Posted on Thursday, April 16th, 2015 by Russ Fischer
The second teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens blew us away with a collection of new images and shots that seem very specifically designed to conjure up memories of the original trilogy. (Note to Lucasfilm and JJ Abrams: It worked!) There’s a lot to talk about in this new teaser — even though it is short, it is still packed with stuff to example. So let’s get to it; after the break you’ll find fifty The Force Awakens teaser 2 images, and we’ll break down what it all means as we over-analyze the trailer.
One thing to note here is that the music in the trailer is from prior Star Wars score recordings; it isn’t new, and it isn’t even re-recorded versions of prior cues.
After a shiny black Lucasfilm logo we open on a planet that we now know to be called Jakku. A craft that we’re guessing is the salvage speeder piloted by Rey (Daisy Ridley), as seen in the first teaser, speeds along the bottom of the frame. In the foreground is a downed X-Wing, which is pretty awesome. But what’s coming up on the right?
Oh, hell, forget the X-Wing, that’s a crashed Star Destroyer! So it took all of 25 seconds of this new teaser for us to be willing to throw money at the screen. This is one of the best shots in a Star Wars movie, period, and it says a lot about the state of the galaxy in the wake of the Battle of Endor and the destruction of the Emperor.
I knocked this together quickly and we’ll eventually update with a better one, but here’s a panorama image of the entire opening pan shot.
Then it really gets real as we hear voiceover from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), talking about the lineage of the Force in his family. He repeats a version of dialogue we know very well from Return of the Jedi, when he talks to Leia about their family. But here he’s talking to someone else, saying that the person to whom he’s speaking also has the force. So who is he talking to?
Edit: Going back to original Return of the Jedi audio, this is actually probably not new voiceover. Instead, it’s an edit of that dialogue, with the lines rearranged to fit this trailer.
Edit #2: A comparison has been made demonstrating that the voiceover audio is directly lifted from Return of the Jedi:
Edit #3: Actually, it’s complicated. Mark Hamill said during his Star Wars Celebration panel that he re-recorded the Return of the Jedi dialogue for this teaser.
Last week I went into Bad Robot and recorded the voiceover I did in the teaser. It’s pulled dialogue from Jedi, but I re-recorded it, and I asked [JJ] ‘which did you use, because I couldn’t really tell.’ And he said ‘oh, I used both, we used the original track and then we used what you recorded last week as reverb.’ There’s a slight delay, so the delay is the new lines I recorded.
As Luke mentions his father, we get this shot of Vader’s helmet, sitting on some kind of triangular platform, melted thanks to the funeral pyre on Endor that took his body. Fire didn’t do such a great job on the helmet, though, did it? And check out the lighting here, which really recalls the last time we saw Vader in action in the Emperor’s throne room.
We go somewhere else as the VO mentions that the speaker wields the Force. Is this Mustafar? The red is very evocative of that planet, but whoever we see sitting here — Luke, presumably, with R2D2 — also appears to be near a fire of some sort. A campfire? Perhaps.
If this is Luke, is that a new mechanical hand? He’s no longer covering the machine with fake human skin, which is very interesting. Also note that despite the black cape and hood, which we’ve seen Luke wear before, he’s wearing white underneath. A nice suggestion of duality there.
The VO carries on to mention the speaker’s sister. Note here that the hand passing off the lightsaber doesn’t seem to be human. Who is that character? We don’t have any ID on who it might be, though the bracelets vaguely suggest a female character.
The person receiving the lightsaber isn’t shown, but the voiceover references Leia (Carrie Fisher), and it’s probably not a stretch to guess that this is Leia taking her father and brother’s old saber. And is that Anakin’s old lightsaber, which Luke was given in Star Wars and lost when his hand was severed on Cloud City?
The VO mentions that the person to whom Luke is speaking has the Force, too, but we’re not given any clue there. Instead the trailer goes to black, with a promise of the film arriving at Christmas.