A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… I never thought I would see those words on screen again after the last Star Wars movie premiered in 2005.
This past weekend J.J. Abrams gave us a glimpse at what’s next for the Star Wars universe, when the teaser trailer for “The Force Awakens” premiered online and in select theaters. Even though the trailer was only 88 seconds, it did not disappoint.
Abrams succeeded in updating George Lucas’ galaxy for a new generation, while at the same time, capturing the spirit of the original Star Wars trilogy. While it did not show any of the stars from the original trilogy, like Harrison Ford or Carrie Fisher, we got a glimpse of new characters.
The first character played by John Boyega, shows up in the opening scene on a desert planet, presumably Tatooine, in a stormtrooper uniform. Rumor has it Boyega is either an Imperial deserter or used stormtrooper armor to infiltrate an Imperial base, the same way Luke and Han did in “A New Hope.”
Either way, he is clearly on the run from the Empire. Boyega, who is best known for appearing in 2011’s “Attack the Block,” will most likely play a leading role.
Unfortunately, some had a problem with a black stormtrooper and others were genuinely confused about how stormtroopers of different races could exist. For better or worse, the hashtag #BlackStormtrooper was trending.
Boyega took to Instagram to thank fans for their support and to shut down critics by saying “Get used to it.”
The reason stormtroopers of different races exist is due to the fact that the Empire no longer used clones during the period of the original trilogy.
Beginning with “Attack of the Clones,” we learned that stormtroopers were cloned from bounty hunter Jango Fett, who was played by New Zealand actor, Temuera Morrison. Following the fall of the Republic, the Empire recruited cadets from across the galaxy as opposed to using clones. While Boyega is not the first black character in the Star Wars universe, he is the first stormtrooper we’ve seen without a helmet.
The next character we see in the trailer is newcomer Daisy Ridley, who hops on some sort of industrial speeder in what looks like a junkyard. This junkyard was reminiscent of the Lars homestead in “A New Hope.” The speeder adds to this feeling because it almost looks like a futuristic tractor.
However, the character causing the biggest uproar online is also the most mysterious. Clad in a black hood and cloak, he is seen walking through a snowy, wooded area and lights a “broadsword lightsaber” or less affectionately a “tri-saber.”
This character presumed to be “Girls” star Adam Driver, is the new villain and has already drawn comparisons to “The Phantom Menace” villain Darth Maul.
Within minutes of the trailer’s premiere, fans questioned the practicality of the new lightsaber. Fans made hilarious memes with a multitude of blades and designs. While it does seem like the new lightsaber was a design choice, the things most fans have not talked about is the fact that the lightsaber looks like it flickers and dims more than usual.
The narration that begins the trailer talks about an “awakening” in the Force. This new character is probably a Sith warrior that has been re-awakened. Could it be Darth Plagueis, Emperor Palpatine’s master who we were led to believe was dead? Or could it be a new Sith that was we have not heard of yet?
Speaking of the narration that begins the trailer, it has been confirmed that it is not Driver’s voice speaking. Instead, the voice heard is of Andy Serkis. That’s right, Gollum himself is in the new “Star Wars” movie. Like many of the other new characters, little is known of his role, aside from the fact that he’s in the film.
Another character garnering attention for a far different reason has been nicknamed, “Ball Droid.” Conceived from the original concept artwork for R2-D2, this droid has drawn comparisons to the plucky astromech droid. Many fans, this one included, adored this new droid. He quickly gained a cult following and even has his own Twitter account. This new droid has some big shoes to fill, if droids even have shoes.
The rest of the trailer showed the updated look for the X-wing starfighters and everyone’s favorite spaceship, the Millennium Falcon. While it’s true the trailer did raise more questions about new characters and the direction of the actual plot, it succeeded in drumming up enthusiasm for the next Star Wars film. The Force will return to theaters on December 17, 2015.