Breaking Down The Second Force Awakens Teaser

The Star Wars Celebration kicked off the first of its three days today in Anaheim, CA. There, Star Wars fans from the world around are congregating to share their love for the franchise.

A key point in the first day’s events was the release of the second teaser trailer for the impending sequel, The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams. [1]

Like the last trailer, there is a lot to see, but so little explained. Let’s break this new one down shot for shot.

Here we see the classic Lucasfilm logo wash across a black background with a jade-marble looking color palette. Sinister music plays in the background.

As John Williams’ “Binary Sunsets” fades in, so does this establishing shot of Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) landspeeder racing across a Jakku desert. [2] This shot is most striking not for what’s moving, but what sits still and silent in the sand. An Imperial II-class Star Destroyer rises hauntingly from the dunes that are slowly overtaking it. A T–65 X-wing starfighter has suffered the same fate.

This shot is a reminder that Episode VII takes place 30 some odd years after the events of Return Of The Jedi. The Empire has fallen with both the Emperor and Darth Vader dead.

At the end of Jedi, Luke Skywalker returns to Endor with armor of Darth Vader. He holds a funeral for his father, Anakin Skywalker, and burns the armor on a pyre. With it, the name of Darth Vader.

In the trailer, Luke (Mark Hamill) begins to narrate, using a line from Return of The Jedi.

The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too.

With each portion of the narration, an image flashes. The first is the melted helmet of Darth Vader.

Next, we see a hooded figure laying a mechanical hand on R2D2. I think it’s safe to assume, in accordance to the narration, that this is Luke. It’s less apparent what exactly is on fire to the left of the frame.

Here, Leia Organa Solo takes her father’s Lightsaber, the very same one given to Luke by Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, from the hands of a faceless figure. There is a lot to question here. Last we saw this lightsaber, it was falling into oblivion on Cloud City after Luke lost his hand. Where did it come from? Who is handing it to Leia?

It’s difficult to tell, as shadows are covering the hand, but the skin looks to have an orange-like hue. I’m tossing a bet in that this is Lupita Nyong’o, who we’ve yet to see in a teaser. It has been pointed out to me that she may in fact play Ahsoka Tano who would be around the age of 70 in The Force Awakens timeframe. [3] The hand in this clip looks small and either very old and frail or youthful. Perhaps Ahsoka found, recognized, and saved her old master’s lightsaber. The Story behind that would be very interesting to me.

Before the trailer promises Episode 7 “This Christmas” we hear the last line of Luke’s narration.

You have that power too.

Who is Luke talking to? Leia and Han’s child? His child? His Padawan? In any case, this is the first we’re hearing Luke hand off his knowledge and training to a new generation of Jedi. This is important.

From the first sighting of Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), I knew we were getting not only new Jedi, but a new star pilot as well. Poe seems to fit the combined role of Luke Skywalker the pilot and Han Solo as well. A hit tip to the Millennium Falcon’s owner provided with a rowdy “Wahoo!” from the cockpit of an X-Wing signals this very idea.

Kylo Ren, our new lightsaber-wielding mystery man makes another intimidating appearance in teaser 2.


With a nearly synchronized heal-turn, Ren and a handful of stormtroopers reveal to us exactly who’s side the metal-faced force-weilder is on. It appears from this footage that Kylo Ren is aligned with the First Order (the new Empire). [4]

Speaking of those new Stormtroopers, how about those new suits? We’ve had several looks at the new helmet design, but now we can see a much clearer view of the body armor itself.

It seems that 30 years of Stormtrooper suit innovation has brought a slimmer, sleeker look. The neck appears to have more room to move around and the chests are much less bulky. If you look closely, a Snowtrooper is visible through the middle rows.

The TIE fighters flanking the troops also got some work done. There’s much more contrast in the wings. Black frames the white panels to match the trooper uniform.

Behind it all, we see a tower with some shadowy figures standing watch over the troops below. A snowy mountainous landscape is visible. Is this Hoth? A massive First Order flag billows ominously.

It’s my hope that Rey will be the film franchise’s first female hero. Leia did her part, but was more a love interest than a heroine. Ahsoka had some bright moments in The Clone Wars television series, but was only taken seriously towards the end when she made her departure. She and several other ladies are making history in Star Wars: Rebels, but this is TV, not the big screen.

This series needs strong female characters.

Rey helps Finn up. This seems like a partnership between two character I could care about.

In these clips, Rey definitely looks more like a determined leader than Finn (John Boyega) does. Finn isn’t wearing Stormtrooper gear here, which is new. BB-8 rolls on. A First Order TIE fighter destroys a village in the background.

More TIE fighters! This time, it looks like a TIE was commandeered and is causing havoc in a First Order hanger. Who’s behind the controls? Poe? Finn?

If we know anything about Finn at this point, it’s that he has a lot of emotions and isn’t afraid to let them out. We’ve seen him scared, we’ve seen him distressed, and now we see him in a solitary moment, concerned by something. Maybe it’s the bloody handprint on his Stormtrooper helmet.

These look new ships. The four cruisers are fairly nondescript, but the center one looks like a new class. It’s reminiscent of an Imperial Military shuttle.

There were a few photos of a rumored silver or metallic grey stormtrooper circulating last fall. Here we see one marching confidently down a hallway with a totally chic cape. The Chrome Trooper lives.

We know that R2D2 is going to be in the film at some capacity. BB-8 has been a fan favorite of the film teasers so far. Between the two, there is plenty of droid charisma to go around. I hope they meet up.

The Millennium Falcon chase scene resumes in trailer two. Piloted through the ruined remains of an Imperial Cruiser, the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy” twists and turns to avoid capture by several TIE fighters. But who is flying it?

Who else? Han Solo and his furry co-pilot Chewbacca return to the silver screen in a flash of nostalgic glory.

Chewie, we’re home.

Home indeed. The second trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is chock-full of yummy bites. We can gather little of the plot from the clips, but at least we have a better idea of who’s in it.

J.J was caught sporting an Apple watch today during the live events at SWCA.  

Get a closer look at this landspeeder on i09.

Perhaps Ahsoka is in Episode VII, perhaps not.

The Empire and Rebellion have been replaced by the First Order and the Resistance.