It’s finally here: the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens landed simultaneously in US theatres and online yesterday, marking a very important day in the life of Star Wars fans everywhere.
It may not be very long – about 88 seconds by my count – but our first glimpse of the new trilogy was jam-packed with hair-raising moments – the foreboding score, the return of The Millennium Falcon, and that Lightsaber! – to assure fans that JJ Abrams’ take on the franchise is on the right track.
Naturally, the release of the trailer posed a bigger threat to the life of the internet than Kim Kardashian’s backside as thousands of fans took to the web to voice their thoughts on the new footage and wildly speculate about what it all means for the plot.
With that in mind, here are the 7 biggest talking points from the Star Wars teaser trailer.
1) A new look for a Stormtrooper
And I’m not just talking about the subtle redesign of the classic henchmen’s helmets that was leaked a few months back. The teaser opens with a shot of John Boyega – rumoured to be the film’s lead – in the unmistakable garb of a Stormtrooper. Word is that Boyega’s character is a troubled guy who’s aching to do the right thing and this first glimpse certainly tallies with that description, introducing the franchise’s potential new star panicked and perspiring in the middle of a vast dessert. But if our hero is to be a Stormtrooper, what questions does that raise about the nature of morality in a post-Palpatine world?
2) Who’s that girl riding the Land Speeder?
The focus of the first trailer is definitely on the future stars of the franchise, and alongside Boyega we also get our first look at Daisy Ridley in action. Plucked from obscurity to apparently play Boyega’s co-lead, early speculation has pegged Ridley’s character as the daughter of Han and Leia. And while there’s no sign of her parents here (more on that below), there’s a definite spark of fiery independence about Ridley’s character as she straddles a new-look Land Speeder – surely an inherent trait of the iconic space couple?
3) There’s a new pilot in the X-wing cockpit
In a shot that will feel incredibly familiar to even the most blasé Star Wars fan, we see Oscar Isaac squeezed behind the controls of a tweaked X-wing fighter. Very little is known about Isaac’s character at this stage, but it’s hard to image the actor signing on to be a bit-part player so expect him to play a major role in the new trilogy. Taking on the mantle of Harrison Ford’s Han Solo perhaps?
4) A New Power is Rising…
Sorry, wrong franchise; but the point remains that the overriding message of the trailer is that evil is still an ever-present force in this universe. From that initial, ominous voice over – which some fans have speculated to be Benedict Cumberbatch – declaring that “There has been an awakening” to those two brief glimpses of a new Sith Lord staggering across of frozen forest, we’re left in no doubt that darkness will play a major part in the plot of the new film.
5) A Medieval revamp for the Lightsaber
As if there was any doubt we were looking at the villain of the piece, one of the final shots of the trailer sees the black-cloaked Sith Lord spark up a red Lightsaber. It’s an undeniably cool bit of kit; more ragged and more fiery, and with a broadsword-like design that points towards the existence of a more violent and battle-hardened Sith this time around.
6) But where are the Golden Oldies?
With the trailer’s focus placed firmly on the film’s new blood – although there’s no sign of Domhnall Gleeson, Adam Driver or Andy Serkis – there’s no room for any of the classic cast to make an appearance. So no Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, Artoo or Threepio to get excited about. Fear not, however, because it’s a practical certainty that these characters will play a significant role in the first movie, and it seems Mr Abrams is simply playing a canny game by saving our first look at the old gang for a later date. The big tease!
7) The Millennium Falcon makes its entrance …
By far the biggest, most air-punching moment of the trailer was the final shot that heralded the return of The Millennium Flacon – swooping, swivelling and arching across a dessert plain to dodge emperial fire (it’s good to know the enemy still can’t shoot for toffee) as John Williams’ iconic Star Wars theme blasts from every available speaker. The Big question, though, is who is piloting the coolest spacecraft in all of movie-space travel?