Before The Force Awakens

If you’ve been living in a cave for the past few years, you might not know about the upcoming Star Wars film [Ed note: much love to the cave dwellers among us]. Even if you have been living in a cave though, chances are you still heard the excited shrieks of fanatics everywhere when they first learned the news.  After months and months of anticipation, the time is finally upon us– Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters nationwide on December 17. The film has been under lock and key since its inception (thankfully, Sony wasn’t involved in this production), so very little is known as we begin the countdown to opening day.  Here’s what we do know:

Name: The Force Awakens

chills

chills

Director: J.J. Abrams

Veteran director, producer, and self-proclaimed Star Wars fanatic, J.J. Abrams is at the helm of this chapter of the Star Wars saga; Countless interviews show him proclaiming his undying loyalty to the franchise and earnestly professing his efforts to stay true to the originals.  Fandom aside, he has quite the resume, from Mission Impossible III to Lost to, more controversially, Star Trek (the reboot).  Naturally, some die hard Star Wars fans fear a trekkie influence on their beloved franchise; they should know better than anyone though– as Yoda so sagely put it— fear is the path to the dark side.

Good Guys: The Resistance

Bad Guys: The First Order

New Characters:

Rey: Self-sufficient scavenger played by newcomer Daisy Ridley, initially living on the desert planet Jakku.

Finn: Stormtrooper-turned-resistance-member portrayed by John Boyega.  Meets up with Rey on Jakku.

Poe Dameron: X-Wing Pilot played by Oscar Isaac, who enters the action on a mission for a “certain Princess.” (Leia!?!?!)

Kylo Ren: Resident bad guy, at least for the first movie, played by Adam Driver (yep, the guy from Girls).  From the trailer, we know that he’s a big fan of Darth Vader’s work and all-around evilness, and hopes to “finish what [Vader] started.”

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He also has a badass new lightsaber

Other new characters that we haven’t seen prominently in trailers:

Maz Kanata: Lupita Nyong’o

General Hux: Domhall Gleeson

Supreme Leader: SnokeAndy Serkis

Lor San Tekka: Max Von Sydow

Returning Characters:

Luke Skywalker: Mark Hamill has signed on to reprise his role as Luke Skywalker for all three films, though, like so much else in the reboot, little is known about the role he’ll play throughout.  My dad, resident middle-aged Star Wars fanboy and theorist, thinks he will have a token appearance in this first film and a larger role later on. So take that as you will.

Han Solo: I don’t think I was the only one that got chills from Harrison Ford’s gravelly, “It’s true. All of it.” voiceover at the end of the second trailer.  Han is back (and so is the Falcon). Again, not much known about the role he’ll play, though the trailer shows an embrace between Han and Leia, hopefully indicating long-lasting marital bliss.

Princess Leia: Carrie Fischer, too, is back on board.  I doubt she will rock the bikini again, though.

Chewbacca: Thankfully, Chewie is back.

dream team

Dream Team

Plot: ?????

NO ONE KNOWS AND IT’S KILLING US.  Theories abound, but no one really has a clue.  The trailers are, other than awesome, very vague, favoring sweeping galaxy shots over actual plot points. (The Verge has a post that freezes and analyzes literally every frame of Trailer #3.)  The web is littered with in-depth fan theories, but, let’s be real, we won’t really know until December 17.
May the force be with us all very soon.

Images via, via, via.

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