SPOILER WARNING: This is going to discuss all the rumours and possible confirmations following the Star Wars trailer. Stop reading if you don't want to know any of that.
Oh God, it's here. I was all like, 'Yeah, new Star Wars trailer. Pretty cool, whatevs. THEN THERE'S THE MILLENNIUM FALCON AND IT'S ALL LIKE LASERS SHOOTING AND I'M FOUR AGAIN AND OH GOD...'
[Sound of hyperventilating.]
So, yeah, cool. Whatevs.
Here's the VO from the trailer which I'd swear sounds an awful lot like Benedict Cumberbatch. His role/cameo has been rumoured for a while.
"There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? The Dark side. And the Light."
Two things to notice here. Firstly, that is an evil voice, which suggests the Sith but the 'have you felt it?' bit suggests Evil Voice is talking to someone else. That ties in with the rule of two when it comes to the Sith (a master and an apprentice). However, many rumoured leaks have pointed towards the Sith Inquisitors, a politically-minded tier of a Sith ruled empire. If that's the case, and there are more than two, that might explains the possible Cumberbatch VO - as a Force sensitive member of a larger group, without being a main character.
That voice over could also be Andy Serkis, though. Given that one of the Sith bad guys is apparently very cyborg in design, that could explain his casting, given his experience with CG.
Mention of the Light side also alludes to one of the plot points supposedly leaked in some script info - that the new film centres on the search for Luke Skywalker, hence rounding up all the old gang in the shape of Han, Chewie and the rest. There's been mention a few times of a severed hand acting as a key clue, possibly belonging to Luke, or even Darth Vader - the search for both has been brought up in previous details.
Let's get onto the pictures.
John Boyega is a Deserting Stormtrooper
Here's the opening shot. John Boyega was rumoured to be playing a stormtrooper deserting the Empire and this certainly seems to be confirming that. Interestingly, some rumours suggest this desert planet might not be the obvious choice of Tatooine.
This Might be the New R2
Look at that little guy go! Now he's unlikely to be actual R2 but it looks like he appears in this concept art (below) which suggests he'll be playing a larger role. As we'll see in a moment several pieces of art from this source match the trailer suggesting it's legit. That shot of the droid rolling along also gives a look at the desert market area we've previously seen in leaked shots that contain that exact same engine on the right.
If I was going to go out on a limb and suggest the girl boy pair here are Daisy Riddle and John Boyega then this art could explain another rumoured plot point - the Empire's desire to find Boyega.
Those Leaked Stormtrooper Helmets Were Real
Previously leaked shots of Episode 7's stormtrooper helmets showed a new design. This exact one below in fact. The setting of the new movie is meant to be about 20 years after Episodes 4-6 and these helmets show how things have changed. Note, as well, the different heights of the soldiers. It doesn't look like the Empire are using clones any more, explaining why John Boyega doesn't look like actor Temuera Morrison who played Jango Fett, the DNA base of the original clone troopers.
There's a few possible options here. Firstly, the original clones were produced in one huge batch, so it's possible the Empire started enlisting rather than growing a new tank full. Some concept art and details also suggest the Empire isn't all powerful any more, instead existing in scattered pockets through out the galaxy (one image shows a fallen, derelict AT-AT being used as a house, suggesting the Empire is not around to complain). If that's the case they may no longer have the resources or cash for clones.
The same, now apparently verified leak, which provided these helmets also showed what appeared to be a redesigned Hoth snowtrooper which is relevant considering a later shot of an icy forest. However, there has also been concept art of a caped and chromed trooper, suggesting there's at least one other class, possibly an officer or upgraded version.
The Empire Are After Something
Where are the troopers going? It's hard to tell but those antenna and lights look similar to the set and props from previous visits to Tatooine, suggesting a similar desert environment and that they're landing on same planet as John Boyega. Some story leaks have suggested the Empire is hunting him down after he runs.
The new 'Luke' Might be Girl
Most of the leaks have linked Daisy Riddles's character to John Boyega. Her presence on what looks like the same planet seems to confirm that. Interestingly, she seems to be the 'Luke Skywalker' of the story - the farmboy(girl) trapped on a backwater planet, possibly dreaming of the stars. There was some criticism of an overly male cast, with Daisy as the only new girl. Would her being the new Luke balance that out?
The main thing this shot shows is that the movie seems to being avoiding flashy effects to stay faithful to the looks of the original. This locked shot of Daisy's speeder brick zooming off mirrors the first film perfectly. JJ Abrams has also teased an alien in the past that was good ol' physical puppetry, rather than CG.
It also matches previously leaked concept art, which comes from the same source for the chrome trooper mentioned above, and the Sith character coming up.
Are the Rebels the Bad Guys?
The Rebels are still around in some form. Or has the new government used the old logo? There's something oldly dark about the choice of colours though. Red and black has a slightly sinister overtone. Also, note the scaring/bruising on the pilots face - has he already seen action?
Good to see the classic pilot uniform from the original trilogy mirrored so well though. And notice the targeting computer tucked away on the right.
X-Wings are Back
We've already seen these ships in a previous video but at the time there was some discussion as to whether they were the original classic ships we remembered. A Z-95 Headhunter was one of the options thrown around. Part of the confusion was that the wing of the version Abrams showed didn't seem to unfold - now we can see the split foil design that hid that. There don't seem to be any astromechs behind the pilot although they could be hidden by the engines.
That Lighsaber Says A Lot
This is where things get really interesting. Remember I mentioned the Sith Inquisition earlier? They're known for using "esoteric and customized" lightsaber weapons with talk of energised hilts and other odd configurations. That thing seems to confirm we're dealing with an Inquisitor rather than just a basic Sith.
There are two options here. Adam Driver has been said to play a cyborg villain and that get up matches this rumoured concept art:
Note the cyborg hand. That matches up with an image tweeted by JJ Abrams himself:
This all ties into a rumoured plot involving flashbacks as a Sith faction hunt for Vader's remains after his death, while showing him alive and all powerful through flashbacks. This thread will also allegedly have Princess Leia as a child. Carrie Fisher's own daughter Billy Lourd has been cast in that role because of her resemblance to her mother.
There's one other option to who that cloaked character could be. Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie was rumoured to be playing an Imperial officer, and John Boyega’s commander. However, one source said she was training to use a lightsaber and there is something Tarth-like (her GoT character) to the gait of that figure.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT IT'S GOT TIE FIGHTERS AND EVERYTHING.
That Tie Fighter/Millennium Falcon shot is pure fan service. I need a lie down.
The trailer says it's out December 2015.
Just to round up, the trailer ends on a few seconds of blackness and the sound of a lightsaber, curiously slowed and faintly echoy. Any ideas?