Posted on Monday, October 19th, 2015 by Peter Sciretta
Over the weekend, Lucasfilm and Disney released the final poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The poster had a few reveals, some of which you might have noticed (is that a third Death Star?) and others which were hidden in the fine print and subtext. Before the last trailer gets unleashed later today, let’s take a look at what we learned from this new poster.
Here is the Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster. You’ve probably already seen it by now, and if you’re a Star Wars obsessive like me, you may have even spent way too much time staring at it. Warning: possible spoilers (or at the very least character and location information) may follow.
Introducing Maz Kanata
Who is that new alien creature standing to the left of R2-D2? At first I thought it might be Teedo, the small, brutish scavenger that we have seen on top of his semi-mechanical Luggabeast in the photo that was released of Rey getting BB-8 out of netting.
But I can confirm that it is not Teedo, but instead Maz Kanata, the character that Lupita Nyong’o plays in the film. Yes, Nyong’o believed we wouldn’t see the character until we saw the film (probably because she plays some kind of spoiler-ific role in the storyline), but it looks like J.J. Abrams and crew decided to include her character on the poster. As you know, Nyong’o performed the role using performance capture. We don’t know much about her role in the story, only that she plays a female pirate on Takodana. She owns a castle which has played host to travelers, smugglers and other riffraffs.
I’m not sure why everyone is surprised by the thing that looks like a third Death Star on the poster. Why did everyone assume that a thing called “Starkiller Base” was just a simple military base? The name of the base was accidentally revealed at Comic-Con by Domhnall Gleeson. The base is obviously inspired by the original surname for Skywalker in the first draft of the script for the first Star Wars movie.
According to the official Star Wars databank, Starkiller Base is “an ice planet converted into a stronghold of the First Order and armed with a fiercely destructive new weapon capable of destroying entire star systems.” Remember all the snow on the ground when Kylo Ren faces off against Finn in a lightsaber duel?
Let’s take a moment to think about this. The Death Star could destroy planets. We saw it take out Princess Leia’s homeworld of Alderaan. While its ability to blow up an entire planet made the Death Star one of the most dangerous weapons in all of cinema, the Starkiller Base could prove to be much more powerful.
Imagine a weapon that had enough power to destroy our sun. When stars die, they become black holes, right? Entire solar systems would be destroyed, and any surviving planets would be thrown off their axis and sent spinning wildly into the galaxy. With that at their disposal, it seems like the First Order may be way more powerful than the Empire ever was.
Also, building a weapon inside a planet would probably be more time effective for the First Order than, say, building an entirely new Death Star. And having it housed inside an organic planet probably means that they won’t need a thermal exhaust port, which has been shown as a weakness.
Art By Whom?
No, the poster was not painted by legendary poster artist Drew Struzan, or at least not the Photoshop composite we’re seeing. The artist came out of retirement, for what? For a D23 Expo exclusive fan teaser poster? Seems strange right? After seeing a rough cut, the artist has even publicly stated that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would probably be far and away the best Star Wars movie we’ve ever seen. So it seems weird that this final poster looks kind of like a Drew Struzan creation, but not — right?
Bryan Morton is the art director behind the poster, and thats all that we are able to say at this time. But something is really fishy here!