Much anticipation surrounds the new JJ Abrams practical effects driven Star Wars film The Force Awakens. Since the release of the trailer there have been sites that have dissected it examined it frame by frame. But lets dig into it a bit more and meet the cast of characters from the trailer – and what better way to do it than with throwback vintage trading cards!
This bouncing baby droid has already endeared itself to the Star Wars faithful with just a few bleeps and squawks of droidspeak. Its exact role in the plot can’t be determined, but it likely serves a similar role to R2—the sweet, childlike, non-threatening David that plays a small but critical role in facing down an intergalactic Goliath. Abrams may have named his company Bad Robot, but this is clearly a nice one.
Now there’s a name weighted with significance. Some fans have already gleaned an intense, not necessarily welcoming vibe off of Oscar Isaac’s X-Wing pilot, and a first name taken from a writer who chronicled the sinister side of human nature would suggest that this is a character who is on the edge of the light/dark divide. Those characters, like Han Solo and Vader himself, are always the most interesting ones. His name is also an almost-spoonerism of Cameron Poe, the character Nicolas Cage played in Con Air. Coincidence? (Probably, yeah.)
We don’t yet know which actor is playing this ominous figure, but he’s clearly a villain, mentioned in the trailer as the dark side of the awakening that has taken place. What’s notable about these few seconds of footage is that this seems to be a villain who has no resources, no ship, a shoddy, sparking, flame-like blade on his lightsaber (despite the cool crossguard customization). Luke Skywalker was a farmboy who rose from nothing to take on the Empire. What if the villain of the new trilogy was the same, but from the other moral direction—a nobody who brings chaos to an entire galaxy?
There’s been no shortage of rumors about the character played by Daisy Ridley, but even the name being used in that speculation—Kira—has now been proven false. All we have at this point is her first name, Rey, so… maybe we’ll find out eventually whether her surname reveals deeper family connections.
We also don’t know the last name of John Boyega’s character, so that could also be an important omission. But the extra three words of description—”on the run”—explains a little bit why he is seen jumping into frame and gasping in the opening moments of that trailer. He’s in a Stormtrooper uniform, but we don’t know for sure if he is an actual member of that fighting corps or if, like Han and Luke in the first movie, he’s merely using it as a disguise.
The design is slightly different—the wings open up in the middle instead of having two platforms pressed together—but Poe Dameron’s squadron seems no less fearsome than the group that swooped in to battle the forces of the Emperor. The fact that they’re skidding along the surface of a lake rather than screaming through the void of space gives us something new along with something familiar.