With the Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens teaser trailer still burning up the interwebs, it’s time to take a step back, collect ourselves, take several deep breaths, and figure out just what we’ve learned from our first glimpse at J.J. Abrams’ reshaping of the world that George Lucas built. Either that or we just need another excuse to look at the trailer again. Like that’s a bad thing.
The Star Wars Episode VII teaser is barely a day old, and its views are already into the tens of millions. Do a search for the teaser on YouTube, and you’ll find tons of versions of it, each of them with millions of views. And, you know, that’s no surprise: the teaser is remarkable. But what can we learn from it? Simply for journalistic purposes, we assure you, we’ve watched the trailer again and again and again and again. And again. Just to tease out what few details we could from the 90-second tease.
1 – Andy/Benedict Serkis/Cumberbatch Is Playing Some Sort of Knowledgeable Character
Odds are that that growly narrative voice that guides us through the teaser is Andy Serkis, but some Cumberbatchophiles are hopeful that it’s Sherlock/Khan himself. Since it’s just a voice, it’s hard to tell, but one thing seems certain: That’s a character who’s talking knowledgeably to some lesser-informed character.
Odds are it’s one of the film’s young heroes that Serkisbatch is informing about the “awakening” of the Force, but who knows? Then again, it could just be that Abrams got Cumberkis to record a sinister voiceover to guide us through all of the awesome footage.
2 – Something Is Up With the Stormtroopers
Since we’re not given much more than quick glimpses of the characters in motion – more on that in a sec – it’s hard to tell exactly why the actors shown are in the situations we see them in. That means the quick shot of John Boyega in a Stormtrooper uniform could mean just about anything.
Is Boyega infiltrating the stormtrooper ranks? Is he a stormtrooper that comes to see the light? What just went down that he pops up all sweaty and harried in the teaser?
Isn’t that guy in the middle a little short to be a storm trooper? pic.twitter.com/yFD5yuiBKN
— Olly Moss (@ollymoss) November 28, 2014
Side note: Some have pointed out that Boyega looks nothing like Temuera Morrison, who provided the face for the cloned stormtroopers in the Star Wars prequels. A quick look at the Star Wars Wookieepedia, though, shows that the Empire only started off using the Jango Fett (Morrison) genetic template but eventually moved on to allow non-clone stormtroopers as time went on. So there.
3 – We Pretty Much Know Who Our Main Characters for the New Star Wars Trilogy Will Be
Star Wars: Episode VII has been pretty successfully kept under wraps throughout its production so far; to the point that we didn’t even really know who among all of the big names mentioned would be the main characters. It’s likely that we know now, though. The teaser gives us clear views of just three actors: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac.
The notion that the most anticipated trailer this side of Ultron would just give us a look at characters that weren’t central to the trilogy is flat-out laughable. Isaac, Ridley, Boyega: Those are your stars for the next Star Wars trilogy, and now it just remains to see how they all fit together. Which brings us to the next thing we think we know.
4 – This Is Probably a Story of Disparate Characters Coming Together
We get Boyega in stormtrooper gear, Ridley mounting what appears to be a rocket-powered flash drive, and Isaac hitting the throttle on an X-Wing. Seems like a safe bet that The Force Awakens’ main trio will start out in considerably different circumstances. Of course, this is in keeping with, well, Good Storytelling 101, but we’re interested to see how Abrams will pull them all together to face a common threat. And speaking of common threats…
5 – That’s Not Necessarily the Villain with the Tri-Lightsaber
Of course, we also get a shot of what appears to be the villain, complete with guidance from the narrator. Once the black-clad guy with the lightsaber appears on screen, Cumberserkis growls “The Dark Side,” and that tri-lightsaber flickers to life.
But is that necessarily the villain? Odds are it is, of course, but what if that’s just a fake-out, a bit of misdirection? Considering the rumors surrounding The Force Awakens, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the wielder of the red lightsaber is in fact [Spoiler Spoilerwalker], who is in self-imposed exile when Star Wars: Episode VII begins. Hey, it’s possible!
6 – JJ Abrams Looks Like He Won’t Disappoint
There have been a lot of questions about the rebirth of the Star Wars franchise, but the trailer makes it look like JJ Abrams knows what he’s doing. Episode VII, even in snippets, looks like it will be heavy on The Awesome, much to the delight of many a Star Wars fan looking to see the franchise rejuvenated after the prequels. That tri-lightsaber! That Millennium Falcon barrel-roll! That adorable soccer ball droid!
We’ve seen less than 90 seconds’ worth of action, and December 2015 just can’t get here soon enough.