Star Wars: Cinema/Industry of Coming Attractions

star_wars_episode_vii_the_force_awakens_posterThe official trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has debuted online, after the promo’s premiere during ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles.

The trailer’s release coincides with the launch of ticket sales for the seventh installment in the franchise, which will bow in theaters on December 18.

On Sunday, Lucasfilm unveiled the thetarical poster for The Force Awakens as part of the countdown to the trailer and ticket release.

Despite initial plans for the tickets to go on sale after the trailer’s debut, online ticketers put them on sale two hours before halftime, straining sites like Fandango and MovieTickets.com.  Many users reported site crashes and error messages as fans rushed to secure seats.

New Footage

The new footage opens with Daisy Ridley’s Rey as she scavenges an old starship (the Imperial Star Destroyer seen in the first trailer?) before showing John Boyega’s Finn  questioning his place in the galaxy.

Another shot reveals Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren promising to finish what Darth Vader started.

While the trailer displays action of the Millennium Falcon, it still shows the stars of the original trilogy–Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and Peter Mayhew’s Chewbacca get the most screen time of the returning actors, with a brief glimpse of Carrie Fisher’s Leia and no full shot of Mark Hamill’s Luke, who is implied to be the cloaked figure seen with R2-D2 in the trailer. Hamill is also absent from the film’s poster.

Promotional Strategy

Coming Attractions:

The first standalone film in the franchise, Star Wars: Rogue One, will debut on December 16, 2016.

Rian Johnson is directing Star Wars: Episode VIII,  scheduled for release on May 26, 2017.

Colin Trevorrow’s Episode IX is slated for a 2019 release.

Another standalone, Hans Solo origin film, to be directed by 21 Jump Street helmers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, will bow in theaters on May 25, 2018.