There is surely nobody left unmoved by the first two teaser trailers for J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Their online releases have broken viewing records and increased Disney share prices far beyond what anyone could have expected. Inevitably, the early footage has been pored over and forensically examined by fans around the world – looking for clues as to what we might expect when the film finally arrives in theatres this December. Eagle-eyed though those fans might be, however, it took Luke Skywalker himself to really put the rumour mill into motion, when he recently discussed the second teaser trailer at the Star Wars Celebration event in California.
Referring to his performance of the voiceover that is woven through the footage, in comments reported by AP, Mark Hamill recounted a significant problem with his delivery. The lines spoken are similar to Skywalker’s dialogue from Return Of The Jedi, with subtle, but significant variation.
“The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too.”
According to Hamill, he repeatedly got the tense wrong – saying several times over, “My father had it” – leading to the finished trailer featuring a combination of the original recording and the new performance. It is an understandable mistake, of course – Skywalker was (spoiler alert!) cradling his injured father as he drifted off into that long goodnight in most dramatic fashion in Return Of The Jedi. So, given that we know Skywalker Senior (also known as – spoiler alert! – Darth Vader) is most definitely no more, the line-reading, “My father has it,” seems incredibly deliberate, not least because Hamill was also heard to marvel at the level of important detail that is included in the preview.
“[There is] so much information there for you to speculate about. It implies so much that’s gone on, from Jedi ’til now. They don’t call it a teaser for nothing. They want to tease you.”
Could Abrams and Co. really be teasing an appearance by the Skywalker patriarch in Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens? Perhaps, among all of the impressive practical effects they have been striving to include, he might appear as a projection, or in flashback – much like Obi Wan Kenobi once did. However, the very specific use of the present tense does suggest something much more current for the hitherto deceased Darth Vader. The first teaser trailer did state very clearly that there has been an awakening, after all. Have you felt it?