Trailer Breakdown – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Originally published on Lazygamer.net

A good trailer needs to set a mood. To get your heart beating, and your fandom swelling. But it also needs to not give away any key plot points, and save a few surprises for the actual film. I’m looking at you, Terminator: Genisys.

This morning, Star Wars delivered on that idea. The final trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens hit harder than a Rancor in heat, and I did a Kessell Run in my pants after watching it several dozen times.

Many Bothans died in order to give me enough access to the site to make a trailer analysis post. Let’s make the most of their very easily expendable deaths, and start combing the desert of Jakku for secrets and Easter eggs in the final Star Wars trailer.

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There’s going to be a lot of nostalgia going into the Force Awakens. And judging by the desert gear that one of our newest heroes, Rey, is wearing, I’m already feeling a shout-out here to Princess Leia’s Boush disguise from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

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Looking even further at her clothing, Rey certainly isn’t one of the wealthiest characters around. In fact, I’d bet easy money that she’s a scavenger on her homeworld, eking out a living in a universe ravaged by the war between the First Order and the Resistance.

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Looks like Rey is busy fishing out tech from an abandoned Star Destroyer that fell on her planet, judging by the hangar markings and the broken shuttle in the corner.

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“Who are you,” Rey is asked. “I’m no one,” she says. It’s not Tattooine, but it is Jakku that she happens to be trudging through, evoking more nostalgia with another call-back to one of the classic films.

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All that scavenging has clearly made Rey useful with any hardware that she comes across. A character trait that’ll probably manifest itself several times in the new trilogy.

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The First Order! What, you thought the death of the Emperor and the second Death Star would result in the Empire surrendering to the Rebel Alliance? Please, not even close. It appears that the First Order is made up of the mightiest remnants of the splintered Empire faction, united under the leadership of Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux character.

The Stormtroopers present appear to be from various platoons when you look at their armour, which has had a great redesign in the decades since the original trilogy wrapped up.

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And here’s John Boyega as Finn! Commenting that he was born to do one thing in his life, Finn sounds like he was adopted by the First Order and raised as a soldier. That’s a bit more fanatical than the Empire of old, which recruited soldiers based on whoever was left from the killing fields at the boot camps.

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It may be old military tech, but they’ve got a spiffy new paint job. Same rubbish durability as ever, by the look of things.

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And that’s probably Finn’s TIE Fighter as well, about to crash-land on Jakku. Here’s the odd thing: There are no other ships present in this shot. Could his TIE have been sabotaged? Clearly, a lack of faith in the First Order is found to be most…disturbing by superior officers.

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Well, at least he’s in walking distance of the nearest settlement, wich is probably an even bigger hive of scum and villainy than Mos Espa. Finn is probably also regretting wearing his black winter clothes at this point.

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And here’s our first look at Kylo Ren in the trailer, who is oozing pure villain vibes right now. If the First Order is indeed maintaining the strength of its army through a radical dogma which ensures loyal troops, then Ren most likely wields considerable might with his position as a dark side knight.

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A symbol if you will, for the troops tor ally around like.

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And remember, Kylo Ren is a title. Much like the Darths of the Sith culture of centuries prior, Kylo has had to earn the title, within his order of the Knights of Ren. And with a mask that spooky, you know he’s not fighting on the side of angels.

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Meth, not even once. It has been reported that Kylo Ren is also a fanatical worshipper of Darth Vader and his legacy, collecting artifacts wherever he can. Judging by the not so near-mint condition of this helmet, it looks like Ren visited the planet moon of Endor to swipe it from Vader’s funeral pyre at the end of Return of the Jedi.

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Especially when he appears to be torturing Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron character. Talk to the hand…or else.

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Look, if seeing the Millennium Falcon outrun TIE fighters in a canyon populated with rusting Star Destroyers doesn’t put a grin on your face, you’re either dead inside or Geoff. And it looks like Lando Calrissian never did replace the sensor dish that he knocked off during the destruction of the second Death star.

The biggest question of course is: What’s the Millennium Falcon doing on Jakku?

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Here’s a  good point: During the peak of the Jedi Order, thousands of knights were present. Thousands, in a galaxy of trillions. Naturally, the idea of warrior monks who could lop your limbs off with a laser-sword, were thought of as an effective myth at best. And let’s not forget how the Empire did its very best to kill the legend of Jedi, while maintaining an air of secrecy around the Sith.

But you can’t kill a good myth, and with the Force clearly still alive and kicking, it looks the universe is seeing a resurgence in Force-sensitive individuals.

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And it’s true. It’s all damn true, as Han Solo lays down a few legends of his own. Rey has most likely never been beyond her planet borders, while Finn has been groomed his entire life to be a Stormtrooper. Now, being confronted with the truth of the universe, they’re both finding themselves entering a new age.

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Hyperspace! We’ve never really seen much of the faster-than-light travel system beyond a cockpit view in the Star Wars films. Now let’s see if these tunnels can do a Kessel Run in as few parsecs as possible. And yes, shut up nerds: I know that parsecs aren’t how you measure speed.

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Looks like Kylo Ren has assembled his own gang. He’s the only one rocking a lightsaber however, although the rest of his posse are sporting familiar armour and masks. Knights of Ren disciples perhaps?

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I’ve got a soft spot for X-Wings, and the upgraded ships appearing in Episode VII. Because they’re still the coolest fighter-ships ever made. Foils to attack-position, over.

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As cool as the Empire was, we never really saw them as a credible threat in Star Wars. Sure, they had numbers on their side, but I could win any fight by drowning an enemy with wave after wave of expendable soldier while I waited for my opposition to run out of ammo.

I’m hoping that the First Order will be more competent than the Stormtroopers of the older films, with a skill-level that would make Clonetroopers proud.

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Wherever the First Order and the Resistance are battling, it looks like another new planet. Probably not Kashykk either. Those trees are too low, and nobody lives on the ground anyway.

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Looks like Poe and Finn are bestest of buds though, with Finn joining the Resistance. I’ve got a feeling that Poe is going to steal the show, as the Han Solo replacement: A cocky pilot with a heart of gold and skills to pay the bills when taking down TIE fighters.

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Oh, looks like Michael Bay directed a scene in Episode VII.

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Where’s Han leading Finn and Rey? No idea, but that lumbering automaton is more distracting than the all the flags in the universe it seems.

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So, the biggest question is: Where’s Luke Skywalker? The hero of the Rebel Alliance hasn’t been seen since the fall of the Empire, and Mark Hammil’s Jedi master has been missing from just about all of the promotional material released for the film so far. Luke’s clearly in seclusion, and most likely being saved for a big reveal in the film I’d bet.

Alongside R2-D2, who probably still has the stink of the last actor pilot who died inside of him when they filmed scenes in Tunisia.

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It’s armour. It doesn’t have to be gender-specific. And Gwendolyn Christie is rocking her chrome armour and cape as Captain Phasma, an elite First Order trooper and commander.

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Chewbacca! It wouldn’t be Star Wars without the lovable Wookiee, who appears to be in a tight jam with his co-pilot Han Solo and Finn. And with the expanded universe pretty much wiped clean, it looks like reports of Chewbacca dying when he fought back an entire moon (No for reals, go read it), were greatly exaggerated.

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Or were they? Kervyn has a theory that Chewbacca might not live to see the end of this trilogy, as Rey grieves over what appears to be a familiar bandolier…

 

Death Star, Super Star Destroyers. Man, the Empire sure did like to inspire the populace with a quick reminder that genocide was but a massive laser-blast away. And it looks like the First Order is keeping the tradition alive, with an actual planet that doubles as a home-base and super-weapon of galactic proportions.

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If the final act of the film features the Resistance having a massive battle with the First Order on home-ground while their super-weapon powers up, I’ll be one happy fan.

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Man, Kylo Ren really loves using his talk-to-the-hand dark side powers whenever possible.

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I don’t think Han could ever settle down. A smuggler, ruffian and a scruffy nerf herder, there’s just no way that he could live an ordinary life with Leia. He truly was a Solo, but it’s always nice to see the two of them together, as it looks like Leia has been leading the Resistance since the battle of Endor.

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I don’t know how Finn got his hands on Luke Skywalker’s original lightsaber (which Obi-Wan Kenobi took with him after he defeated Anakin on Mustafar and left him to freakin’ burn to death as a one-limbed evil corpse), but he does look proper badass with it, igniting the blade and getting ready for a showdown.

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With Kylo Ren, of course. I don’t care what anyone says: I like Kylo Ren’s lightsaber, even if it is impossibly impractical. It’s wild, spurting dangerous amounts of energy and ragged. Just like me, when you think about it.

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And that’s a wrap! Star Wars is out December 18. I’ll finally pop my IMAX cherry when I go see it on the biggest screen possible.

Last Updated: October 20, 2015

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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