|FINN - AREN'T YOU A LITTLE CONSCIENTIOUS FOR A STORMTROOPER?
Here, we see the character widely mooted as the film's lead: "Finn", played by John Boyega. But he's a stormtrooper! Word has it that he's a guy who's taking stock of his life, and aching to do the right thing. But it also raises complex questions about this post-Palpatine world: the Empire is clearly still around, but in what form? And if our hero is a stormtrooper, then can anything be seen as truly good or truly bad?
The nature of Boyega's character has been rumoured for a while, but it's certainly an interesting choice. We'll be intrigued to hear him speak - will he keep his own accent?
RETURN TO TATTOOINE?
The opening and closing shots, and much of the action that takes place inbetween, would seem to take place on Tattooine, the desert world that was home to Anakin and Luke Skywalker. But, of course, until we get official confirmation of that from J.J. Abrams, we're not taking anything for granted. Especially after that whole John Harrison affair.
DROIDS - SAY HELLO TO BB-8!
Abrams has long promised a return to practical effects, and droids, where possible, and here we get a nippy little fella called BB-8 who seems part R2 unit, part mouse robot, and part World Cup mascot. Imagine this little fella terrorising the Liverpool defence.
Although the name of the droid is not yet known, like so much about The Force Awakens, this little critter is rumoured to be a sidekick to Boyega and Daisy Ridley's characters, and apparently has multiple defence/attack capabilities. That's its head on a pivot, there.
INTRODUCING... REY (RUMORED TO BE KIRA REY SOLO)
Rey is played by Daisy Ridley, a young girl who is supposedly the co-lead of the movie. Early, and fairly obvious, speculation had pegged her as Han and Leia's daughter, but scuttlebutt would seem to have her living alone on this desert planet, possibly in the carcass of an AT-AT. Fiercely independent, the story may see her team up with Boyega to solve a mystery that will take them into contact with heroes from the original trilogy.
The vehicle Kira is driving seems to be some kind of new land speeder, and is a sure sign that Abrams will be able to introduce new vehicles and droids that feel like they've been around in the Star Wars universe for years. And listen to that engine noise - enough to make Clarkson and the Top Gear boys drool (or perhaps not since they got their P-45's handed to them)
A squadron of troopers, presumably featuring Boyega (some people are asking why all the stormtrooper aren't played by Temuera Morrison; but by the time of the original trilogy, stormtrooper were recruited, not grown in a lab). Note the redesigned helmets and armour - subtle, but nice, and it tallies with concept art that leaked a while ago.
The shaky cam here, as the troopers prepare to land on a planet and load up their ammo, is the one stylistic conceit in the trailer that feels modern. Otherwise, camera moves and compositions all feel very classic Lucas.
INSIDE POE DAMERON'S COCKPIT
This is Oscar Isaac as an X-wing pilot called Poe Dameron, in a shot that feels in many ways like it could have been ripped from the original trilogy. We don't know much about Isaac's character, as yet other than he is called Poe Dameron, but we do love the subtle revisions to the outfit of an X-wing pilot, including the Rebel Alliance insignia on the helmet. Could this be the symbol of a New Republic, if there is one in this world?
Also, if we know anything, we'd imagine that Isaac didn't just sign on to be a glorified Porkins. Expect him to play a prominent role in proceedings.
Here, an X-wing squadron - note the new blue stripes down the side - fly in formation over a lake on a planet that seems to be very different from anything we've seen in the Star Wars universe to date.
Later, we'll see a snowy forest, a far cry from Hoth and Endor.
HOLY SITH IT'S KYLO REN!
Speak of the devil... The trailer begins with a voiceover by Andy Serkis. An interesting choice, perhaps indicating that, although Vader and the Emperor have gone, evil is still present in this universe, awaiting the right moment to awaken and strike.
And here we have our first glimpse at what appears to be the Sith Lord villain of the piece, a character called Kylo Ren. The smart money suggests this is Adam Driver, stumbling through that snowy forest. Who's he looking for? Or what? And then there's the...
A MORE ELEGANT WEAPON...?
Finding new and interesting things to do with a lightsaber is no easy task. Star Wars Rebels has managed it with The Inquisitor's spinny whirly thing (technical term used by professionals), and here we see the unnamed Sith Lord spark up a saber (red, natch) that has a different blade - more ragged, more angry - than previous models. And then there's the laser hilt, two bursts of fire that make this an actual laser sword (rumor has it this is an old sith artifact and that these are exhaust ports as it's a crude design that is too powerful and would explode in his hands without them). Seeing this thing in action is going to be interesting...
THE FALCON FLIES AGAIN
Here it is, the hero shot of the trailer. As the Star Wars theme blasts from every available speaker, the Millennium Falcon - bruised, battered, missing a dish or two - manoeuvres around the desert planet with all the spriteliness of before. And as it swoops around, it reveals two new TIE fighters. And no, they still can't shoot for shit.
Big question, though: who's flying the Falcon? Early buzz indicates that Han and Chewie are piloting something very different, and much larger, when the story introduces them. But we'd be amazed if Solo and the Wookiee didn't get on board the ship that did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs at some point. And speaking of Han and Chewie...
NO GOLDEN OLDIES
The return of the Millennium Falcon is as good as it gets for anyone hoping to see overt links to the original trilogy. No Han, Luke, Leia, Chewie et al is a very interesting move for Abrams to make. We have no doubt that they will all play a huge role in the movie... But for now the director is focusing on the future of the franchise.