Watch the Trailer Breakdown Video:
Breaking down and explaining every important shot, reference, character, plot reveal, and Easter eggs from the brand new The Force Awakens theatrical trailer!
Well regardless of what anyone expected from the new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (including a supposed description that’s now been proved false), I don’t think anyone was quite anticipating that. The video is above, but a text and pictures version is below.
There is, of course, a LOT to get into with this trailer, so let’s jump right in. To make things a little easier, we’re going to take our analysis of the new The Force Awakens trailer going character by character, because most of the key moments are tied very closely to one of the major figures, then we’ll mop up with a few of the clips that still need some explanation. See the bottom of this page for a guide to our breakdown.
Let’s start with the person who’s pretty obviously going to be the chief protagonist of this film, the Luke Skywalker for this trilogy. In fact, as we’ve been speculating (and speculating), Rey is probably literally a Skywalker, although her parentage is still unclear.
The character arc for Luke in the original trilogy was one of self-discovery. Luke’s main question was about his own identity as a Jedi and the son of Darth Vader. The beginning of this trailer sets up similar questions for Rey. Pensive music and literal exploration (it looks like she’s inside the crashed Star Destroyer we’ve seen before – the area she rappels down into looks a lot like the ship’s hanger) lead up to the first line of dialogue: a curious voice asking, “Who are you?”
The voice itself is hard to place; but it certainly sounds like Lupita Nyongo. Perhaps, the voice over is lifted from when Rey meets Nyongo’s character, Maz Kanata. But regardless of who is asking the question, Rey’s response is telling. “I’m no one,” we hear her say, and then there’s this shot of a wistful, almost restless Rey:
After the first 30 seconds of the trailer, the focus shifts away from Rey, but she still shows up at some critical moments.
About halfway through the trailer, we hear her say, “There are stories about what happened,” and we find it’s Han Solo who answers her; she’s asking about history, though it’s initially unclear if she’s asking about the history of the Rebel Alliance or the fall of the Republic. Han says, “It’s true. All of it. The dark side. A Jedi.”
I’ve added emphasis there, but it’s because I think the singular “a Jedi” rather than a more inclusive “the Jedi” is significant. And for my money, Han is telling Rey about her absentee father Luke, although the only real clues this trailer are the general tone Han seems to have with Rey, which doesn’t strike me as parental. Although for what it’s worth, in the other side of the ledger we have this image:
Doesn’t mean they’re worried about their daughter (and in fact I think it’s probably more the bitterness of history – “Haven’t we done all this before?” syndrome), but it could.
Two more shots of Rey merit some discussion. The first is this one of Rey crying:
It looks like someone’s dead or grievously injured there in front of her, but it’s impossible to tell for sure who it is. On the other hand, we can figure out where she is. Run the footage frame by frame and you can see snow falling around her. Wherever it is that Kylo Ren and Finn have their lightsaber fight, Rey is nearby. And what’s more, the bit of that other person that does creep into frame looks an awful lot like the brown leather jacket Finn wears through nearly the entire movie. Things may not fare well for our would-be Jedi.
But we’ll get to Finn. The last shot of Rey worth talking about is also maybe my favorite outside of the masked shot that opens the trailer.
All that red light? That’s coming from the blaster in her hand she’s just fired. Just as interesting is the background – it looks like the lush planet we can see the New Republic military assembling elsewhere in the trailer, including behind Han and Leia in the picture above.
Rey is absolutely going to be our lead protagonist in this trilogy. She looks a whole lot less naive than Luke Skywalker did at the beginning of the original trilogy, but she also looks like she’s nearly as wet behind the ears. She and her journey are probably the most exciting part of this trailer.