Star Wars: The Force Awakens – International Trailer Analysis: What We Learned

The new Star Wars: The Force Awakens international trailer has a enough new footage that we had to dissect it!

Right when we thought we wouldn’t see any more new footage of Star Wars: The Force Awakens until the film’s release, we get a brand new trailer out of Japan! The international trailer released today offers a ton of new footage from the film, enough to warrant some dissection. 

First, check out the new trailer:

Okay, so I’m just going to break down some sections of this trailer. As you’ll see, some of the shots form a bit of a narrative and provide hints for some moments in the film. So there might be some SPOILERS ahead. Also, I’ve omitted a couple of shots that were used in past trailers because they didn’t offer anything new for this analysis.

And as always, if I missed anything, be a pal and tell me in the comments! I’ll update this bad boy as soon as I can…Now, let’s get on with it:

I have to start this analysis by saying that this trailer has some of the best shots I’ve ever seen in a Star Wars film. Even if the movie ends up sucking (THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE), it’ll at least look visually stunning. This first shot of Ridley standing under the crashed Star Destroyer on Jakku is a dazzling intro to the trailer. This is Daisy Ridley’s Rey standing before the immense journey ahead of her. Also, this shot probably comes prior to the first shot of the official trailer from a few weeks ago, where she’s scavenging the fallen Imperial ship.

Ad – content continues below

Again, we see this shot from the last trailer. A ship is lifting off from Jakku as Rey watches on. We hear Maz Kanata ask, “Who are you?” “I’m no one,” Rey replies. There’s more and more evidence that Rey is in hiding in the beginning of the movie. A few seconds down the line, you’ll see what I mean. 

Oh, this is undoubtedly an homage to the famous Luke Skywalker shot in A New Hope, as he watches the twin suns of Tatooine set over the desert horizon. I’m guessing these are fellow Jakkunians? Jakkusians? Jakkuns?

It’s pretty much a fact that BB-8 is Rey’s droid from the very beginning of the film. Again, it’s a parallel to Luke’s story. Luke also had R2-D2 and C-3PO by the time he set off on his quest. Also, is Rey asking BB-8, “Where do you come from?” in this shot? Hmm…Wouldn’t it be interesting if BB-8 were a survivor of the Battle of Jakku, rolling around in the wreckage of an X-Wing when Rey finds the droid?

This is what I was talking about earlier. It does seem that Rey is in hiding at the beginning of the movie. She seems to be having a conversation with BB-8 when she tells him, “I know all about waiting…for my family.” Okay, there’s no way she’s not a Solo or a Skywalker, right? Right?!

A narrative begins to form with this shot. Finn has crash landed his TIE fighter on Jakku. (Also, have you noticed how he’s dressed as a stormtrooper and NOT a fighter pilot in those earlier trailers?) He meets up with Daisy at some point. Maybe she rescues him in the desert. Then the First Order comes to town…

Alright, this is the best shot in the trailer, as TIE fighters appear in the skies of Jakku. Are they searching for Finn? The second teaser for the film showed a TIE fighter laying waste to a First Order hangar and the official trailer showed the same TIE fighter losing control over Jakku’s atmosphere, a First Order ship in the background. Has Finn been playing double agent the entire time? Maybe to save Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron, who’s a Resistance pilot, from the clutches of Kylo Ren? Either way, the First Order is looking for the young hero…

Ad – content continues below

Also, have you noticed anything familiar about this shot?

Yeah, this is totally Apocalypse Now. My god, how good is this trailer?

Obviously, now that the First Order has arrived, these guys are laying waste to Rey’s Jakku settlement. Classic dick move. These new Flametroopers look so cool, though.

We got a shot of Gwendoline Christie’s Captain Phasma. I don’t remember if this is new or not, but whatever. Any shot of this badass Chrometrooper is welcome. Is she the new Boba Fett?

The movie hasn’t even premiered and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren already has two of the most iconic shots in Star Wars history. The first is obviously from the very first teaser, where he reveals his crossguard lightsaber. And then there’s this one. Ren menacingly uses the dark side of the Force.

This shot ain’t new, either, and neither is the dialogue. Ren tells the charred Vader helmet that he’ll finish what the Dark Lord of the Sith started. Abrams has said that Ren isn’t Sith, but a member of the mysterious Knights of Ren. Still, Kylo is a bit of a Sith fanboy. 

Ad – content continues below

New shot of Kylo Ren’s crossguard lightsaber. It looks like he’s about to cut someone down on a spaceship. Or is this Starkiller Base?

It looks like this is a continuation of the earlier scene of the TIE fighters arriving in Jakku. Finn, Rey, and BB-8 are being chased down. This is around the point where that new piece of music from the film’s score begins. And it is absolutely incredible. I can’t wait to play John Williams’ new score on loop. 

This shot is ripped right out of the official trailer. The Falcon has never looked better. More on the narrative: I’m guessing Han and Chewie come to the rescue of Finn and Rey when things are the most dire. If my theory that Finn was a double agent to start, then maybe the Falcon was waiting at a rendezvous point during Poe’s rescue, but Han and Chewie have had to improvise after Finn crashes. 

It does look like Rey and Finn don’t have a lot of time to exchange pleasantries when they first meet. They only introduce themselves once they’re on the Falcon. 

After a couple of recycled battle shots from past trailers, we get a new shot of Leia! There’s no doubt in my mind that she’s the badass leader that’s going to keep the galaxy from falling into another era of darkness. It seems like those Resistance officers are waiting on her orders.

Our first shot of 3PO! And he has the red arm. We’ll hear how he acquired that new arm in a comic book special from Marvel.

Ad – content continues below

This shot of BB-8 invokes a lot of sadness. The little droid watches on as Jakku is assaulted by the First Order. 

We get recycled shots of Han, Finn, Rey, and BB-8 arriving at what must be Maz Kanata’s pirate hideout. And then Kanata handing off Luke’s old lightsaber to Leia. Finally, an alternate version of Harrison Ford’s words about the past: “The Force…it’s true. All of it.” The guy’s turned believer.

Great X-Wing shot. Couple of things here: there appear to be a couple of dogfights in this film. There’s the Falcon vs. TIEs on Jakku, X-Wings vs. TIEs on that forest world we’ve seen in past trailers (and will see here in a moment), and finally X-Wings vs. TIEs on an ice world. We know that Starkiller Base, the First Order’s HQ, is on an ice world. Could this be a Resistance assault on the base towards the end of the film?

Back to the early parts of the movie. Rey is running for her staff. What kind of weapon is this? I still haven’t figured it out. Help me in the comments.

Another little narrative forms in these next three shots. First, let’s just point out the new shot of Chewie. Looking better than ever, this guy. Also, is he hiding in the sub-levels of a First Order ship or base here?

Uh, what’s that in his hand…

Ad – content continues below

Oh, Chewie’s up to no good. At least we know who’s behind that explosion from earlier trailers? I’m guessing this takes place on Starkiller Base?

By far, the scariest shot of any Force Awakens trailer. Kylo hunts down Rey in the forest. Is this the same forest where Finn and Kylo face off for their lightsaber duel? Isn’t the forest snow-covered in their scene? Now I’m wondering if the forest and ice worlds are one and the same?

Rey sobs over what looks like a dead companion…Maz Kanata tells someone (probably Rey) that “Hope is not lost today. It is found.” There’s no doubt in my mind that the film’s hero suffers a tragic loss by the end of the adventure, and Rey has to find strength in that. I can’t wait to see how all of this plays out.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens lands in a theater near you on Dec. 18.