a lot like Benedict Cumberbatch. Why Adam Driver? Well, it’s been said that he’s been cast as an antagonist in the film and that voiceover has a Sith feel to it, don’t you think? Either way, I’m sure that something official is on it’s way regarding that voice. Patience you must have, my young padawan.
At the 0:22 mark, we finally see our first character of the trilogy (unless you count the previously released picture of R2-D2). John Boyega pops up with a John Williams orchestral “BUM” wearing a Stormtrooper uniform looking distressed in a desert that may or may not be on Tatooine. I’m guessing that we’ve just met our new hero. And although it may not be happening exactly the way it was described, this also jives with the rumored plot that was making the rounds. If he is indeed our new hero, it’ll be interesting to see someone start out as a minion of the Empire and presumably become a major player against the Dark Side.
Next we see this cute rollie pollie droid. It looks like someone took R2’s head and put it on an official Rebel Alliance soccer ball that’s available in the gift shop at the end of ‘Star Tours: The Adventures Continue’. I’m also wondering how the head is staying on because it’s looking a bit wobbly. Oh well! It’s science, so we’ll just go with that.
Moving on, we get a glimpse of the sleek new Stormtrooper design as a legion of soldiers are being transported somewhere, likely on a mission to crush some Rebel scum or something. This scene is reminiscent of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ when Cap and the S.H.I.E.L.D. strike force are getting ready to jump out of the plane. We also get a few super quick looks at their fancy new blasters. Man, those helmets look cool.
Now we have our second new character played by Daisy Ridley and the first new vehicle of the new trilogy. I can’t help but be reminded of Princess Leia on Endor riding the Imperial speeder bike because the cloaks are so similar, but whoever Ridley is playing, I’m sure that she’ll be different than Carrie Fisher’s iconic heroine.
Also, with all the scrutiny and criticism that the franchise has faced over the years about not having enough women or people of color in the films, I love that the first two people that we see are a Black guy and a woman. Hopefully this means that Abrams and the rest of the people in charge have been listening and diversified this universe a bit (or better yet, a lot). Also, I’m hoping that there’s an Asian dude somewhere doing something, even if he’s just piloting a ship or selling something in a marketplace. I don’t need to get into the whole “representation matters” thing again (even though it is incredibly important), but I will leave this link to the awesome scene from ‘Chasing Amy’ here because it’s hilarious and kinda true.
Anyway, moving back to ‘The Force Awakens’ trailer, at 0:44 there is a vintage X-Wing cockpit shot featuring none other than ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ and ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ star Oscar Isaac. Other than wondering where I can get my own cool pilot helmet like that, I’m curious about what role the up and coming actor has that involves him getting behind the wheel of an updated version of one of the most recognizable vessels in all of the ‘Star Wars’ fandom.
After that, a mysterious hooded figure makes his way through some snowy woods while wielding an epic lightsaber (or a gimmicky one, depending on how you look at it). Based on the person’s tall and lanky frame, my guess is that this is Adam Driver. It’s been said that the ‘Girls’ star will portray the antagonist in the film and other reports have said that his character is a fanatic of antiques, especially those from the original trilogy era. It’s possible that in addition to having his own personal guards that resemble Stormtroopers, he rigged his Sith lightsaber (which are typically red) to resemble a broad sword because of this fascination of old school items. Like everything else in this analysis, this is all purely speculation, but wouldn’t it be cool if I were right?
Finally, no ‘Star Wars’ trailer would be complete without some of that vintage John Williams score, so we have it here behind the Millennium Falcon charging into battle with guns blazing against some TIE fighters. The old gal still has it as we see some fancy maneuvers from the ship famous for making the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. But who is piloting the sci-fi icon? Are Han Solo and Chewbacca behind the wheel or has someone else acquired the legendary spacecraft? Judging by the ship firing on the TIE fighters, there’s a good chance that our heroes are at the helm, but the question remains: Which heroes?
Basically, that teaser told us absolutely nothing about ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’ None of our questions have been answered. More speculation is bound to come out of all of this. And furthermore, who knows when we’ll get to see more?! But for now, I say that we appreciate that J.J. Abrams has certainly honored the legacy of ‘Star Wars’ by keeping the tone and the feel of the originals while staying away from the polished look of the prequels. This is a dark time and this teaser reflects that thanks to the excellently designed costumes, the music, and the general tone.
Also, for everyone that’s coming down hard on this, don’t forget that this is only the first teaser trailer. It’s meant to get people talking about ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ so in that respect it was successful, even if some people are expressing how underwhelmed and unimpressed they are with the whole thing. The best is yet to come, padawans. But until then, share your thoughts and theories in the comment section below.
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ starring John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker premieres on December 18, 2015.