'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Teaser #2 Images: Let's Over-Analyze The Trailer

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.

Listen to that here.

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.




From that black screen we explode open to a bright shot of the same X-Wing pattern flying over water that we saw briefly in the first teaser trailer.

This is a much more dynamic shot of the fighters, reminiscent of the shots of the Millennium Falcon in the first teaser. I can't wait to see what the dogfights in this film are like when seen in full. These look like blue-patterned X-Wings, too.


Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is clearly having a hell of a time flying this X-Wing. Is it his first flight in the fighter? And since this is the first character we see after Luke mentions "you have that power, too," are we meant to guess that he's talking to Poe? That might be a stretch, but we know so little about this guy.


Check out how poorly his helmet seems to fit. That thing is just bouncing around on his head. I love it.


Here's a good example of Kylo Ren wielding the crossguard lightsaber, showing that, yeah, haters, it can be done. Or maybe the Force is just that strong with him.


Now we're back on Jakku, with Rey and Finn (John Boyega) racing from destruction caused by the TIE Fighter up in the left corner of the frame. She's determined as hell, and seems to be carrying that staff we saw on the side of her speeder in one shot from the first teaser. He's also well out of stormtrooper gear — he's dressed more like Han or Luke from the original trilogy.


Boyega also looks pretty freaked out, and seems to be yelling at Rey. How long after they meet does this sequence take place? Probably not long; we're guessing that nearly everything in this teaser is from the first half of the film, and probably the first 30 minutes.

Also, check out BB-8 rolling along behind them, and the generator-looking structure on the left, near where some other people are fleeing the TIE blasts.


Things get weird here, as Kylo Ren stands behind a line of stormtroopers that are facing a mob of some sort. The lighting makes it difficult to tell, but this seems to be on Jakku as well. Is that an evaporator towards the right?


Here's the first real shot of Kylo Ren from the front, in a classic "using the Force" pose there, which really suggests that — as if we needed any more confirmation — this is going to be a powerful character. And, keeping track of the "you have that power, too" line, this is another person that could be the object of Luke's dialogue.

Oh, and there's some lens flare. Thanks, JJ!


OK, this shot is great, and while it seems pretty simple at first there's actually a lot going on. First, we're on a snow planet with a lot of defensive hardware, and the TIE Fighters are black and white, with big white wing panels. Great stuff.

Then there's the gigantic banner, which features a new symbol.


Finally, who is that standing on the platform in the middle there? Is it Kylo Ren? Or could it be the character played by Gwendoline Christie, or someone else? There's such a connection between this image and propaganda images from World War II, especially the imposing sights captured by Leni Riefenstahl in Nuremberg for Triumph of the Will.


We go back to Rey, and she looks strong and determined. We noticed in the panel at Celebration that Diasy Ridley has a real "young Kiera Knightley" vibe, but there's also a resemblance to


Here are those new TIE Fighters again, swooping in. They sound somewhat different from old ones, too.




Things get even crazier here. We've seen mayhem in the landing bay of an Imperial structure before, but this is different, because it is a TIE Fighter causing the mayhem.

Oh, and please insert a Wilhelm Scream here for that stormtrooper flying through the air.


So is this Finn making his escape from the stormtrooper ranks?


This shot of Finn certainly suggests it could be. And check out that blood on his helmet — who tried to grab or stop him, and what was done to them? This is a new thing, and it's great to see the detail.


Eventually we'll probably see a shot of Finn not freaking out, but it hasn't happened yet.


Here's a real classic shot — the approach to a Star Destroyer, being made by what appears to be a new shuttle, and a couple other craft.


One of the trailer's big money shots is this incredible look at the Chrome Trooper. Precisely what role this trooper plays is unknown, but we can guess it is an elite force of some kind, like a more battle-ready version of the old Imperial Guard. The cape looks great, and note the very old-school Imperial wall design in the back... just built into a natural space, with the rock on the left. Is this inside that base we saw earlier, on the snowy planet? And could this be Gwendoline Christie's character?


Now we're on the Millennium Falcon with BB-8. And, in case you missed the live-stream from Star Wars Celebration, BB-8 was a practical effect, not a CG creation. We heard the droid's "voice" via the panel presentation, and there's a hint of great personality to the character. Sadly we don't hear it in this trailer, though there is just a bit of BB's voice in the first teaser.

Also, check out how this image is a great visual reference to Leia on her blockade runner right at the beginning of A New Hope.


Finn and Rey have a great interaction on Jakku, seemingly in that market set from which JJ Abrams posted one of his "Force for Change" videos. It's cool that she's offering him a helping hand — he's clearly ditched the stormtrooper outfit for local clothes, but whether this takes place before or after they flee from the TIE Fighter is unknown.


This seems to be an addition to the shots of the Falcon in flight from the first teaser, and Abrams really ramps up the intensity here. That's some fancy flying, but who is piloting the Falcon?


And, more to the point, look at what they're flying into! That looks like the wreck of a Super Star Destroyer that the ships are about to fly into.


A great Abrams zoom pushes right in on the ships as they fly into the engine of the titanic craft.


Now check this guy out! Is this the same Chrome Trooper seen above, or a variation on that suit, modified for a TIE Fighter pilot? It seems to be the latter, with those red stripes actually painted on the helmet. (They could be light reflections, but right now we're inclined to think it's a helmet detail.)


Back to the follow-cam on the ships as they fly through the guts of the old Destroyer, and it's another Return of the Jedi reference, calling back to the Falcon's flight into the second Death Star.


Finally we get to the big moment. Han (Harrison Ford) and Chewie (Peter Mayhew) step into the Millennium Falcon, with weapons raised. So where have they been, and how did they get back to the Falcon? Is it not this pair doing the great flying on Jakku?


"Chewie, we're home."

Harrison Ford hasn't looked this happy in years. Neither have Star Wars fans.

Thanks, JJ.



Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18.