It’s safe to say that when it comes to JJ Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, plot details have been kept fairly under wraps. Sure, we know that original characters Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie will be back, plus the names of a few new faces (and that Simon Pegg probably has a cameo), but as of yet the actual storyline remains a mystery.
All of this is to say that we’ll gladly take any tiny scraps of information thrown our way – so when we heard that a new Korean trailer for the sci-fi sequel had a couple of seconds of extra footage, we pored over the tiny frames with the keen eye of Hercule Poirot at a stylish murder scene.
And what a feast of hints we have discovered, monsieur. One of the new clips just shows some more of the shiny TIE fighters, but the other (above) – a large crowd scene featuring the full military might of rebooted Empire baddies The First Order – has a lot of interesting details to pick apart.
First off, the people on the stage. It seems fairly likely that Adam Driver’s lightsaber-modding Kylo Ren (above) is the guy standing all boss-like at the front (especially considering Andy Serkis’ Supreme Leader Snoke is supposed to be a motion-capture character). Could he be addressing his troops, a new pseudo-Emperor with a slightly snazzier dress sense? (even if his outfit here is missing his mask and cloak, and looks a bit like Mark Rylance in Wolf Hall)
Arise, Darth Cromwell
That said, we’re not sure if the person at the front has quite the right figure to be the slim and 1.91m tall Driver (coincidentally, also co-star Gwendoline Christie’s height) – perhaps it’s another figure entirely, or Serkis before he changes in some way. We just don’t know.
But who could be in the group behind him? Well the shiny-headed tall person could be Game of Thrones star Christie’s shiny-headed tall character Captain Phasma (aka the Chrome Trooper, above), confirming that she has a fairly major role among the baddies. Ex Machina’s Domnhall Gleeson has a villainous part too as General Hux, so it’d be a surprise not to see him here – perhaps he’s one of the be-hatted men standing towards the back, or maybe it’s even him at the front?
It’s hard to speculate on the other figures in the group, but they seem to be accompanied by some snowtroopers – aka stormtroopers with climate-appropriate armour, first seen in Vanity Fair earlier this year – whose last movie appearance was in the opening battle of 1980’s Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. So that’s fun.
And the snowtroopers aren’t the only retro design making a return. Over in the crowd, we can spy some classic Empire tech given a First Order upgrade, including some troop landers over to the left (as seen from the inside in earlier trailers) and an AT-AT (aka those big robot dog tank things from Episode V) on the right. Oh, and all the new TIE fighters are around as well – the First Order are clearly big believers in upcycling, so they can’t be all bad.
Finally, it’s probably worth noting that we’ve seen parts of this scene before, with the rank and file stormtroopers standing with their backs to the stage (above). Unless they’re just spectacularly rude when it comes to receiving speeches, we’d guess this means they’ve been turned round and ordered to do some storming and trooping – and our heroes might just be in trouble…
Anyway, that’s our little grey cells exhausted – if you fancy doing some Star Wars sleuthing yourself, you can take a look at the new footage below and let us know your theories in the comments box. And remember, when it comes to baseless internet speculation, there is no try – only do.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will be released on December 18th