Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally has its full trailer, taking us back to a galaxy far, far away.
It’s easy to be a skeptical Star Wars fan, especially these days. Not only did we live through the prequels, the new series will be directed by J.J. Abrams, whose record with the Star Trek reboot is divisive at best. But hope is rising. First we heard about the practical effects, then the teaser showed promise. Now the official Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer is out, and naturally the internet is in full-blown hype mode. And after watching it, I suspect you’ll agree – it’s hard to blame anyone for that.
Where the original teaser trailer was very nostalgia driven, here the focus shifts onto Force Awakens‘ new characters. Rey lives on the desert planet Jakku, scavenging for parts among a long-abandoned Star Destroyer. Meanwhile, Finn is a Stormtrooper disillusioned with his cause, and is seemingly shot down over Jakku for doing so. The pair end up joining forces for an epic adventure with the First Order hot on their heels. But instead of being assisted by a elderly Obi-Wan, it’s Han Solo himself who takes on the role of teacher.
Admittedly, this Force Awakens trailer is still short on plot specifics, saving its big reveals for the final movie. It’s still not clear why Luke, Leia, and Han parted ways 30 years ago, or why the First Order kicked off another galactic conflict. It does seem the Force is considered a myth once again, since the skeptical Han Solo is the one telling Rey and Finn it actually exists. Which is where the awakening Force likely comes into play.
But plot details aren’t required here – it’s the gorgeous visuals that really stand out. There are all kinds of new locations on display, from a First Order stronghold, to a ruined battlefield, to some kind of remote temple. And of course, it’s packed full of epic sci-fi battles. The trailer gives us infantry shootouts, X-Wing dogfights, clashing lightsabers, and more.
Sure, Star Wars: The Force Awakens might not be what we expect. But I have to admit, the Force seems to be growing ever stronger with this one. We’ll find out when it premieres on Dec. 18, 2015.