Star Wars: The Force Awakens second trailer reviewed - 'JJ Abrams has let his inner fanboy off the leash'
Han and Chewie! A Luke Skywalker voiceover! Darth Vader's helmet! Apologies if I sound mildly hysterical – for a moment there I thought I'd passed out and woken in geek heaven.
If the first trailer for forthcoming Star Wars reboot The Force Awakens tickled our nerd funny-bone with glimpses of the Millennium Falcon and X-Wings humming low over the sea, the second teaser, unveiled yesterday evening at an event in California, panders unashamedly to the core Star Wars demographic.
We hear Luke (Mark Hamill) muttering sweet nonsense about the Force. We see the vast wreckage of an Imperial Star Destroyer – to be technical, an Imperial I-Class Star Destroyer – looming from the earth. And we witness Han Solo and Chewbacca returning to the Millennium Falcon after what sounded like a long and painful separation.
“The Force is strong in my family,” intones Luke and you can almost hear the goose-bumps breaking out across the internet as he speaks. “My father has it, I have it, my sister has it. You have that power too.”
The brief monologue is accompanied by a flurry of instantly iconic images. Skywalker resting his artificial hand on R2-D2, Darth Vader's heat-warped helmet. A desert planet which, in its epic starkness, echoes the opening scenes of the original Star Wars (though it has been confirmed it is not the familiar Tatooine but a new world, Jakku).
The newcomer featured most heavily is British actress Daisy Ridley, prompting speculation she is to play Luke's daughter – a next-gen Jedi whose adventures the Abrams' trilogy will chronicle (it is broadly hinted that at least one original character is to be bumped off in the Force Awakens)
True, there are significant omissions – at least from an Irish perspective. We see nothing of Skellig Michael, rumoured to serve as Luke's home-in-exile, or of Domhnall Gleeson – who may, or may not, portray a young Jedi Knight (when this journalist quizzed him about it in January, he essentially rolled into a ball and refused to say anything).
Still, eight months out, we're beginning to get a sense of the sort of Star Wars movie JJ Abrams has made – and it looks like he's let his inner fanboy off the leash and is going to give all us other fan-people exactly what we've craved all these decades (we have, of course, obliterated all memory of P*****m Menace and George Lucas' other clunking prequels).
That is, a continuation of the first trilogy – a rocket-fueled roller-coaster ride, full of jaw-unraveling set-pieces, snappy dialogue and characters that feel real no matter that they are plainly hewn from figurative cardboard. December 18 – the day The Force Awakens opens worldwide – can't come soon enough.