A Shot-By-Shot Journey Through the New ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Trailer

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When the first teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit back in November, I wrote a shot-by-shot dissection here on GeekDad. In April, when the first trailer was released, I offered up another shot-by-shot analysis based on what little was known about the film. Now, with the release of the new, final trailer, I’m speculating once again. This time, I have a little more information to go on in regards to the film’s characters and settings. When it comes to plotting, however, things remain strictly hush-hush, and this new trailer is absent of any key story details.

That said, I invite you to once again speculate with me shot-after-shot, and encourage you to share your own thoughts, observations, and theories in the comments. Here we go…

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The first image we see if that of Rey (Daisy Ridley), her face cloaked behind a shemagh and goggles.

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Pulling back, the scene reveals that Rey is scavenging the inside of what I’d guess to be the ruins of the downed Star Destroyer she drove her Speeder past in the film’s second teaser. What does she find? Could it be a lightsaber? The helmet of a certain Lord?

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A voice asks:

“Who are you?”

Is this the voice of the pirate Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o)?

Rey slides down a rope inside the ship. Look how cavernous that thing is! Looking closely at the markings on the floor, it’s pretty clear that this is the launch bay of a Star Destroyer.

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Rey and the already classic BB-8 walk/roll across the Jakku desert. Jakku, we now know, is a frontier desert world in the Outer Rim, home to thieves, outlaws and scavengers like Rey.

In voiceover, Rey answers:

“I’m no one.”

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Another shot over the Jakku desert of a ship taking off in the distance. It’s unclear from this far away what type of ship this.

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Rey stares off. We’re led to believe she is watching the launching ship, possibly dreaming of getting off this desert planet and seeing the universe. Sounds a lot like a certain someone. Maybe she’s at the Jakku equivalent of Tosche Station, picking up some power converters.

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An armada of First Order Stormtroopers stand before a scene out of a Leni Riefenstahl film. Who is that standing center stage? It could be General Hux (Domnhall Gleeson), leader of the primary First Order base (also called the Starkiller base), which I assume to be this one. It looks like Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) is standing behind him at stage right.

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Finn (John Boyega) removes his Stormtrooper helmet.

In voiceover he says:

“I was raised to do one thing.”

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A new TIE Fighter (see the black and red) is shot down, perhaps by that distant Star Destroyer. It spirals down towards the surface of Jakku.

Finn, in voiceover, adds:

“But I’ve got nothing to fight for.”

Is he shot down because he was defecting from the First Order? I have a strong suspicion that he is, though why he is remains a huge mystery.

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An exhausted Finn looks down over a distant settlement on Jakku. He is alone in the desert, no doubt a metaphor of his hero’s journey.

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We move across the bridge of a ship towards the back of First Order Commander Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Or, could Kylo be aboard the mysterious Death Star-looking thing used as a background in the film’s new poster?

In voiceover, Kylo Ren says:

“Nothing will stand in our way.”

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“I will finish…”

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“…what you started.”

I love the fact that his helmet is juxtaposed with Vader’s. Could Kylo Ren be a descendant of Anakin’s? This is one of the biggest questions going into the new trilogy.

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Kylo is doing some dark side mind torture on Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). All we really know about Poe thus far is that he is an X-Wing pilot for the Resistance (the new Rebels).

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Poe, bloody and clearly mentally tortured appears to receive a troubling image of a forest erupting in flames. Perhaps this is a threat, or even a glimpse of an Alderaan-like planet annihilation by the Death Star-looking thing. Whatever it is, it’s clearly hitting Poe pretty hard in the feels.

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John Williams’ familiar “Han Solo and the Princess” theme chimes on as we catch glimpses of the Millennium Falcon vs. TIE Fighters chase on Jakku. This same scene was shown in the first teaser, and will be a playable set-piece in the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront game from EA.

During this clip, Rey says in voiceover:

“There were stories about what happened.”

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Here’s a nice shot of the Falcon in action!

Han Solo (Harrison Ford), in voiceover responds:

“It’s true…”

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Finn and Rey, aboard the Falcon, look on in wonder as Han affirms the mythical Star Wars lore.

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Han makes his first appearance, adding:

“…all of it.”

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The Falcon jumps to hyperspace as Finn and Rey’s imaginations no doubt also take flight.

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Here is our first look at Kylo Ren with the Knights of Ren. Unfortunately, we still haven’t seen the other new dark side villain, Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis).

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A squadron of X-Wings fly into battle over a lake.

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The line of X-Wings over the water look like a surging tsunami headed straight towards those First Order troops.

In voiceover Han continues:

“The dark side…”

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Poe walks past an X-Wing and towards Finn as the Resistance no doubt prepares for the First Order attack on their base.

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Poe says something to Finn who seems a bit uncertain, nervous even.

Han continues:

“…the Jedi…”

Does the placement of this voiceover over this image imply that Finn is a Jedi?

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The dogfight rages between the First Order and the Resistance. It’s unclear on what planet this battle is taking place.

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A shot back on Jakku, of TIE Fighters retargeting Finn who at this point (which I’m guessing is near the start of the film) has likely just joined with Rey.

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This is a super interesting shot of Finn, Rey, Han, and BB-8 walking toward some sort of temple, or even, perhaps, the home of Maz Kanata. Maybe they’re going to see Luke on Yavin 4. Amiright, Star Wars EU fans? No? Let’s move on…

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Speaking of Luke… why is he mysteriously absent from the film’s poster? We don’t even see him in the trailer unless this is him, which, judging from that robotic hand and the appearance of Luke’s astromech companion R2-D2, seems more than plausible.

Han finishes:

“…they’re real.”

See, Luke is a Jedi, so this must be him. At least that’s what they want us to think.

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Another shot of a fiery scene somewhere, maybe near where the above shot of “Luke” was taken. Could Luke have crossed over to the dark side? Say it ain’t so! Also, take note of that ship in the background, which looks a lot like Emperor Palpatine’s transport shuttle.

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A great shot of the awesomely designed Captain Phasma.

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A shot of Kylo Ren looking mean. And then the rapid montage of awesomeness begins…

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Whose body is Rey crying over?

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Look at these rascals. Did Chewie injure his arm or is that an armband for some sort of Wookie militia?

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Wait, BB-8 is an astromech droid?! Awesome!

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Poe in his X-Wing getting ready to tell a TIE Fighter “Nevermore.” Get it.

That voice from the beginning of the trailer (I think it’s Maz) returns to say:

“The force; it’s calling to you.”

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The new battle of Hoth, or whatever this planet might be.

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First Order ground troops.

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Rey firing a blaster at what’s surely a deserving foe.

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Kylo Ren looking even meaner.

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Wait, is the Millennium Falcon on fire?! Nooooooo (shouted in an Episode III Vader scream).

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Something is exploding, possibly a ship, a base, or maybe even that bridge from the earlier shot in the trailer with Kylo Ren.

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Leia (Carrie Fisher) is looking super sad here. My speculation meter is peaking. Is Luke dead? Are Han and Leia’s kids or kid (if they have any) in danger or turmoil? Maybe she hasn’t seen Han in a long time…

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The last two shots of the trailer are epic. Finn strikes on a blue lightsaber.

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And then, Kylo Ren strikes up his red crossguard saber. This is a familiar image harkening back to the great Darth Vader/Luke Skywalker duel.

You can’t help but wonder if Finn has Luke’s lightsaber. Or if Finn is, perhaps, a Jedi. It’s a mystery where Luke really fits into all of this. Did Rey find this saber in the ruins of that Star Destroyer in those first shots of the trailer? There was a scene in the first full trailer that showed her handing over a lightsaber to Leia. Was it Luke’s?

This plays into an early theory that a lightsaber, rumored to be the one that once belonged to Anakin and was handed down to Luke by Obi-Wan in A New Hope, would serve as a MacGuffin of sorts for The Force Awakens. 

We’ll have to wait until December 18th to find out the actual answers to all of these questions. I bought my opening night tickets last night, did you?

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3 thoughts on “A Shot-By-Shot Journey Through the New ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Trailer

  1. One thing that I’ve seen noted elsewhere – that shot of what “might be Yavin-4” – right in the center of that shot, a couple frames later?

    That what banner in the middle, has the mandalorian symbol on it. Could that be important? Probably?

  2. The ship that looks like the Emperor’s transport is Kylo’s Command Shuttle.

    If Finn’s blue lightsaber is Luke’s/Anakin’s (it sure as heck looks like it), where’d it come from? That’s the one Luke lost in Bespin along with his hand…

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