The list of things that we knew–at least from the two teaser trailers for the film, not from shady spoiler sites–about the story being told in Star Wars: The Force Awakens before the release of the trailer was fairly short:
- Its characters include a Stormtrooper played by John Boyega who appears to have some sort of political or spiritual awakening
- It stars Daisy Ridley as a speeder-bike riding rogue of some sort who has an adorably charming little spinning droid as a companion
- It takes place some time after Return of the Jedi, and the Empire is in sorry enough shape that its crashed Star Destroyers litter the sands of desert planets
- But not such sorry shape that it can’t afford shiny new armor for its Stormtroopers
- Han Solo, looking aged but still pretty cool, is still kicking it, having returned with Chewbacca to the Millennium Falcon
- Luke Skywalker is running around in Jedi robes giving inspiring speeches about the strength of the Force in his family
- A mysterious villain with a Scottish Claymore-looking lightsaber is lurking in the woods to menace our heroes
- Darth Vader’s mask got messed up at some point after Return of the Jedi;
- And there are still TIE Fighters and X-Wings flying around, with one of the latter being piloted by Oscar Isaacs.
That’s not a ton of information–and after the official release of the full-length trailer for the film on Monday night, we don’t really know a whole lot more, in terms of plot. Instead, what the two minutes of almost entirely new footage reveals is the scope of the story–that Boyega’s character joins the Alliance, that the black-clad villain’s voice is as menacing as his mask, that Han and Leia are still kicking it, and are palling around with Boyega, Ridley, and Isaacs–without giving away almost anything in terms of the ways that the Star Wars universe has changed post-Return of the Jedi. (Han Solo does drop the hint that, despite that film’s title, the Jedi apparently didn’t rush to return, as Ridley and Boyega’s characters seem to believe that the Jedi were a myth.)
In other words, what The Force Awakens’ full trailer does is exactly what people say they want from trailers–it gives a strong idea of what the movie is going to look and feel like without delivering anything that could be described with words stronger than “very mild spoilers.” We get to see the hordes of Stormtroopers led by Adam Driver’s mysterious villain, but we don’t get the reason that they’ve gathered spoiled for us; we get to see Ridley’s rogue scavenge for goods, but we don’t know who she is or what she’s looking for; we learn that Boyega’s former Stormtrooper joins the Rebels, but we don’t get the reveal of what led him to take up the fight against his former leaders. For all of that, we’ll have to wait (so very patiently) until December 18th (or the night of the 17th, if you were able to snag tickets when they went on sale) with our appetites fully whetted and our toy lightsabers fully in hand.
After this trailer, though, it’s hard to imagine anyone on the the fence about whether they want to actually see the movie or not.