After what felt like an endless wait, finally, in the dead of night yesterday morning came the full trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Considering this is one of the most anticipated films in many years, this trailer had a lot of expectations to meet. And boy, did it meet them. Join me as we take a scene-by-scene look through this action-packed, heart-stopping glimpse of the galaxy far, far away.
A couple of mild spoilers ahead. You've been warned.
We begin with a very quiet, subdued opening as scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) climbs through the wreckage of what appears to be a Star Destroyer, on the desert planet Jakku. An unknown voice asks her "who are you?" and Rey's mournful reply is "I'm no one", as she watches a ship sail out into the great beyond. Already I'm sensing very strong parallels between Rey in The Force Awakens and Luke Skywalker in A New Hope. Here, Rey is at a desolate, lonely point in her life, but there's plenty in store for her...
Next we see a TIE Fighter crashing towards Jakku, which has estranged Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) on board. As he bitterly turns his back on the life behind him and walks the plains of Jakku, he spots a settlement. Is this leading up to Finn and Rey's first meeting?
And then we come to an altogether darker (literally) part of the galaxy, as Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) reveals that he is all kinds of crazy. He promises vengeance to the melted mask of Darth Vader (?!) and really, it's not surprising that Vader is an inspiration for Ren. He looks and sounds very similar to the famed Dark Lord, and there may be hints of a greater link between Kylo Ren and Anakin Skywalker, perhaps.
What happens next is very weird - Kylo appears to be using the Force on Poe Dameron's (Oscar Isaac) face! Talk about cruel and unusual punishment. And with that, we meet our new Big Four, and it's time to catch up with some old friends.
Suddenly, we see the Millenium Falcon streaking through the Jakku sky, hotly pursued by TIE Fighters. So that's Han, Finn and Rey all on Jakku, which is surrounded by crashed Star Destroyers. What's the deal here? It seems certain that everything begins on Jakku. In any case, it's so joyous to see the Millenium Falcon, Han and Chewie again, and in a magical touch, it's all scored to a new arrangement of John Williams' beautiful theme "Han Solo and the Princess" from The Empire Strikes Back.
Rey tells Han that she has heard stories about what happened (presumably the events of the original trilogy), and Han narrates the rest of the trailer by telling her "It's true... all of it... the Dark Side, the Jedi, they're real". What's particularly genius about this is that he's stood on virtually the exact spot where Obi-Wan Kenobi once told him about the Force, and a young Han scoffed at the notion. Now, Han is taking Obi-Wan's role, and the story has come full circle, quite literally.
What follows next is a cavalcade of images and scenes - almost too many to mention. But I'll give it a go!
Firstly, we have an absolutely beautiful shot of the Falcon blasting into hyperspace from the outside. We've never seen this angle before - how has this never happened? - and it's one that sets the spine tingling. Next, we see Kylo Ren, lightsaber drawn in a storm, flanked by a sinister bunch of warriors. Could this be the "Knights of Ren" that we've heard about?
We also see the X-wings flying across the water from the previous trailers, this time with more context. It's revealed that they're flying towards some sort of ruined structure on fire and swarming with stormtroopers, on a green, watery looking planet. This is probably not a planet we've seen before, and as for what the building is, your guess is as good as mine!
Then, Poe greets Finn at what appears to be the Resistance base, and exchange a very curious look. Perhaps they're not the best of friends at this point? There's a massive aerial dogfight underway between the Resistance and the First Order on the watery-green planet, and back on Jakku a huge explosion blocks Rey and Finn's way.
We're next outside a funny-looking castle courtyard surrounded by colourful flags and an awesome-looking massive red droid. Could this be the building that ends up as the ruins we saw a few seconds ago?
We get a bit of juxtaposition next - as a hand stretches out to touch Artoo (a hand that I feel confident in stating is that of Luke Skywalker), Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) lay waste to another new location. This film is certainly not short on action!
Perhaps the most intriguing shot comes next. Rey is crying - really crying - over something, or someone. On close inspection, it looks like there could be an unfortunate person at her side who she is crying for. Whether it be Han, Chewie, Finn, Poe, or someone else, it isn't looking good for one of the gang.
After a brief glimpse of Poe in his X-wing cockpit and chirpy little newcomer BB-8, we witness another aerial battle between the two opposing forces, this time in a snowy landscape. What's most interesting is what we see in the background - a large trench in the ground not unlike that of the first Death Star. Could we be in for another trench run?
As we race towards the climax, we just manage to catch a glimpse of Kylo using the Force, lots more action, and touchingly, Han and Leia sharing a tender moment together. Then, finally, what you're waiting for: lightsabers! Finn ignites his blue lightsaber (it looks rather like Luke's one, if you ask me...) and Kylo charges towards him, without his mask on, with Finn looking instantly terrified. As a proud, barnstorming version of the Force theme reaches its end, we cut to black.
And as the mysterious female voice tells us to "just let it in", the words appear: "The Force Awakens", as the Star Wars logo fades into view and a gentle, fond version of the main theme plays.
Well... that's quite a lot to digest. That'll certainly keep me going for eight weeks, but what about you? Did you enjoy the trailer? Let's discuss it below!
Andy is a writer, musician, graduate, and super-geek. Ginger glasses-wearer. Star Wars obsessive and Doctor Who enthusiast. Specialises in film music and currently writing his first book on the subject. Follow Andy on Twitter.