After countless leaks and rumours, Star Wars has given fans the first official sneak peak at Episode VII.
Titled The Force Awakens, this is the first instalment to be free of George Lucas. Instead, Star Trek Into Darkness and Super 8 director JJ Abrams will strut his stuff.
From the mere seconds we’ve seen, it is going to be amazing.
It would have been nice to see Harrison Ford, Chewbacca, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and the rest of the original gang in the teaser, but I guess they want to appeal to a new audience. We’re also madder than a nerf herder that we have to wait until December 2015 for the real thing. But whatever. Absence will only make our sabers burn brighter.
Let us number you the ways that the latest episode is all we were hoping for, and more.
1. The Empire is an equal opportunity employer
It’s great to see that The Empire has continued to implement its diversity policy.
You’ll remember that all Stormtroopers during the Clone Wars were Maori. Well, now we have our first African American Stormtrooper.
You’ve done well, Empire. You’ve done well. Apart from the whole Death Star, mass homicide thing. And shooting electricity out of your finger nails. That was a little weird.
2. New Stormtrooper helmets
The Empire’s worst crackshots are back in white, but with a significant redesign. And boy does it look good.
Lights flash, a landing door swings open, and a crew full of laser blasters is unleashed onto a desperate fan base.
The helmets are far sleeker than their 1970s counterparts. The head is narrower and more insect-like, rather than bloated and froggish. They look mean. They look like they might actually manage to shoot Jedis in a barrel.
3. Rebel with a cause
A girl, British actress Daisy Ridley, riding the space-age equivalent of a Harley Davidson. What’s not to love, right?
This floating, roaring menace looks like it would be a lot of fun to ride around, especially if it were plowing through Stormtroopers like rolling pins. And with an engine case the size of half a Chicken Walker, it must go really, really fast.
We hope there’s a Fast and Furious showdown, and that this goggle-wearing rider kicks some serious alien butt.
4. Cute robots
Star Wars has delivered yet another bleeping and blooping mechanical ball of cuteness. Quite literally this time.
The series would not be complete without adorable/annoying androids and automatons. Some have even theorised that Star Wars is best read from the viewpoint of the robots, who look on with weary metal eyes at the destruction and havoc wrecked by their less-perfect creators. Or something.
5. Triple-blade lightsaber. Wut?
Okay, so in his exuberance Abrams has gone full Gillette razor on this movie and decided to add extra blades TO EVERYTHING. Complete with cape, Medieval-style broadsword and snowy forest, perhaps Abrams is channeling Game of Thrones?
The more practical-minded among us would note that the extra blades are more likely to slice off the wielders thumbs than they are to help with thrusting and parrying. Many eagle eyed watchers have already pointed out that a glancing blow down the side of the blade would probably lop off the beam generators anyway, and chop off the wielder’s hands.
But these very logical thoughts were drowned out by screams of “ERRMAGHERRD THREE-BLADE LIGHTSABBEERRRR.”
This is not the only unusual lightsaber design rumoured, with one of the female cast reportedly sporting a saber with a single Wampa claw for a hilt. You’ll remember the Wampa as the snow monster that tried to eat Luke Skywalker.
Judging by the menacing colours and the red blade, this is the weapon of a Sith Lord. The dark side does seem to like unusual sabers. Case in point: Darth Maul’s double-sider in The Phantom Menace.
By the time we get to Episode IX, we may have the Sith equivalent of a hedge trimmer.
6. The X-factor
There are many beloved space ships and vehicles in the Star Wars universe, but few are as iconic as the X-wing Starfighter, the preferred method of transport of Luke Skywalker himself.
Swooshing low over some distant river or ocean, kicking up little wisps of water, these magnificent flying machines could be featuring in the equivalent of an intergalactic car ad. One almost expects a snazzy slogan to flash across the screen, with a very low interest rate of 4,300 per cent per lightyear. Where do we sign?
There is, of course, one machine even dearer to our hearts.
7. The Millennium Falcon swoops again
The Millennium Falcon is everyone’s favourite ship because it is the underdog of spacecraft. The equivalent of a Toyota Corolla souped up with a nuclear reactor, the Falcon thumbs its nose at the evil Empire’s far more sophisticated fighters.
We see the Millennium perform a stomach-churning manoeuvre over desert sand to evade a couple of pesky TIE fighters and their angry green laser cannon, and we can’t help but cheer.
Sadly, we get no close up of the cockpit, but true fans will be hoping that a certain walking carpet and one very loveable, if slightly weatherworn, rogue are behind the wheel.
8. The LEGO version!
Within hours, the teaser was much-spoofed, with everything from Swiss Army Knife-style lightsabers to basketball robots.
But king of the spoofs was the version rendered in everyone’s favourite Danish connectable toy blocks. What better way to unite two of our favourite childhood memories than a Star Wars-LEGO mash-up.