Warning: Potential spoliers below.
The clip begins with a familiar shot of General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), and their legions of First Order Stormtroopers assembled at a base on a snowy planet. (Side note: During The Force Awakens panel at Comic-Con, Gleeson let slip an Easter egg: the chief First Order headquarters is called Starkiller Base, a nod to the surname George Lucas originally had for Anakin Skywalker.)
While a minor key riff reminiscent of John Williams’s “Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back plays underneath, we get a replay of Andy Serkis’s narration from the initial Force Awakens teaser released last November:
There’s been an awakening… Have you felt it?
This time, however, with the Sith-esque soundtrack and a generous echo effect, Serkis’s words sound even more ominous. (Serkis plays Supreme Leader Snoke, who, while still unseen in any of the promotional material, figures to be one of the chief Dark Siders.)
The next shot is a new one featuring our heroine Rey and her droid sidekick BB-8 turning their gaze upward. Rey has a Very Concerned Look.
Then comes the kicker: We again see the image of cloaked Dark Side acolyte Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) trudging through a snowy forest, pausing, and igniting his badass crossguard lightsaber. Only this time, his adversary is revealed: one of our other young heroes, Finn (John Boyega), wielding his own blue lightsaber.
Earlier this month, a new Force Awakens poster released at the D23 Disney fan event revealed that Boyega would at some point in the film fire up a saber.
“The secret is out,” Boyega told Yahoo Movies at the event. “Yes, I have a lightsaber — and it is on. I can’t say too much more about it, but I’m happy that the news is out there. How cool is that?”
There was also this revelation from the filmmakers in Entertainment Weekly: the blue-bladed lightsaber that first belonged to Anakin, was passed along to Luke, and then disappeared into a Cloud City garbage chute in Empire Strikes Back when Anakin/Darth sliced off Luke’s hand will reappear in The Force Awakens in the possession of Leia. Based on what we’ve pieced together from trailers, toy leaks, and our own imagination, we know that at some point Finn, Rey, and BB-8 are on the Millennium Falcon with Han and Chewie. Does that mean Han takes Finn to Leia to get the saber?
The new footage is presumably from the forthcoming final trailer that director J.J. Abrams promised would arrive at an unspecified date this fall (the film hits theaters Dec. 18). Disney is hyping Sept. 4 as “Force Friday,” with new Star Wars merchandising flooding stores preceded by a daylong unboxing event that will unfold on the Star Wars YouTube channel. What better way to cap an epic day of Star Wars overload than with said new trailer. We can hope, right?