We should hope J.J. Abrams is better at making Star Wars movies than he is at telling the truth. The Episode VII director promised in October that we wouldn't see any more trailers for the upcoming sci-fi epic until the film's premiere in December. A few short weeks later, the Japanese trailer hit the internet, showing new footage of the movie's stars and leading to a renewed frenzy of story speculation. Now we've got another clip to satisfy our Star Wars urges, after a one-minute TV spot aired tonight during ABC's "Thank God It's Thursday" block of programming.
Although technically a commercial rather than a trailer — and therefore covered by Abrams' original statement — the short clip also includes a few new shots that may shed light on The Force Awakens' plot. Jettison your escape pod here if you don't want any spoilers.
Abrams said no new trailers in October, before the Japanese trailer hit
We see a TIE fighter taking an explosion to the solar panel as it launches from a First Order hangar. The red-and-black color scheme, the location of the damage, and the hurried departure it makes suggests this is indeed Finn — as speculated earlier in the year — abandoning his job as a stormtrooper. It's likely this is the same TIE we see crashed on Jakku, the same planet that Rey is eking out a life as a scavenger on. Why are the First Order on Jakku? Perhaps to collect relics from the climactic battle between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance, or perhaps because Kylo Ren and chums have sensed a disturbance in the force. Perhaps a disturbance caused by Rey?
Stormtroopers can block lightsabers
It's not clear yet whether Rey is actually a force user, but we've already seen Finn using a saber to battle Kylo Ren in a snowy forest. Finn uses his saber again in this latest clip, but note that it's not the ultimate weapon it once was, being blocked handily by a simple stormtrooper using some kind of staff. Of course, the Star Wars expanded universe has a few options for lightsaber-proof armor, including the fibrous Cortosis used for shadowtrooper armor, but the weapon could simply be using a small shield to protect the wielder. As you'll (sadly) recall from Episode I, lightsabers can't easily pierce the personal shields used by battle droids.
Piecing together the story from the trailers and clips we've seen so far, Han himself appears to be getting a new band together, shepherding both Rey and Finn as possible force users off Jakku before taking them around the galaxy. Maybe he's in search for Luke, or the new Resistance, seemingly led by Princess Leia as Mon Mothma 2.0, or the dark lord himself — Jar Jar Binks.
Update November 13th, 1.30 AM EST: The device Han hands Rey appears to be a blaster, rather than a lighstaber as previously thought, as shown in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot at the end of October's trailer.Verge Video: Now BB-8 can patrol your home