Five Questions About the New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer

Is he truly gone? Lucasfilm

The second trailer for the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released today. It's a joy for Star Wars fans but raises some interesting questions, too. Here are just five of them.

1. Who is Luke Skywalker talking to?

"The Force is strong in my family," he says. "My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too." Who has that power too?! Few details about the movie have leaked so far, including which characters (besides the obvious ones, like Luke) are in the film. Is he talking to his nephew, Jacen Solo, or his niece, Jana? Either would presumably be Force-sensitive, being the children of Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo. But it could equally be some other, unknown character to whom Luke is speaking.

2. Who is leading the Empire?

At the end of Episode VI, Darth Vader throws Emperor Palpatine down the rebuilt Death Star's shaft, killing him and fatally injuring himself in the process. With the Empire's Nos. 1 and 2 gone, who is leading the Stormtroopers we see in the new trailer? Who, in other words, is the new Emperor? My money is on Grand Admiral Thrawn, a character who doesn't appear in the films but plays a major role in the Expanded Universe.

Storm Troopers
A group of Stormtroopers with a mysterious figure in back. Lucasfilm

3. Who is this chromed Stormtrooper?

He's wearing a cape and looks especially mean. The fact that he's by himself and not surrounded by other Stormtroopers means he's probably important.

Nice cape. Who are you? Lucasfilm

4. What happened to Han Solo and Chewbacca between Episodes VI and VII?

In the trailer, Han, standing in what appears to be the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, says, "Chewie, we're home." When did he leave? Solo has the Falcon at the end of Episode VI. If he's coming "home" to it, he's presumably been away for a period of time, but we don't know how long or why. Han won the ship from Lando Calrissian in a game of sabacc. Maybe he lost it the same way.

5. Is Darth Vader alive?

Luke says, "The Force is strong in my family. My father has it." Not "my father had it." While Darth Vader died at the end of Episode VI, cloning isn't unheard of in the "Star Wars" universe. It's quite common, in fact. The trailer also shows us a picture of Vader's burned helmet, accompanied by the iconic sound of his labored breathing. It might just be a reminder of the treasured villain, but it might be something more.