Breaking down the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser, frame by frame

UPDATE: Here’s the official trailer embed:

ORIGINAL POST: Director J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens officially has its first trailer, and you can watch it right here. Please do go watch it if you haven’t. Unless you really want your first look at the next Star Wars chapter to be a collection of blurry screengrabs.

First off, scroll through the gallery above to check out a handful of moments from the trailer that we think are worth highlighting. There’s a caption for each one (click the X to close it) that offers a bit of context and, when merited, speculation. The only things that you don’t pick up on from the above images are the shreds of voiceover.

“There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it?” a voice intones at the top of the trailer, just before star John Boyega’s face pops into view in front of a desert landscape (probably Tatooine). There’s a noise here, after the dialogue, that sounds very much like the Imperial probe droid first seen on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. Is Boyega being pursued? Perhaps he’s an AWOL Stormtrooper?

“The Dark Side and the Light,” the same creepy, raspy voice says toward the end of the trailer, with Dark and Light punctuated by a black-clad lightsaber wielder and the Millennium Falcon, respectively. It’s the only voice heard in the trailer, and many are speculating that it belongs to either Andy Serkis or Adam Driver. The only other audio cue worth noting is the swooshing sound of a lightsaber at the tail end of the trailer, after it’s faded to black.

So. You’ve seen the images, read the context, and run through the small shreds of dialogue. What else can we consider? How about what’s not here?

We don’t see any of our big three heroes — Luke, Han, and Leia — nor do we see any of the returning supporting players like Chewbacca (or any alien beings, really), Artoo, and Threepio. We also don’t see much of the universe. The widest shot is of the X-Wings in flight, and even there you only get the vaguest sense of the planet they’re flying over. There aren’t any real establishing shots; just a bunch of small, stolen moments.

In the opinion of this Star Wars geek, it’s a great first look. Nothing significant is revealed about the plot or any major set pieces, but you still get a strong sense of the vibe that Abrams has imbued in his take on Star Wars. It is definitively a tease, and that’s okay. For comparison, check out this first trailer for the original Star Wars.

Now check out the first teaser for Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, which premiered in front of Meet Joe Black in a fashion similar to the way this Force Awakens trailer has been hyped.

A lot less to see here, comparatively speaking. Do you think that’s a good thing for a movie that’s still more than a year away?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18, 2015.

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