‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Trailer Analysis: Everything You Might Have Missed

     October 20, 2015

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The newly released trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens may not have overtly revealed much in the way of story, but through piecing together some clues here and there, we’re starting to get an idea of how the film will play out, how the characters will interact, and who will be left standing at the end. Let’s keep in mind that most of this analysis is pulled from the new trailer and previously released images/footage, but there is occasionally some speculation that will creep in. Feel free to share your two cents in the comments!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens December 18th and stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendolyn Christie, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, and Max Von Sydow.

First up, Mr. Sunday has done a fair amount of the hard work for us already. He’s pieced together evidence from the recent trailer as well as the Star Wars footage released at Comic-Con in order to try to sort out just what the heck is going on in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (There’s also a healthy dose of #StarWarsJacketSpeculation so be prepared.) Watch Mr. Sunday’s video below, and then keep reading for more analysis on the new trailer:


Landscapes:

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer


As has been evident since some of the earliest glimpses of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a portion of the film will be spent on a desert planet. Though it’s similar in appearance to Tatooine, this particular dune-filled Outer Rim locale has been dubbed Jakku. This planet appears to be the home of Rey and her pal BB-8, the site of Finn’s apparently crash-landed TIE Fighter, and a dogfight between the Millennium Falcon and some more TIE Fighters amidst the wreck of fallen Star Destroyers. As a nod to Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, it also seems to be the place that all of the aforementioned characters meet up for the first time. We can assume that they’ll just barely escape the First Order Stormtroopers who are in pursuit and safely fly away using the Falcon’s jump to lightspeed … if she holds together.

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer


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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

We next see a lush, green world with plenty of waterfront property that the Stormtroopers seem keen on destroying. This not only seems to be the base of the Rebels/Resistance where Han, Rey, Finn (and BB-8) cross paths with Poe Dameron, but will also play host to what looks like a huge battle by air and by land. We’ll get to what happens to the characters at each of these settings in a moment, but one interesting note is seen directly above, where our heroes appear to be entering a temple of some sort. Could it be the Massassi Temple, making this planet Yavin 4?


Also, take note of the Mandalorian symbol on the banner at the entrance to the temple:

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

Make of that what you will. These banners may be tributes to a wide range of peoples, tribes, or other organizations … or it could just be a fun Easter egg for fans.

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

This next landscape is hard to distinguish because Captan Phasma and her First Order Stormtroopers – some armed with flamethrowers – have torched any recognizable landmarks out of existence. In the trailer’s sequence (which shouldn’t be totally trusted due to the power of the edit), it appears that this scorched earth is the same place that Luke lays his metal hand upon R2-D2, suggesting that the Jedi and his astromech droid (and likely his X-Wing) have been taking refuge on this planet. The planet in question looks like its only structures are crude, composed of sticks and twine and some type of hide or simple canvas. It certainly doesn’t look like the swamps of Dagobah, but perhaps Luke has taken up residence on some equally primitive planet as a reclusive Jedi Master, only to have the First Order (and Kylo Ren?) come calling.


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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

From sand to snow we go as another sequence from the trailer reveals an all-out battle above a wintry landscape. Reminiscent of Hoth and the epic battle that played out on its snowy plains in the past, this new sequence pits squadrons of X-Wings against TIE Fighters rather than T-47 Snowspeeders vs AT-ATs, AT-STs, and chatty Probe Droids. As you can see in the above image, there appears to be some sort of man-made wall running through the center of the landscape. This is assumed to be part of the Starkiller Base, the icy home of the First Order.


Mr. Sunday and some other theorists have proposed that the remnants of the Empire have constructed a planet-destroying super-weapon within the planet base itself! That’s certainly crazy and will be an epic thing to see realized on the big screen, but that would mean that the upgraded Death Star that appears on the new poster isn’t a moon or a space station at all, but a weaponized planet! No wonder the Resistance fighters want to shut this sucker down! Speaking of characters, let’s take a look at a few.

Characters

Rey

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer

Is it just me, or does Rey remind you of a Tusken raider?

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer


As we find out in the new trailer, Rey appears to make a living by scavenging crash-landed Star Destroyers and other machinery out in the desert wasteland. I wonder if that’s where she found her little buddy, BB-8?

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

Rey, now teamed up with Finn, steps into the metaphorical shoes of Luke Skywalker from the original film as she meets up with Han Solo and his legendary Millennium Falcon.


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Image via Disney

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

This scene more than any has drawn the attention of fans trying to figure out just why Rey is so upset and just who that dead/dying/injured person is in front of her. It could be Poe, Han, or as some have speculated, even Chewbacca. Thoughts?

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

I included this image just to remind folks that Rey comes across as a survivor and a fighter, making a strong case for the Star Wars‘ franchise next great female hero.


Finn

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

While we know that Finn is a Stormtrooper of the new order who, at some point, has a change of heart, we’re not 100% sure just what makes him come to this revelation. Mr. Sunday posits that Poe Dameron, who we’ll get to in a moment, has been captured by Kylo Ren, and Finn either attempts to save him or has something to do with bringing him in. Either way, Finn ends up with a new costume (#StarWarsJacketSpeculation) by the time he is stranded on Jakku.


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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

Eventually, Finn and Poe meet up (again?) at the Resistance Base. The exchange between the two of them is either one of mutual recognition or “I never thought I’d see you again!”

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

Banners and temples aside, I just want to know what this big red droid is all about. Security? If so, he’s doing a pretty lax job.


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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

Here’s my favorite part of the trailer when it comes to Finn. In a sequence that teases his lightsaber duel against Kylo Ren in a snowy forest, we see his face go from confident to terrified as the sinister character approaches with his unusual red lightsaber drawn. It’s anyone’s guess what happens next, but this is definitely one moment that will be worth waiting for.


Poe Dameron

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

While it’s quite clear from other shots of Poe that have been released that he’s an X-Wing pilot for the resistance, what’s less clear is just how he came to be within the grasp of (presumably) Kylo Ren. It’s hard to tell just when in the movie this takes place, but as the Comic-Con footage showed, Poe was being hauled into a detention center aboard some First Order facility. Obviously he escapes at some point and is able to join his fellow pilots in battle. Mr. Sunday also points out an interesting note, that Dameron’s parents fought at the Battle of Endor 30 years earlier.


Han Solo, Leia, and Chewbacca

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

Welcome back, Han!

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

If this setting does turn out to be the old Rebel base on Yavin 4, it would certainly explain why Han is leading Finn and Rey inside. To what ends remains uncertain.

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

Fans would kill to know what Finn, Chewie, and Han are looking at off-screen, because whatever it is has either just saved their butts or just blown their minds. A couple things to take notice of: One, apparently someone tried to pull Chewbacca’s arm off after a game of holochess, or he was injured in a recent battle; two, the resistance must not have won this round as our intrepid heroes appear to be surrendering amidst scenes of destruction.


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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

One thing is for sure, we know Leia isn’t weeping over the death of Han since he’s right there to console her. Since the soldiers behind them don’t appear to be in a state of disarray or defeat, I don’t think she’s mourning the loss of anyone at all, as has been theorized. Instead, it looks as if she simply “has a bad feeling” about Han heading back into battle … or perhaps someone close to her, someone other than Han is also in danger.

Kylo Ren

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer


Kylo Ren may be the character whom fans are most interested in learning more about. He’s not a Sith, as far as we know/can trust Abrams, but he appears to be obsessed with the life and legacy of Darth Vader. Since he retrieved Vader’s burned and warped helmet and seems to be delivering a soliloquy to it like some sort of twisted Shakespearean tragic hero, it’s clear that Kylo Ren’s not all there. That’s not to say he isn’t dangerous, though; perhaps he’s even moreso because of his obsession.

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

A big question concerning Kylo Ren’s powers is whether or not he has any control over the Force. Since he’s not a Sith, but is clearly skilled with a lightsaber, are we left to believe that he’s simply been trained in combat like any other soldier but has no otherworldly abilities? (To be honest, I can’t recall any scenes that have been released showing any use of the Force so far, so please let me know if you have.) This image is one of the few glimpses of Kylo Ren attempting to use some sort of Force technique … or he’s just performing a special brand of torture on the captured Poe Dameron.


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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

There’s not much to extract from these images except that Kylo Ren is badass, his Knights are equally so, and they leave a trail of bodies wherever they go. Who those bodies are is anyone’s guess.

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer


Luke and R2-D2

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Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

Luke Skywalker has been conspicuously absent from trailer footage, images, and posters so far, with this lone shot being the exception. His prosthetic right hand and favorite Droid are all the evidence we need that this is indeed the Jedi Master, but what he’s up to and what will become of him is beyond us at the moment.

For more of our Star Wars content, or peruse our recent coverage provided at the links below:


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