They say in space no one can hear you scream, but maybe they can hear you shout for joy. The third and final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the long-awaited seventh instalment of the saga, is here. Within 90 minutes of its debut, the trailer had generated over 500,000 tweets about it and been viewed on YouTube 250,000 times. But what does it actually reveal about the new movie? Not much – the plot is still very much a mystery, but a few things are starting to appear clearer.
The hero’s journey
George Lucas has stated that the mythic quality of Star Wars is rooted in ideas from Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, a book which argued that the great main characters in storytelling history follow a similar arc with clearly defined stages – among them ‘the call to adventure’, ‘ ‘the road of trials’, and ‘atonement with the father’. Campbell called this pattern “the hero’s journey” and in the original Star Wars trilogy it was the Luke Skywalker who advanced according to its blueprint: his destiny was ultimately to redeem his father, the fallen Jedi Darth Vader.
Based on this new trailer it seems Daisy Ridley’s character Rey will take up this mantle in the new film. When she states “There were stories about what happened,” Han and Leia’s ‘love theme’ from The Empire Strikes Back plays – does that suggest she’s the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia?
Kylo Ren has friends?
Legacy and inheritance are perhaps the two most important themes in Star Wars. It has long been rumoured that Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren would be a villain who might function as the ‘dark side’ twin to Luke Skywalker – a nobody whose actions have repercussions on a galactic scale.
Then it was revealed in Entertainment Weekly that he was part of the Knights of Ren, a mysterious order of warriors – and based on one quick rain-soaked shot of Ren with companions, it looks like the Knights of Ren may still be around in The Force Awakens.
‘That’s no moon…’
On the official poster for The Force Awakens, there appears to be a Death Star-style sphere with an ominous-looking weapon. At one moment in the trailer we see a huge shockwave of destruction sweeping across a landscape. Could it be from this weapon?
Other than Ren, none of the villains from the evil First Order – the heir apparent to the Galactic Empire – such as Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux or Andy Serkis’ Supreme Leader Snoke appear in the trailer: their sinister plans remain closely kept.
Where is Luke?
He’s the last of the Jedi, and yet he hasn’t appeared on the poster for the film nor anywhere in the new trailer – except for a brief shot from a previous teaser of a hooded stranger with a strange mechanical hand, who surely must be Luke. Why is Lucasfilm making Luke so scarce? It looks like his destiny – what happened to him in the 30 years since Return of the Jedi – will be the key to the new film. For one thing, it doesn’t appear he’s fulfilled his mission of rebuilding the Jedi Order. Could he have been captured by the Knights of Ren?
In Chuck Wendig’s recent novel Star Wars: Aftermath, set immediately following Return of the Jedi, a shadowy group some fans think might be the Knights of Ren sought relics of Darth Vader – including his lightsaber. Maybe they wanted to ‘collect’ his son as well?
We’ll know if the Force was with us about these theories when the movie opens on 18 December!
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