The second official trailer for Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens has hit, and it puts full on display the linkage between the past, present and future of the Star Wars Universe. After the trailer, I’ll break it down a bit.

If one word could sum up what appears to be the central theme of Star Wars VII, it would be “generations”. There are multiple narratives this trailer presents:

The Force has carried down through a bloodline from one generation to the next.

The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too.

At first watch, I attributed that quote to Luke Skywalker, explaining to his child that they may have the same ability to be at one with The Force as Anakin Skywalker (his father) and Leia (his sister). But then as I was watching the trailer a third time, it occurred to me that the voice might not be that of Mark Hamill, but rather an actor who plays a Skywalker of the next generation. That’s why he explains “My father HAS it”. Surely Luke Skywalker would’ve used the past tense “HAD it”, since Anakin Skywalker has been gone for potentially decades at this point.

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Warring factions from the previous generation have fallen.

The fact that over 20 seconds of a 2 minute trailer is devoted to showing a downed Star Destroyer and X-Wing wreckage sets the stage to say that the after-effects of the wars fought during Return Of The Jedi are in play as part of the landscape. And what a beautiful landscape it is:

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A new Empire has arisen. The Storm Troopers get an upgraded look (and appear to be more effective than the previous generation), and the new ruling faction has also taken to upgrade the tie fighters and emblem.

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And who doesn’t like a chromed-out Storm Trooper?

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I had initially hoped this was Johnny Boyega, but we already see in the trailer that he has a standard issue, non-caped version.

 

A new evil has arisen, and it appears to have found remnants of Darth Vader.

Could the “generations” concept continue here? The figure we’ve seen in the previous trailer, in promotional materials, and in this trailer could very well be half-man / half-robot. That’s a growing theme with Star Wars, with Darth Vader from the original trilogy, General Grevous from the prequels, and now potentially this masked figure with the red lightsaber. Did he get his powers from Darth Vader, using some sort of midichlorian-harvesting / cloning technique? Is it actually the next-gen Skywalker, obsessed with their grandfather?

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Whoever it is, they do appear to have the ability to Force Push.

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 And for good measure, Han & Chewie.

If we’re lucky, this generation’s Han & Chewie will be Han & Chewie, not a new set of characters. Because quite frankly, another duo just can’t replace them. Hopefully we get Harrison Ford and his hairy friend for all three films in this trilogy.

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