Star Wars: The Force Awakens is coming this December, but other than a glimpse of Kylo Ren last year there's been little footage of lightsabers in action. That's changing today with our first glimpse of a new character wielding one of the brilliant laser swords: John Boyega's Finn.
It's a brief promo clip posted on the Star Wars Instagram account, taking advantage of the service's newly-announced landscape orientation mode, in which Boyega squares off opposite Adam Driver's Ren. He's wielding a blue blade, and while the precise origins of the weapon aren't clear we can get a pretty good idea by looking at what materials have already been released about the film.
Warning: Star Wars theorizing and potential spoilers ahead. Run away if you don't want to know!
The second teaser for The Force Awakens featured some sort of creature handing off a lightsaber to what appeared to be Princess Leia. That model looked identical to Anakin Skywalker's original blue weapon, which was passed down to Luke in the original Star Wars before being lost during a battle with Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back. Then during Disney's D23 convention, fans were given a new poster for The Force Awakens, featuring original artwork by legendary poster artist Drew Struzan. That image also featured Boyega holding the blue lightsaber, and at the time my colleague Kwame Opam noted that the hilt looked similar to Luke's lost weapon.
Putting those pieces together with today's footage, and it's becoming pretty clear that Finn is wielding the same lightsaber used in both the original and prequel trilogies. How he managed to get hold of the weapon — and its larger importance in the story itself — is still very much under wraps as far as official channels are concerned. But with this clip premiering on Instagram (and Force Awakens toys coming next month), we're likely going to learn a lot more very soon.
Verge Video: Inside ILM's secret Star Wars virtual reality studio