Welcome home, Han and Chewie. We missed you.
The battle-scarred landscape of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (and two of its vintage characters) got a good long reveal Thursday as director J.J. Abrams released the first new footage for the Dec. 18 film since last November. The second teaser trailer begins with a simple image—Daisy Ridley’s scavenger Rey, racing across the desert on her speeder toward the wreckage of an X-Wing fighter.
Behind her, the scorched mountains of the planet Jakku glide by, but… we see those sandswept peaks are not a natural land formation. It is the corpse of a massive Star Destroyer.
Soon, we hear a young voice. It is Luke’s speech to Leia from Return of the Jedi in which he reveals that Darth Vader is his father and that he must face him, possibly to never return. “The force is strong in my family,” says Mark Hamill’s voice from three decades ago. “My father has it. I have it. My sister has it.”
Here’s where there’s a new addition to the dialogue, with a clever re-edit from another segment of Luke’s dialogue.
“And you have the power, too.”
Perhaps the most iconic image in the new trailer is the scorched visage of Darth Vader’s helmet, last seen in a funeral pyre as Luke Skywalker mourned the last-minute redemption of his genocidal Sith father.
Like the previous teaser, this one spends most of its time introducing us to new characters. Ridley’s Rey is seen reaching out her hand to a fallen and distressed Finn, played by John Boyega. She also gets her hands on a familiar looking weapon—a lightsaber.
Finn appears to be a shell-shocked stormtrooper who has been through some sort of trauma that has left him on the run, and his destiny and Rey’s have intersected on Jakku, a desert world many had assumed at first was Tatooine.
BB-8, the rolling ball droid, is seen peeking around a corner inside the Millennium Falcon, and we also catch a glimpse of dogfighting TIE-fighters, including a disturbing sequence in which one seems to shoot up an Imperial-looking docking bay full of other ships.
Although we don’t see the actual face of Kylo Ren, the villain with the crossguard lightsabler (believed to be played by Adam Driver,) the trailer does stare into his ominous masked face as he ignites his signature weapon. A separate shrouded figure is seen in another sequence, extending a claw-like metallic hand to caress the dome of R2-D2. This doesn’t seem to be a menacing gesture, which suggests maybe the two know each other. Could this mystery person be … Luke?
Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron, a roguish X-Wing pilot reputed to be one of the best fliers in the galaxy, also gets in some flying time and one aerial sequence takes us into the hollow engine of that decrepit Star Destroyer.
The Millennium Falcon also takes flight, but it’s the kicker at the very end that had fans roaring at Star Wars Celebration, the fan convention where director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy debuted the trailer.
There’s no Luke, no Leia in this footage, but at long last we get to see our old friends Chewbacca and Han Solo again. Harrison Ford cracks his crooked smile and says, “Chewie … We’re home.” Judging from the backgorund, this is without a doubt taking place inside the Millennium Falcon.
Who knows what he was looking at, but it felt like he was seeing what we were seeing.