It’s been nearly four months since fans of the galaxy far, far away were treated to their first glimpse of the brand new Star Wars movie. That trailer lasted 88 seconds and gave fans very little indication of what the hell would be happening in the years following the destruction of the second Death Star. What it did do, however, was generate the kind of buzz around the franchise that hadn’t existed since the first trailer for the much-maligned Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out in 1998. And while that movie may have sucked (as did all of the prequel films), The Force Awakens, the first Star Wars movie to feature J.J. Abrams and Disney at the helm, holds obscene amounts of promise. That much was evident from the first trailer, which inspired the kind of childlike excitement, wonder, and giddiness that I hadn’t felt in a long time.
Now comes the second trailer for The Force Awakens. It’s two minutes long, and is largely just as vague as that first teaser was. It features some of the same sights as that initial trailer: X-Wings skimming across a lake, TIE Fighters zipping around, Imperial Stormtroopers (this time with a full view of their armor and helmets), several of the new characters. But it also features many things that were noticeably absent the first time around: Luke Skywalker’s unmistakable, yet grizzled voice provides the voiceover. We get a brief shot of R2-D2 with a robot hand on his head (presumably Luke’s). We get a full, albeit brief, look at the new villain; we still have no idea who or what it is, which only makes it more exciting. We get a larger look at just what the Empire is still capable of, even after the demise of the Emperor himself in Return of the Jedi. We also see just how far they’ve fallen; the first shot features the far-off husk of a destroyed Imperial Star Destroyer on a desert planet.
But most importantly, and in concert with the first teaser trailer, we get the money shot: none other than Han Solo and his trusty pal Chewbacca in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. It’s an emotional moment, cathartic even. It’s what the fans have been waiting for. The familiar faces from the Original Trilogy were curiously absent from the first trailer. That may be rightfully so; this new trilogy isn’t about them as much as it’s about the new characters, so it’s only right that they have the most face time.
But this is what we wanted all along. We need this. We deserve this. After what George Lucas did to the prequel trilogy (to say nothing of his “improvements” to the original), this is a well-earned moment for everyone who loves the Star Wars universe. Christmas 2015 cannot come fast enough.
“Chewie, we’re home.”