Force Awakens – new trailer
The official trailer of JJ Abrams’s highly anticipated Star Wars
instalment, The Force Awakens, has been unleashed and opens with a masked figure
seen scaling the gigantic interior of blackened ruins. A voiceover poses the
compelling question: “Who are you?”
Without ever completely answering that question, the trailer, which premiered
on the sports cable network ESPN during halftime of the Monday night NFL game,
appears to establish who the film’s three lead characters are.
First cab off the ranks in the trailer – which comes after two shorter
teasers – is scavenger Rey from the desert world of Jakku, played by Daisy
Ridley. A tracking shot of a faceless army of stormtroopers leads us to Finn
(John Boyega). He is shown taking off his stormtrooper mask with the words: “I
was raised to do one thing, but I’ve got nothing to fight for.”
Related: Star Wars new female
character 'extremely significant', says producer
Completing the trio of key protagonists is Adam Driver’s villainous Kylo Ren,
the supposed primary evildoer of The Force Awakens. “Nothing will stand in our
way. I will finish what you started,” says Ren to a disfigured mask, presumably
belonging to the original Star Wars baddie Darth Vader.
At two minutes and 23 seconds long, this latest trailer is the longest
preview yet of the film. The seventh episode in the series picks up three
decades after the events of Return of the Jedi (1983) and, as the trailer shows,
features many of the characters from the original trilogy.
Fans of the film gathered on Monday night on a Reddit thread dedicated to
Star Wars – ostensibly not football lovers, as they impatiently cursed the game (and
the network) while waiting for the trailer to be aired.
Director Abrams sent a message to fans via Bad Robot: “We
cannot wait to share the trailer with ya tonight. I don’t care if you’re black,
white, brown, Jawa, Wookiee, Jedi or Sith. I just hope you like it! Best, JJ.”
Related: Star Wars actor John
Boyega hits back at 'prejudiced' fans
With every release of new marketing material, including the first teaser in
November and a second in
April, fans have pored over the scant details and speculated over possible
storylines. Many noted the prominent positions given to Rey and Finn in the official
Also in the poster is a goggles-wearing character that might be Lupita Nyong’o’s
space pirate Maz Kanata, standing alongside several characters from the
first original series: Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia Organa, Harrison Ford’s Han
Solo, Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) and C-3PO (Anthony Daniels).
Conspicuously absent from the poster is Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker. Fans
have been pointing to footage first seen in the second
teaser, and again in the official trailer, of a hooded figure placing a hand
on R2-D2, as a clue to his return.
Other characters seen in the teasers and trailers include Domhnall Gleeson’s
General Hux and Andy Serkis’s Supreme Leader Snoke. Footage released in
August show Ren wielding a red “crucifix” lightsaber that riffs on the
original, apparently of the
character’s own design.
Trailer reviews have so far been positive. Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw
predicted a “return to the verities of character and story” and a “move away
from the inert digital gigantism of the last decade’s prequel-trilogy”.
JJ Abrams’s space opera will premiere in Los
Angeles on 14 December – a few days before it opens worldwide, on 17
December in the UK and Australia, and in the following day in the US.
Cinema websites in the UK have already
crashed under the weight of demand for first screenings of the film, which
will have a running time of 136