With December fast approaching, so too is the release date for the newest film in the Star Wars saga, J.J Abrams’ hotly-anticipated The Force Awakens. Today, the kind folks over at Disney have treated us to a slew of new hi-res photos from the film, first published by Entertainment Weekly earlier this week.
In addition to another look at John Boyega’s Finn and Daisy Ridley’s Rey being chased by a pack of Stormtroopers first seen in the newest trailer, we’ve got a great up-close look at Gwendoline Christie’s imposing Captain Phasma, as well as Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux, described by EW as ‘a cruel leader of The First Order who craves to show the galaxy his might’. Everyone’s favourite droids are back too, with R2-D2 and C3PO making a welcome return in a shot which also confirms the rumours that ‘3PO will be sporting a red arm in the film.
If behind-the-scenes action is more your thing, we’ve got two nice shots of director Abrams, one on location with Ridley and another perusing a script with his co-writer Lawrence Kasdan on what looks to be one of The First Order sets – it certainly looks very Empirical to us!
Outside of the images below, we’ve got a ton of new The Force Awakens news from various sources, including Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and J.J Abrams himself. Abrams has gone on record to reveal more about the plot of his new film, including a cool new bit of information about that lightsaber shot we saw in the second trailer:
“The Empire has morphed into a junta known as The First Order, while X-Wing pilots like Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron now fly for a splinter group known as the Resistance. Princess Leia (Fisher) has come into possession of the lightsaber once possessed by her father, Darth Vader, and later lost by Luke (Hamill) when Vader separated him from his arm during that “join me” duel in The Empire Strikes Back.”
We’ve also learnt about how Kennedy got Abrams, who is of course also in charge of another interstellar franchise with Star Trek, on board as director of Episode VII, saying that he was hooked by just one simple question:
“In the context of talking about story and laying out what we were thinking, I said one thing to him,” Kennedy recalls. “’Who is Luke Skywalker?’”
Apparently, that theme is at the very core of the new trilogy of Star Wars films we’re now getting, which would seem to imply that Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker may be sticking around for longer than just this latest film. According to EW, ‘the answer could alter not just how audiences look at the original trilogy, but the arc of a planned universe that now tallies at least five more upcoming films’:
There’s no question, the Luke we watched staring off at the twin suns of Tatooine in the original Star Wars is not the same Luke we last saw standing in the shadows of Endor while his victorious friends celebrated the fall of the Emperor, the death of Darth Vader, and the destruction of the second Death Star. War distorts any soul, and getting older always comes with compromises. Each one takes a piece of you — parts that can’t be replaced like a cybernetic hand.
For now, we’ll have to tide ourselves along with the below images, and although J.J’s confirmed we won’t see any new footage – behind the scenes or otherwise – unveiled at Disney’s D23 convention this weekend, we’ll have to hope that a new trailer for the film – hopefully with our first full look at Luke and Leia Skywalker – will premiere soon.