Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer Breakdown

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by James White |
Published on

What was foretold in legend has now come true: the third (and possibly final) trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has arrived online. Ticket sales for the film have been crashing websites across the world and anticipation has been at an all time high for the film, which flies into UK cinemas on December 17. So join us as we dissect the new trailer...

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It all starts relatively quietly, with Daisy Ridley's Rey scavenging the hulk of a giant, wrecked ship. Presumably the Star Destroyer we've seen before. Overlaid, a voice, which sounds like Lupita Nyong'o's Maz Kanata asks "Who are you?" Note the shot of her repelling down into the cavernous hangar bay, a shot reminiscent of Ridley Scott's Alien.

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"I'm no-one," replies Rey, though we all know that will be slightly inaccuate. This young woman has a destiny - and a droid, as she's picked up BB-8 on Jakku. Slogging through the sand alongside her stunted companion we see echoes of Threepio and Artoo on Tatooine. We get our first glimpse of The First Order as the camera sweeps across the assembled troops, being addressed by what looks like Domhnall Gleeson's General Hux.

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With the Lucasfilm credit out of the way, things start to ramp up as we see shots of First Order troopers gathered, then the footage of John Boyega's Finn pulling off his Storm Trooper helmet looking sweaty and terrified. He's clearly having a crisis of conscience. "I was raised to do one thing. But I’ve got nothing to fight for," he says in voiceover, as we watch a TIE Fighter he's piloting to escape the Order's Star Destroyer clipped by laser fire and sent hurtling towards Jakku. In all likelihood this follows soon after the scene from the first trailer where we see the TIE go rogue in the Star Destroyer hangar bay as Finn blasts his escape. We then see a shot of Finn, jacket in hand, staring out over a settlement.

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Time for the villains to get their moment as the camera sweeps towards a dimly lit Star Destroyer bridge and the cowl-less helmed silhouette of Adam Driver's Kylo Ren. Cut to the front of Ren's mask as he says "I will finish what you started..." while staring down at the twisted, pyre-melted helmet of Darth Vader, the echo of his iconic respirator rising behind the score.

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More from Ren as he delivers what looks like Force-induced pain to an unwilling victim – Oscar Isaac's Poe. The trailer kicks up another gear as we see large-scale destruction on a forest planet, which cuts to the Millennium Falcon outpacing TIE Fighters above Jakku.

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Rey and Finn are aboard the Falcon, clearly in need of answers. Turns out that most of what we know of the Star Wars universe is treated as myth and legend here. "There are stories about what happened," says Rey. But they have someone to set them straight: Han Solo himself. "It’s true," he growls. "All of it. The Dark Side. The Jedi. They’re real."

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John Williams' score really starts to kick in here, as the Falcon makes an impressive – yet still in keeping with the original trilogy – jump to lightspeed. Cue a montage of fan-baiting shots...

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Kylo Ren with his Broadsaber leading what we can presume is some of his order, the Knights Of Ren.

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Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron enjoying some pre-battle camaraderie with Boyega's Finn on a shot that should conjure memories of the Rebels gearing up for the Battle of Yavin in Star Wars.

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X-Wings vs. TIE Fighters! Explosions! Clashes! Banthas and droids living together! Mass hysteria!

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Han, Rey, Finn and BB-8 headed for a mysterious Temple-like structure that boasts a walking droid we've yet to meet. Could this be where Luke is hiding out? Especially as we see him with Artoo next.

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We see Kylo Ren's command shuttle landing, followed by a shot of Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma leading her First Order troops through a destroyed village as Ren himself cuts down some poor unfortunate with his saber.

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More classic trilogy throwback shots as Han and Chewie (and Finn) are seemingly captured. Probably not for long, if history teaches us anything. Dramatic shots of Rey weeping and Poe leading a squadron of X-Wings, Rey firing a blaster, Storm Troopers being thrown by explosions, And... more Maz Kanata voice-over. "The Force," she intones. "It's calling to you... Just let it in." Advice the trailer itself is clearly trying to offer to all of us.

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And at last, Princess Leia herself, being comforted by Han. Why is she upset? Have they lost someone close to them? Is she worried for someone's safety? It's remarkable how much this trailer keeps hidden while giving us fun glimpses. And yes, this is likely another throwback, this time to the Leia/Chewie moment in Empire when Han is frozen in carbonite.

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And what better way to finish strong than with Boyega's Finn facing off against Kylo Ren in a lightsaber clash. Note that Ren is helmet and hood-less here, Adam Driver's flowing locks seen from behind but no glimpse as to what his face looks like.

A more serious, teasing reel than we'd expect from a 'final' trailer. Abrams is clearly planning to play his cards as close to his chest as possible until release. December 17 can't come fast enough. For everything we know about The Force Awakens, head here. To watch the trailer again, look below.

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