Six Big Takeaways From the Epic New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer

Rey
Daisy Ridley as Rey in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The trailer is chock-full of insight into what to expect when the film premieres in theaters on December 18. Lucasfilm

Unless you've been living under a rock that's been buried 100 feet underground that is covered with several more rocks, you're aware that the first and likely only official trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted last night during halftime of Monday Night Football. And it was awesome.

With the film's premiere date of December 18 now less than two months away, we can hardly contain our excitement to make sense of all the characters, action sequences and plot points the trailer so deftly teased. Here are our six biggest takeaways:

1. J.J. Abrams Is Giving the People What They Want

Han and Chewie
Newsweek

Some filmmakers might have been tempted to eschew convention when tasked with rebooting the most successful franchise in movie history. Thankfully, J.J. Abrams isn't one of them. As the trailer makes abundantly clear, The Force Awakens will harken back to several of our favorite aspects of the original trilogy, and it will do so liberally. We see the Millennium Falcon dodging and weaving through Star Destroyer ruins; we see X-Wings and TIE Fighters; there's our old favorite characters, including R2-D2, C-3PO, Chewie, Han and even a distraught Leia, whom we see for a brief moment resting her head against Han's chest. After fans of the original trilogy revolted against Episodes I-III, it looks like Abrams is trying to win back the diehards with Episode VII.

2. Luke Skywalker's Role Remains a Mystery

Luke
Lucasfilm

Notably absent from the trailer (and the two teasers) is Luke Skywalker. We know that Mark Hamill will make some sort of appearance in The Force Awakens, but it looks like Abrams is committed to make the nature of his role a secret. The Internet has speculated, however, that we did in fact see Skywalker in the form of his robotic hand touching R2-D2. We'll have to wait until December 18 to know for sure, though.

3. The Story Will Revolve Around Rey and Finn

Rey and Finn
Lucasfilm

Though Oscar Isaac is the bigger name star, it appears that relative unknown actors Daisy Ridley and John Boyega will serve as the main players of The Force Awakens. Their respective characters of Rey and Finn are all over the trailer. We first see Rey, a mysterious wanderer and self-proclaimed "no one," is first seen spelunking through the remains of a star destroyer. Somehow she gets tangled up in the Resistance, and close-ups of her anguished face abound. Finn, on the other hand, is very much part of the establishment before he decides to defect and join the Resistance. Ultimately, he comes face-to-face with Kylo Ren, portrayed by Adam Driver, in what looks to be the film's climactic scene.

4. The Most Underrated Person From the Original Trilogy Returns for Episode VII

5. Kylo Ren Is the New Darth Vader

Kylo Ren
Lucasfilm

It turns out that chief Force Awakens villain Kylo Ren is way more Vader-like than we might have guessed. Not only does he dress in all black and breath through some sort of voice-altering apparatus, but his life's work is apparently to finish what Vader started—which he expresses to the charred remains of Vader's helmet, which he somehow recovered from the pyre we last saw it on in Return of the Jedi. We can't wait to find out how he's tied to Vader and if his lightsaber's hilt serves any function.

6. The Final Lightsaber Battle Appears to Be Set

Lightsaber Duel
Newsweek

In A New Hope, it was between Obi Wan and Vader. In Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, it was between Vader and Luke. In The Phantom Menace, Obi Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn took on Darth Maul. In Attack of the Clones, Obi Wan, Anakin and a shockingly spry Yoda squared off against Count Dooku. In Revenge of the Sith, Obi Wan and Anakin crossed sabers. Each installment of the Star Wars franchises has featured an iconic lightsaber battle (although "iconic" might be stretching it when we're talking about the prequels). The new Force Awakens trailer suggests that the latest epic duel will be between Finn and Kylo Ren. "The Force, it's calling you," we hear as they're about to go at it. "Just let it in."

Six Big Takeaways From the Epic New 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer | Culture
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