Disney and Lucasfilm almost broke the internet yesterday when they unveiled the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The hotly-anticipated look at the next chapter in the Star Wars saga didn’t disappoint, but it did raise a handful of new questions and sparked a great deal of online speculation.
One of the biggest debates raged around the identity of the trailer’s narrator, who asks if we’ve felt “an awakening.” Many were quick to point out that the voice resembles that of Benedict Cumberbatch, who was long-rumored for the film but never officially cast. I personally don’t believe that Cumberbatch is coming anywhere near The Force Awakens, but I get the skepticism surrounding his involvement, thanks to the high levels of (arguably unnecessary) secrecy surrounding his role in J.J. Abrams’ last sci-fi adventure, Star Trek Into Darkness.
Other popular theories have pointed towards people who actually are in the film: Max von Sydow, Adam Driver, and Andy Serkis. Luckily, the debate hasn’t gone on for long, and we can now deactivate our lightsabers, as two sites claim to have gotten the answer from credible sources. HitFix’s Drew McWeeny was first to report, saying:
For the record, that is Andy Serkis you hear in the trailer. I was able to verify this, although I was not able to uncover any further information about the role he plays. Here’s what I do know, though. He’s playing a pivotal role in the film, although he will not have a lot of screen time.
His comment was followed up by Collider’s Steven Weintraub, who took to Twitter to say:
The voice in the new STAR WARS trailer is Andy Serkis.
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) November 28, 2014
Of course, that’s not official confirmation, but if you listen to the voiceover closely, you can hear bits of Serkis’ Caesar performance from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in the voice. Add that to the fact that Cumberbatch hasn’t actually been cast in the film, and I think we have our answer.
Directed by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens blasts into theaters on December 18th, 2015.