Millions of geeks throughout the land actually sat through the first half of Monday Night Football this week in order to catch ESPN’s exclusive airing at half time of the full official trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It was totally, 100% worth it. You’ve seen it by now, right? If not, it’s right here — press play. We’ll wait.
All done? It’s great, right? I’ve watched it at least 1138 times since Monday and I’m still seeing cool new stuff!
Let’s get this out of the way straight off: We here at Sisters In Geek are unequivocally excited about this movie. We’re not playing the “It’s probably going to suck and disappoint us again” game. And there is nothing wrong with being excited about something. We like JJ Abrams (mostly… some of us more than others…) and appreciate that in every interview he’s given on this subject, he’s talked about how he approached his direction of this movie from the perspective of a lifelong fan. That counts for something. (I could get into a whole long analysis of how George Lucas was never a fan of Star Wars and always approached everything from a control-freak, ownership perspective, but that’s something we can discuss at another time.) We are excited about the look and feel of the film based on the teasers and this trailer. And it has everything we love: spaceships, mysterious planets in galaxies far away, girls and women kicking ass, dashing fighters and star pilots, a creepy bad guy who seems to have an unhealthy obsession with Darth Vader, a divine John Williams soundtrack.
And Han Solo. It has Han Solo.
So let’s break this trailer down a little!
We open with shots of the Daisy Ridley character, Rey, exploring a desert planet that’s covered in star destroyer wreckage from some unknown past space battle. She gives off a very independent, orphan-kid vibe and we hear a voice ask “Who are you?” and another voice answer, “I’m no one.” Pretty certain that’s Leia speaking to Rey. I was theorizing the other night that Rey might be Han and Leia’s kid, but I’ve come to my senses and now think she must be Luke’s and for some reason, she’s been hidden away all this time — we’re going to have a lot of familiar touchpoints in this story. She’s definitely part of the family — she’s got that whole Padme/young Leia vibe in both her looks and personality. Sure, this could be a misdirect on the part of the filmmakers to distract us from what’s really going on, but I don’t think so. More on this in a minute.
Then we see a very Nazi-esque assembly of Imperial-style troopers listening to a rousing speech by someone dressed all in black — I’m guessing that’s either the Domhnall Gleeson character, General Hux, or the Andy Serkis character, Supreme Leader Snoke (um, gee, North Korea much with a title like that?) . We know from other set photos that Captain Phasma, the Gwendoline Christie character, is also standing up there. So we’ve got our bad guy control freaks that want to be ruling the galaxy once again.
And then we see Finn, the John Boyega character, panicking and whipping off his trooper helmet, and a voiceover of dialogue from him: “I’ve got nothing to fight for.” We see a TIE-fighter spin away from a larger ship and then it cuts to Finn, standing on the desert planet, looking down over a town.
We cut to a hooded figure standing on the bridge of a ship and what must be the voice of super baddie Kylo Ren saying, “Nothing will stand in our way…”, then the masked visage of Kylo Ren himself, … “I will finish…” and then we see that he’s holding in his hands the melted helmet of Darth Vader, “…What you started.” Aaaand a quick cut to the traumatized face of Luke Skywalker, screaming, “NOOOOOOO!” (He excels at that. Why not let him have his fun.)
Cue stuff exploding, ships flying around clearly involved in some sort of chase or battle, and OMGSQUEEEEE it’s the Millennium Falcon! (I’m mostly over my fangirl sobbing at the mere sight of it after watching the first couple of teasers 9,000 times… mostly.) And then Rey and Finn, on board the Falcon, speaking to Han Solo. He tells them the old stories they’ve heard of the Jedi and the Force are true. “All of it.” And then we make a leap into hyperspace (obviously someone’s repaired that function on the Falcon — will it work for the WHOLE movie?), and the words “THIS CHRISTMAS” come up to remind us that this is the BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT WE WILL EVER GET. EVER. Well — if you are me, okay? Geez.
Cut to a dark gang of dark people in dark outfits and Kylo Ren’s wacky lightsaber lighting up, then some more ships flying and some troopers doing… something… somewhere. Then we see a bunch of what appear to be Rebel pilots (will they still be called the Rebellion? Hmmm…) readying for flight, and Finn is walking through and passes Poe Dameron (the Oscar Isaac character), who gives him a manly reassuring brief grip on the shoulder, all, “Bros, man, we are bros!” with the briefest of nods from Finn. Or something. Then some running around and fighting, and then we see Rey and Finn following Han Solo into what appears to be the temple on Yavin (where the Rebel base was housed in A New Hope) — if not it’s someplace similar.
More darkness and we get a glimpse of R2-D2 and a shrouded figure (I’m guessing it’s Luke Skywalker). More battling, a teeny snippet of Captain Phasma leading some troops, some stuff blows up, Rey is sobbing, Chewie and Han have their hands over their heads like they’ve been taken prisoner but they let them down as they see… something. Then Leia’s voice speaks again: “The Force. It’s calling to you.” Poe’s flying into battle with BB-8 as his astromech, more ships and fire, more troopers running around, Rey shooting some stuff, more stuff blows up, Han and Leia embrace (she looks tired, y’all), and then…
Kylo Ren and Finn are gonna have a throw down, lightsaber-style.
And then the screen goes black and Leia says, “Just let it in.”
Seriously, what is this movie about??? Well, I don’t really know. I can tell you what I think it’s NOT about though: I don’t think it’s about Luke Skywalker. I think Luke plays a central or critical role, but I don’t think this movie is telling his story any longer. I think this movie — and the two to follow, in keeping with the trilogy tradition of the franchise — will tell the story of a new Skywalker. And I think Rey is that Skywalker. Fan speculation on the webs has Finn as the new central Skywalker, or somehow he’s Han Solo’s kid. I don’t buy it. I’ve searched my feelings and it doesn’t feel right to me. I think he is obviously tremendously important and possibly (probably?) experiencing a Force awakening. But I’m sticking with my suspicion that it’s Rey.
I also don’t think it’s about Leia and Han Solo. I think they are going to serve in the parental/Obi Wan role for both Rey and Finn. Does this mean one or both of them will die? I’m guessing not. I’m going to say that if we see the death of one of the older characters, it will be Luke.
So who is this Finn guy, then? He’s been trained as a stormtrooper his entire life — he says as much. Is he SOMEone? I’m not ready to say that he is. Not everyone has to be related to the Skywalkers. Plus I’m not sure you’ve noticed this, but he’s black. The Skywalkers have tended towards whiteness so far. This is not to say Luke couldn’t have fathered him somehow, or that he’s not Leia’s son, but I’m also not willing to imagine a world in which Leia and Han haven’t been together this entire time. There is always the possibility that he’s somehow related to one of the Jedi who perished years and years earlier. Or maybe he’s just a guy. A guy who feels something stirring inside him that makes him feel like maybe he’s on the wrong side of things, and jumps ship, and finds himself thrust into the center of an epic battle of good versus evil. And that would be perfectly fine. Great, even.
I’m also really excited about the fact that what look to be the two central characters of this movie are a young woman and a young, handsome black man. Millions of little kids will grow up looking at them as heroes to emulate, just like some of us grew up imitating Luke and Leia and Han Solo. It’s no small thing — and the horrible people of the world feel threatened by it already. Which is awesome. No better way to guarantee that people will want to see a thing than launching an ill-advised boycott.
So look. I’ve got nothing but love for Star Wars. There are aspects of the movies I hate — especially aspects of the prequel trilogy (“I hate sand,” anyone?) and that incredibly awkward and weird moment in Return of the Jedi when all of a sudden Darth Vader’s all, “OMG son, you’re right! You’ve been right all along! Let me just throw the Emperor down a shaft and then we can be a family again!” If you wanted someone to rip this trailer to shreds and talk about how terrible this movie’s going to be, you don’t know Sisters In Geek very well (we can totally refer you to a couple of friends of ours, though). We’re not even cautiously optimistic about this — we are ALL IN. And I can barely wait until December 17th (special showings, yo!).
In the meantime, may the Force be with you always.
(Agree? Disagree? Think we’re nuts? Let us know in the comments if you have THEORIES or questions you really want to speculate about now rather than waiting!)