"The Force -- it's calling to you," an unseen female voice intones in the new "Star Wars" trailer that debuted at halftime during tonight's Monday Night Football game. "Just let it in."
Millions of "Star Wars" fans anxiously awaiting the release of "Episode VII: The Force Awakens" don't need any further invitation, of course. They're already there.
After two earlier teasers carefully engineered to stoke nostalgia for the beloved space opera franchise while slowly introducing a new generation of younger characters, Disney and Lucasfilm offered a third -- and possibly final -- trailer that pulled back the curtain a little more.
Much is still unknown about the plot of the new film, and the new two-and-a-half minute trailer -- the first new look at the film fans have received since April -- offered up as many questions as answers.
"Who are you?" a female voice asks in the opening, and Daisy Ridley's desert scavenger Rey answers, "I'm no one." But who is doing the asking? The Internet is already speculating that this might be our first time hearing the new, entirely computer-generated character played by Lupita Nyong'o by the name of Maz Kanata. However that's just speculation at this point.
Rey is seen leaping into an air shaft into what appears to be an abandoned spacecraft of some kind. Could this be the downed star destroyer we've seen in earlier clips? And is she just out exploring on her own or is she on some kind of mission?
John Boyega's Finn says, "I was raised to do one thing but I've got nothing to fight for," as we see him removing a stormtrooper helmet followed by a shot of a damaged TIE fighter spinning through space. If he is indeed a stormtrooper, presumably he was raised to fight for the Empire. But why does he have nothing to fight for? Later we see him wielding a light saber -- does he become a Jedi-in-training?
We hear the film's principal villain, Adam Driver's Kylo Ren, saying, in a low, distorted voice a la Darth Vader, "Nothing will stand in our way -- I will finish what you started," as the camera pans over Vader's ruined mask. But what new goal does the apparently reinvigorated Empire have in this film, aside from generally spreading the power of the Dark Side throughout the universe? And what exactly Kylo Ren is doing to Oscar Isaac's fighter pilot Poe Dameron? We have no idea, but it can't be good.
The rest of the trailer is heavy with aerial dogfights, explosions and light saber duels and features glimpses of OG Star Wars characters Han Solo, Princess Leia, R2D2 and Chewbacca. But, unless he is one of the mysterious cloaked figures whose faces are obscured, Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker is nowhere to be seen -- just as he was missing from the newly released poster. What is the story with that?
Fans will no doubt spend the next two months parsing the clip, along with the earlier teasers, for clues to these and other questions. But for now many Bothan spies would need to die to get any firm information. We'll all learn the answers together when the film arrives in theaters Dec. 18.
Until then, as Yoda would say, difficult to see -- always in motion is the future.
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This article was written by Josh Rottenberg from The Los Angeles Times and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.