'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Trailer Analysis: What Did You Miss?

During Monday Night Football last night, Disney and Lucasfilm premiered the final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you haven't already, you can click here to watch the final Force Awakens trailer. Then hit the jump to read our in-depth Force Awakens trailer analysis, where we dig into all the new visuals to try to uncover clues about the film.

Warning: Speculation of possible spoilers may follow based on the imagery shown in the new trailer.

Maz Kanata's Castle

Han Solo leads a group consisting of Rey, Finn, and BB-8 past a never-before-seen robot into a courtyard filled with flags. I believe this is Maz Kanata's castle.

Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata

Thats right, Lupita Nyong'o performance capture character, who we have heard is a female pirate on Takodana who has hosted travelers, smugglers and other riffraffs.


Notice the Jiang Skull, better known as the symbol of the Mandalorians, among the flags outside Maz Kanata's castle. She must have hosted some Mandalorians over the years – like possibly some famous bounty hunters? Does this mean that Maz Kanata is a bad guy who shouldn't be trusted?

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The Visual Style of J.J. Abrams

And J.J. Abrams gives us his version of hyper speed, like we have never seen before in a Star Wars film. But Abrams has shown that he is attracted to a lot of the same visual styles in his films.

warp speed jj abrams

Some film fans might have noticed that the Millennium Falcon hyper speed shot looks similar to the warp speed shots J.J. created for the Star Trek films.


This shot of an explosion on the bridge of an imperial ship (look at that mouse droid in the bottom middle of this shot)...

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Might be reminiscent of shots from J.J. Abrams' Star Trek as James T. Kirk's father "went down with his ship," the USS Kelvin.

Speaking of the visual stylings of J.J. Abrams, everyone and their mother must have noticed the huge lens flare in the following shot. I'm sure we'll never hear the end of this, because people love to complain about J.J. Abrams' lens flares. This one in particular is massive and blinding.


What Does Kylo Ren Want? What Is He Looking For?

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) stands on the bridge of a Star Destroyer and a trademark J.J. Abrams lens flare radiates though the windows as Imperial First Order offices man their stations.


What is Kylo Ren looking at outside the window? The lens flare pretty much engulfs the entire view, but for a quick frame we can see what's above outside the window. It looks like a structure of some kind, which could mean this isn't a Star Destroyer at all but maybe the bridge of Starkiller Base?

Kylo Ren Star Wars: the force awakens

We hear Driver's distorted voice for the first time (outside of the toys). He says in voiceover, "Nothing will stand in our way. I will finish what you started." Meanwhile, the camera cuts to the same shot of Darth Vader's destroyed helmet that we saw in the previous trailer. What exactly did Vader start? The hunt of the Jedi?

Kylo Ren Star Wars: the force awakensKylo Ren tortures poe dameron Star Wars: the force awakens

In a previous footage, we saw Resistance fighter Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) get taken into custody. Here we see him being interrogated by Kylo Ren, who seems to be using some kind of Sith powers to try to get information. But information about what? We know Kylo Ren is obsessed with Darth Vader, so maybe it has to do with Anakin Skywalker's lost lightsaber, which we've seen is in the possession of Rey and Finn.

Is Kylo Ren trying to use Sith powers to influence Dameron or is he projecting imagery into his brain as the edit suggests?

Kylo Ren Star Wars: the force awakens

Also, who are the people surrounding Kylo Ren in this shot? The Knights of Ren?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rey

Rey Scavenges an Abandoned Star Destroyer

We see Rey (Daisey Ridley) scavenging through an old Imperial Star Destroyer (named "Inflictor") which crash-landed on Jakku in the Battle of Jakku as we saw in the second teaser trailer. Notice her protective goggles are actually scavenged from an old abandoned Stormtrooper helmet.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rey

Notice how much of the Star Destroyer has been stripped by other Jakku scavengers like Rey. It has been there for many years.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rey star destroyer

Look at the iconic Star Destoyer lights at the top of this image.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rey star destroyer

Notice the Rebellion-era TIE and transport ships laying in the wreckage of this Star Destroyer launch bay, as Rey rappels down from above.

ZZ608D4E9AHere's a closer look.Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rey

Who Is Rey? Is She a Skywalker? Does She Have the Power of the Force Inside Her?

Rey and BB-8 walk through the desert wasteland of Jakku, maybe returning from the Star Destroyer scavenge. From what I've heard, Rey trades the items she salvages for water from a local Jakku gang.

With shots like these, we are probably meant to wonder "who is Rey?" and "what is her story?" We hear the voice of Lupita Nyong'o, who plays a motion-capture computer-generated alien character named Maz Kanata (we got our first real official glimpse of her on the final Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster this weekend).

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rey

She asks the question in our heads, "Who are you?" Rey responds "I'm no one," giving us insight into her perspective on herself in this galaxy. Near the end of the trailer, we hear possibly the same voice say "The Force, its calling to you... just let it in." I believe this line is still being spoken to Rey, and not Finn.


We see a ship taking off in the background, but what you might not notice is the AT-AT walker foot on the right hand side of the screen. Rey lives inside of a downed AT-AT walker which has sat abandoned in the sand since the battle of Jakku.

Daisy Ridley shooting a scene on the AT-AT home set

Here is a behind-the-scenes shot of Daisy Ridley shooting a scene on the AT-AT home set.

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Later in the trailer we see a shot where Rey seems to be in distress, crying and upset.What happened to cause this emotion? What or who is lying before her?

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Whatever happened, it appears later that sadness has turned to anger — and we know what Yoda would say about that.

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Rey and Finn are looking at some kind of holographic projection inside the Millennium Falcon. Rey says, "There were stories about what happened."

Han Solo Star Wars: the force awakens

Cut to a reverse shot of Han Solo (Harrison Ford), who looks like he might be playing more of an Obi-Wan Kenobi role in this film, telling Rey, "It's true, all of it." Yeah, but not the expanded universe stories, thats just "Legends." This is the best moment from the new trailer for me. I love that only thirty years have passed and the stories of the Jedi have become myth.

tieFinn on jakku Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Or Does Finn Have Force Powers?

Finn's (John Boyega) TIE Fighter gets hit and crash-lands on Jakku. Finn says in voiceover: "I was raised to do one thing, but I've got nothing to fight for." We know he used to be a Stormtrooper and now he's working with the Resistance. But does he have the power of the Force inside him?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Finn

In classic J.J. Abrams style, one shot whips around Poe Dameron to reveal Finn, who also looks ready for action. But it doesn't look like he's going to be piloting an X-wing like everyone else running around. Notice what looks to be the Millennium Falcon in the background of this shot. Also take in some of the cool new alien characters sprinkled into the background. The greenery also seems reminiscent of Yavin 4, the rebel base we've seen before.

Notice the very purposeful voiceover. The trailer shows the stormtroopers when "the dark side" is spoken, and Finn when "the Jedi" is said. I'm still not convinced that Finn is a Jedi. It seems like they are selling that point too hard.

Finn and Kylo Ren lightsaber fight Star Wars: the force awakens

They keep showing Finn wielding the lightsaber. In the last shot from the new trailer, Finn and Kylo Ren (notice he is sans helmet) have their lightsaber duel in the snow. Finn seems very scared of Kylo Ren's handmade monstrosity and I'm not convinced he knows how to swing that ancient weapon.

Rey Is Flying the Millennium Falcon?

The Millennium Falcon maneuvers through the wreckage from the Battle of Jakku to escape from a set of black TIE Fighters. This is the action sequence which was shot with 70mm IMAX cameras.

The behind-the-scenes video from Comic-Con revealed that Rey is piloting the ship. She seems to be pretty good at maneuvering this "old hunk of junk." She seems like a natural pilot, just like Han Solo. Is it just me or does it seem like J.J. Abrams wants us to believe that Rey is the Han Solo character of this new story while Finn is the Luke Skywalker? Again, seems like a swerve to me.

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I love this shot of the Stormtroopers preparing for the squad of X-wing fighters approaching over the water. Notice the mist from the Resistance fighters in the background.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Poe Dameron

"Black Leader" Poe Dameron's Black X-Wing

Poe Dameron steps down from his special black X-wing. This is the first time we're seeing this bad boy up close in a clip from the actual film. Dameron sports a black Rebels logo on his fighter uniform, as he is "Black Leader."


A cool-looking action sequence, with an X-wing taking out a TIE fighter.


BB-8 in the back of Poe Dameron's black X-wing fighter, looking at a swarm of TIE fighters approaching from the right.


X-wings go head-to-head in a battle with First Order TIE fighters above the snow planet we've seen in previous teaser trailers.

starkiller base

The planet appears to be opening up, or it just sports a huge trench. That leads us to believe this might be Starkiller Base, which was seen in the final Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster.

And here are a couple of other shots I wanted to highlight:

Finn, Chewbacca, and Han Solo look almost ready to surrender, but to whom? They look more confused than I am.

Han Solo and Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Either this is the moment when Han Solo and Princess Leia are reunited after many years apart, or this is a moment before Solo leaves for his probably very dangerous part in the climactic battle.