New ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Footage: What We Learned

We’re officially heading into the home stretch of 2015, and as we approach the release date for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the excitement is continuing to build. So far, what we’ve been given has been just enough to tell us what we’re in for, without giving away too much leading into the premiere in December. Information has been trickling out in small doses, making even the smallest of tidbits big news for fans. With that, even a few seconds of never-before seen footage qualifies as significant, making us that much more excited about the latest from the official Star Wars Instagram account:

There has been an awakening… #StarWars #TheForceAwakens

A video posted by Star Wars (@starwars) on

In just a few short seconds, we learn a lot. We see another shot of the new First Order, a repeat of Kylo Ren and his crossguard lightsaber from the first teaser, and some context for that very scene: Ren is battling none other than Finn (played by John Boyega), who we also see sporting a lightsaber of his own. This tells us that Boyega’s character could end up being the next Jedi-in-training for the new Star Wars universe. Additionally, this leads to another question: Is that Anakin Skywalker’s old lightsaber Finn is wielding, or did he construct his own? Whichever one it is, the answer has wide-ranging implications for The Force Awakens.

The prevailing thought on Finn’s blue lightsaber seems to be that it is indeed the old lightsaber owned first by Anakin, and then years later by his son Luke. As we know, Luke lost the weapon battling Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back. This leads us to wonder where Finn found the lightsaber in the first place, something that could figure heavily into The Force Awakens. In past teasers, we’ve seen the weapon appear briefly, handed off between two characters whose faces we couldn’t see. However Finn came across it, someone will have to teach him how to use it, and with Mark Hamill signed on to play Luke, we think we know just the Jedi for the job.

This footage comes in the wake of JJ Abrams giving us an inside look at Kylo Ren and the First Order, in an interview with EmpireIn it, he revealed that “Kylo Ren is not a Sith. He works under Supreme Leader Snoke, who is a powerful figure on the Dark Side of the Force.” In pure Abrams fashion, an answer leads to only more questions: If Ren isn’t a Sith, why is he toting around a red lightsaber? Who is Lord Snoke in the hierarchy of the new First Order? And with the new footage, why is Kylo Ren going toe-to-toe with Finn?

In that same interview, Abrams gave us a brief rundown on the inspiration for the First Order, telling us how “that all came out of conversations about what would have happened if the Nazis all went to Argentina but then started working together again.” This tells us that the First Order could be composed of Empire sympathizers, or could be an entirely new organization. It’s hard to glean too much information from a couple comments from the director, but at this point it’s all we have to go on in terms of dependable details.

For the next few months, we’ll be left to continue asking these questions (at least until the next trailer debuts sometime in the Fall). The only way to truly know everything is to wait until December 18, when Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally hits theaters. Until then, we’ll take every second of footage we can find this side of Instagram.

Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest

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